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Trent Reznor's Quotes

Trent Reznor profile photo

Born: 1965-05-17
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Trent Reznor

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I found that when I was putting my own music out, with my Twitter feed as the pure marketing budget, I'm preaching to the choir.

Tags: Found, Marketing, Music

I like the idea of subversively communicating with people... so that you make people see things in different ways.

Tags: Idea, Ways

I love David Fincher and I think he's a genius.

Tags: David, Genius, Love

I miss how a record label can help spread the word that you have something out.

Tags: Help, Miss, Word

I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy.

Tags: Enemy, Put, Try

I think it's easy to make impenetrable music that nobody can get, and you can hide behind that sometimes.

Tags: Easy, Music, Sometimes

I think it's just an awkward time right now to be a musician.

Tags: Awkward, Musician, Time

I thought I'd reached the bottom a few times, but then I'd realise there was another 30 floors of despair below that.

Tags: Another, Few, Thought

I was never a Lime Wire guy because it's too much hassle to find the song.

Tags: Guy, Song, Wire

I was up above it. Now, I'm down in it.

Tags: Above

I'd never want to be Gene Simmons, an old man who puts on makeup to entertain kids, like a clown going to work.

Tags: Kids, Old, Work

I'll be honest, watching the music industry collapse has been demoralizing and disheartening at times.

Tags: Honest, Music, Times

I'm not Prince or Rivers Cuomo, who brags about having hundreds of great songs.

Tags: Great, Prince, Songs

I'm sure there is a group of people that assume Nine Inch Nails is just noise and chaos - or whatever it might be dismissed as, and sometimes is.

Tags: Group, Sometimes, Whatever

I'm very much aware of the dangers of becoming a cliche. Mr. Anger, someone who gets meaner, angrier on record.

Tags: Anger, Becoming, Someone

I've become impossible, holding on to when everything seemed to matter more.

Tags: Become, Impossible, Matter

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't think music should be free.

Tags: Free, Music, Said

If I go onstage, I want to give people everything they want and more. I'll wash their car for them on their way out.

Tags: Car, Give, Wash

If there used to be 100 people at a major working on a record, now there are 18, but they're the good ones. There's a lean, mean hunger.

Tags: Good, Mean, Working

In Nine Inch Nails, I've been the guy calling the shots since inception. I'd gotten used to that.

Tags: Guy, Since, Used

It probably wasn't until Nine Inch Nails played the first Lollapalooza that I actually went to a festival.

Tags: Actually, Played, Until

It's not like I ride a broom into interviews. I don't hang upside down with a cape on.

Tags: Interviews, Ride, Upside

iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up.

Tags: Cool, Face, Tired

Jumping through any hoop or taking advantage of any desperate situation that comes up just to sell a product is harmful. It is.

Tags: Desperate, Situation, Taking

Live interaction with a crowd is a cathartic, spiritual kind of exchange, and it's intensified at a festival.

Tags: Crowd, Exchange, Spiritual

Making noise is easy; making stuff people understand is an easy thing to do.

Tags: Easy, Making, Understand
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MTV can't do less for me, let's put it that way. I'm fine without them.

Tags: Fine, Less, Put

Musicians have always adopted Macs.

Tags: Adopted, Musicians

My input for the first 16, 17 years of my life was AM radio, FM radio - pretty mainstream stuff. Rolling Stone was probably as edgy as it got.

Tags: Life, Pretty, Stuff

My music, I hope, takes 100% of your concentration. I know how to do that.

Tags: Hope, Music, Takes

Now U2's not my favorite band, but I do respect them, and in the same way I respect Bowie: They change without fear of change.

Tags: Change, Fear, Respect

Schoolwork came easy to me. I learned to play piano effortlessly. I was coasting.

Tags: Easy, Learned, Piano

Self-examination with a close-up mirror in an antiseptic environment is what Nine Inch Nails is based on.

Tags: Based, Mirror, Nails

The dynamic of a relationship changes when one person gets sober.

Tags: Changes, Dynamic, Sober

The reality is that people think it's okay to steal music.

Tags: Music, Okay, Reality

To me, rock music was never meant to be safe. I think there needs to be an element of intrigue, mystery, subversiveness. Your parents should hate it.

Tags: Hate, Music, Rock

Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and 'clean' versions be made for them to carry.

Tags: Carry, Clean, Music

What is exciting is taking back the excitement of being able to debut something to an audience in exactly the way you want to.

Tags: Able, Excitement, Exciting

When fame presented itself to me, I was not at a point in my life where I was equipped to deal with it.

Tags: Deal, Life, Point

When I first played 'Wolfenstein 3D,' it blew my mind. It had a big impact on me.

Tags: Big, Mind, Played

When I was growing up, rock & roll helped give me my sense of identity, but I had to search for it.

