Better Late Than Never
Working album title: The Fragile
Projected release date: early 1999, on nothing/interscope
What's taking so long?
According to Trent Reznor, the reason for the delay is simple: he
didn't know if he wanted to continue. "I had to rediscover my passion
for wanting to make music," he says. "A lot of the other shit started
to take the shine off it--the celebrity aspect, the constant
competitive backbiting. I've seen that with close friends. For a while
it just didn't seem as appealing to get back in that arena. Not from an
'I'm afraid to do it' point of view but more from an 'it's not as fun as it
used to be' [perspective]. But I think I've got my head turned back
What's it sound like now?
The double album Reznor plans to release picks up thematically from
"Hurt," the sliver of optimism that closes 1994's The Downward Spiral.
According to Reznor, that song was about "a sense of remorse and
awakening, and looking back feeling that it's not all to blame on
other--growing up a little bit about things."
Musically, the maturation process included a lot of trial and error. "I
tried to write the new record from a different perspective, trying to
write things that are simpler--maybe you could play it on a piano and
sing it--which i've never tried to do. And I tried and failed. Everything
started to sound like a Billy Joel song and shit that made me want to
kill myself and make sure all the tapes were well destroyed before I
offed myself," he says, laughing.
Instead of snuffing himself, Reznor worked at recapturing the "spirit of
reinvention" he felt while making The Downward Spiral. Now that the
spirit's moving him again, he's getting back to what he does best:
being different. "I don't think any artist wants to look at their own life
or career and think, 'well, I really can only do this one thing good, so
fuck it, I'll just do that.' I'm sure people actually do that, but I don't
want to think I'm one of those people. I aspire to be a David Bowie,
some sort of enigma that isn't a one-trick pony."
By Robert Cherry
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.