Trent Reznor has been a busy guy. He, along with frequent collaborator Atticus Ross, has provided the score to a number of film projects, with the next one being the forthcoming animated feature Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. But while the last few years have brought plenty of new music from Reznor, the same hasn’t been true for the group that initially made him famous: Nine Inch Nails.
The early days of the pandemic saw the release of two ambient albums, Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts. Since then, there’s been no new music released under the Nine Inch Nails name. And, as Reznor recently explained in a conversation with Rick Rubin, there’s been a reason for that — and it’s the same reason we might not see more Nine Inch Nails music released for a while.
Consequence reports that Reznor recently appeared on Rick Rubin’s podcast Tetragrammaton, where he discussed his reluctance to tour extensively right now. His reason for that? He’d rather spend time with his family.
“I don’t want to be away from my kids. I don’t want to miss their lives to go do a thing that I’m grateful to be able to do, and I’m appreciative that you’re here to see it, but I’ve done it a lot, you know?” he told Rubin.
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Familial concerns aren’t the only factor in keeping Nine Inch Nails dormant right now. Elsewhere in the interview, Reznor told Rubin that he missed “the attention music got, I miss the critical attention that music got.”
“I can’t think of any review I care about today that I even trust. I could write it before it comes out because it’s already written,” Reznor said. “In fact, ChatGPT could probably do a better job, you know? Or is currently doing the job. That makes for what I feel is a less fertile environment to put music out into — in the world of Nine Inch Nails.”
Reznor is far from the only musician to rethink touring in recent years. And it’s not hard to see the appeal of prioritizing one’s mental and emotional health — especially for someone who, like Reznor, has had a musical second act that doesn’t require spending months on the road.
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