Tags: Give, Rock, Sense

When I was growing up, the people who liked the Beatles, I didn't like, so I didn't pay attention to them.

Tags: Attention, Growing, Pay

Why don't the Grammys matter? Because it feels rigged and cheap - like a popularity contest that the insiders club has decided.

Tags: Feels, Matter, Why

'Yeezus,' I really love it. I think the sound of it is cool.

Tags: Cool, Love, Sound

You can punch a wall or write a song. Just as painful either way, but you have something to show for it at the end of the day with a song.

Tags: End, Show, Write

You know, if nobody knows who you are, nobody's going to buy your record.

Tags: Buy, Knows, Nobody

I thought my goal in life was to be in a successful band, and I had got that, but I was as miserable as I had ever been, and I couldn't understand why that would be.

Tags: Life, Successful, Thought

Anyone who's an executive at a record label does not understand what the Internet is, how it works, how people use it, how fans and consumers interact - no idea. I'm surprised they know how to use e-mail.

Tags: Anyone, Idea, Understand

As long as it feels valid to me and feels sincere, I'll do what I do under the moniker of Nine Inch Nails if it's appropriate. I would hate to think I would ever be in a position where I'm faking it to get a paycheck.

Tags: Hate, Position, Sincere

Being in a band with my wife, I'm very aware of the multitude of ways that can go wrong. We're best friends and are interested in the same things, so it's natural to make music together.

Tags: Best, Music, Wife

'Downward Spiral' felt like I had an unending bottomless pit of rage and self-loathing inside me and I had to somehow challenge something or I'd explode. I thought I could get through by putting everything into my music, standing in front of an audience and screaming emotions at them from my guts.

Tags: Challenge, Music, Thought

For me, 'The Social Network' isn't about Facebook. It certainly isn't about how people use it. It's about a flawed character and his pursuit of that grand idea that defines him and validates his life and how far he'll go to get it, and the repercussions that come as a result of that - what he gives up in the process.

Tags: Character, Him, Life

I do remember my first purchase: the Partridge Family's 'Greatest Hits.' I got it for $3.99 at a failed chain of pre-Wal-Mart-type stores called Jamesway. God, I'm old.

Tags: Family, God, Greatest

I don't even know why I'm saying this in an interview situation, but I always feel like I'm not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn't the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.

Tags: Enough, Good, Saying

I had to come to terms about becoming an addict, which, for a long time, I lied to myself about the status of until I couldn't lie any more, 'cause I was either going to die or get better.

Tags: Die, Lie, Time

I have been wildly enthused about gaming since I was younger, and a career path I chose not to go down but did really consider was getting into programming and game design.

Tags: Career, Design, Game

I lived a fairly average, anonymous small-town life till I got the idea to do Nine Inch Nails. Then I locked myself in a studio for a year, and then got off the tour bus two years after that, and I didn't know who I'd turned into.

Tags: After, Life, Off

I often find myself listening to a record because a lot of people or magazines have told me it's good and I'm supposed to like it, and I try to stay in touch with what's happening and I'm also a fan of music. I find myself trying to like something that I really don't think is that great.

Tags: Good, Great, Music

I think my music's more disturbing than Tupac's - or at least I thought some of the themes of 'The Downward Spiral' were more disturbing on a deeper level - you know, issues about suicide and hating yourself and God and people and everything else.

Tags: God, Music, Yourself

I think the reason I was 23 before I ever wrote a song was that I was afraid of testing myself. What would I do if I discovered I didn't have anything to say?

Tags: Afraid, Reason, Song

I think the thing I've always tried to do is - and I didn't plan it, it just started to come out that way - is try to make challenging music that flirts with accessibility.

Tags: Music, Plan, Try

I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks - if not two months - before it comes out. There's no real way around that.

Tags: Put, Real, Today

I wanted to escape Small Town U.S.A. To dismiss the boundaries, to explore. My life experience came from watching movies, TV, and reading books and magazines. When your culture comes from watching TV everyday, you're bombarded with images of things that seem cool, places that seem interesting, people who have jobs and careers and opportunities.

Tags: Experience, Life, Movies

I watch people, friends of mine, and see how they portray themselves online and I find interesting that it's kind of a hyper-real version of yourself, how you'd like to be seen, in a way.

Tags: Friends, Themselves, Yourself

I would love to be looked at some day - and I'm not ever saying I'm at this level - but I'd love to be mentioned in the same breath as a Bowie or an Eno. Those are the people that I admire artistically, their career trajectory, the integrity throughout their career, the bravery of their career.

Tags: Integrity, Love, Saying

I've always been into computers. When I was getting out of high school and forming my identity musically, all of it was really coming into the fold, computers and drum machines. It felt like, you know, I'm in the right place at the right time. I liked the collision.

