Trent Reznor Rips 'Cowardly, Stale' Young Bands for 'Designing Themselves to Get Good Review in Hip Blogs'

"Staleness has permeated rock music," NIN frontman explains.

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Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor recently gave young rock artists quite a bashing, noting that the genre became stale and accusing bands of taking the cowardly approach.

"When you see a lot more excitement generated from the dance tent, I do think a staleness has permeated [rock music]," Trent told the Daily Record. "A pretty conservative nature has crept into music and I don't mean sonically."

"I get the sense that a lot of bands today are designing themselves to get a good review in the hip blogs and that is probably the safest and most cowardly thing you can do as an artist," he continued. "If you have something to say, then say it. Express yourself and break the rules."

"What I try to straddle is paying attention to what is happening in the outside world to some degree and at the same time becoming insular and really trusting my own voice and my own sense of what is right and appropriate," Reznor added.

"I don't hear tons of that going on right now. I'm saying this as an old guy. You start to morph into the guy you railed against when you were younger. But I'm being true to who I am now," the musician concluded.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yeah, he has a point. It would be cool to see a band make an impact the way Guns 'N Roses did. A kickass debut album is always cool.
    never going to happen the record industry has been too fractured , there will be no more Nirvana, GNR, Metallica type bands.
    I disagree. I believe a band is capable of making an impact regardless of the current state of the record industry. It will happen!
    Well in a way he's right that we'll never see another GnR or Nirvana. Popularity in the 90s didn't really work like in the 80s, and the 80s worked different from the 70s. There will still be influential works coming out, in fact maybe even more so if the industry were to fade out, but it probably would be in a different method from the old media spread style. Maybe more spread out in movements too rather than one artist.
    Like I said in my previous comment, I believe it will happen regardless of the current state of the record industry.
    It will be a punk band, because punks are the loudest about their opinions. Someone might consider that "selling out", but now that all music is "free", what would they be selling?
    I think I've written this under some other article - the mainstream/popular/however-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it rock has barely changed within the last 30 years or so, with the same beaten to death song structures and chord progressions, but there are LOTS of bands out there who are innovative and creative. But I just guess the boring, repetitive bands get more attention.
    This is what I was trying to explain to my sister yesterday! It feels like when I was in high school (graduated 7 years ago), the kind of rock that you heard on the radio had infinitely more energy and passion than what you hear now, and it sucks for kids who get to grow up with this crap now.
    We thought the exact same thing for the poor kids who grew up listening to grunge.
    I think the only difference is what the majority of people want to hear. There's passionate and real music out there, but the radio wants to sell the stale music because that's what sell, and that's because it's what the majority wants to hear.
    Does it mean that "what does the fox say" is not real, ouch and i was just about to buy the record.
    As always it is only my opinion, but the only new and great stuff I hear is in the prog rock, prog metal, post rock, post metal and simmilar genres. And this is only if talking about new (newer) bands, but the older ones still can produce some kick ass albums in this day and age.
    I wouldn't say the dance scene is any less of that especially considering how similar a lot of the subgeneres are and how little widespread experimentation there is compared to a few decades ago. I think the electronic world is just more open territory than guitar-based music which hasn't had much new sonic direction as of late. With Trent being so detail-oriented I can see why he would be drawn more to synthesizers where every aspect is built and controlled.
    We need a return to 50s/60s Rock maybe more songs with the 12 bar blues?
    There are a lot of great bands who have similar styles to bands like the Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks. There are the Strypes, Arctic Monkeys, & Orwells who have all adopted the classic rock n roll sound.
    Though I do share hate for the dance tent, of all people complaining... Trent Reznor? I personally dont even catagorize NIN as rock..