Tags: Computers, School, Time

I've learned to recognize, a lot of it forced through the process of recovery, that I'm wired wrong in certain ways; the chemical balance of my brain is off in terms of depression a little bit.

Tags: Brain, Depression, Learned

It's one thing to sit back and say, 'Hey let's play a club, that will be great,' but then you get there and say, 'Hey wait, this is the dressing room? Where's my dressing room?'

Tags: Great, Room, Wait

My advice today, to established acts and new-coming acts, is the same advice I'd give to myself: pause for a minute, and really think about 'What is your goal? Where do you see yourself?'

Tags: Give, Today, Yourself

My life has two modes. One is sitting around writing and contemplating or building things. The other is execution mode. It takes a while to switch from one to the other.

Tags: Life, While, Writing

Nine Inch Nails is like building an army to go conquer. We build it, then we play, and we have to play so much to validate building it, financially. It leads to getting burn-out because a tour that would be fun if it lasted three weeks has to last 15 weeks.

Tags: Fun, Getting, Last

One of the biggest wake-up calls of my career was when I saw a record contract. I said, 'Wait - you sell it for $18.98 and I make 80 cents? And I have to pay you back the money you lent me to make it and then you own it?'

Tags: Career, Money, Said

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is, 'Oh, I'm on stage playing a song,' because you're daydreaming about something else, you're on autopilot. You have to fight that.

Tags: Fight, Happen, Sometimes

The band Grizzly Bear, I think they're excellent. There's a beauty and a musicality there that I wish would have been in vogue in the late '80s, when I was forming bands.

Tags: Band, Beauty, Wish

The music I always liked as a kid was stuff I could bum out to and realize, 'Hey, someone else feels that way, too.' So if someone can do that with my music, it's mission accomplished.

Tags: Else, Music, Someone

Though I still have no semblance of a life outside of Nine Inch Nails at the moment, I realize my goals have gone from getting a record deal or selling another record to being a better person, more well-rounded, having friends, having a relationship with somebody.

Tags: Friends, Life, Moment

Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks - if not two months - before it comes out. There's no real way around that.

Tags: Put, Real, Today

When I sit down to make a set list I usually think, 'We'll build it up here, take it down here, go into a quiet section here, explode here,' in a way that there's a flow and it doesn't feel like shuffle on an iPod.

Tags: Here, Quiet, Sit

When Twitter made its way to my radar I looked at it as a curiosity, then started experimenting. I approached that as a place to be less formal and more off-the-cuff, honest and 'human.'

Tags: Honest, Human, Place

With a Nine Inch Nails show, I'm building on a legacy that comes with a certain set of expectations. I have to push that forward, I have to reinvent myself, I have to feel current and valid.

Tags: Building, Forward, Show

You're standing onstage in a sold-out arena with people singing your music, and you feel like the loneliest person in the world. Because here's a party that, essentially, it's for you. And you still somehow feel like you don't belong there. Those people all have their lives and go back home.

Tags: Here, Home, Music

And when the day arrives I'll become the sky and I'll become the sea and the sea will come to kiss me for I am going home. Nothing can stop me now.

Tags: Become, Home, Sea

In my nothing, you were everything, to me.

Tags: Musical, Noise, Strangely

I do actually believe in love. I can't say that I'm 100 percent successful in that department, but I think it's one of the few worthwhile human experiences. It's cooler than anything I can think of right now.

Tags: Human, Love, Successful

I feel uncomfortable because I'm insecure about who I am.

Tags: Insecure

I realized that I was afraid to really, really try something, 100%, because I had never reached true failure.

Tags: Failure, True, Try

I foolishly thought that if I just 'made it' then everything would be okay. And everything wasn't okay.

Tags: Foolishly, Okay, Thought

Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me.

Tags: Image, Offensive, President

I write most of my songs when I'm in a bad mood.

Tags: Bad, Mood, Write

Sometimes we pee on each other before we go on stage.

Tags: Sometimes, Stage

I realized when I was 23 that I had never really tried anything.

Tags: Realized, Tried

This isn't meant to last. This is for right now.

Tags: Last, Meant

What I have appreciated about the 'Call of Duty' games is the scale of production. It's not an indie game. It's not trying to be an indie game. But I've genuinely been pretty consistently blown away by, wow, what an effort has gone into this.

Tags: Game, Pretty, Trying

Any time I sit down and write music, the first part of that is always centering myself and thinking about who I currently am.

Tags: Music, Thinking, Time

Balance is good, because one extreme or the other leads to misery, and I've spent a lot of my life at one of those extremes.

Tags: Balance, Good, Life

Being a rock & roll star has become as legitimate a career option as being an astronaut or a policeman or a fireman.

Tags: Become, Career, Rock

Books are better than movies because you design the set the way you want it to look.

Tags: Books, Design, Movies

Bow down before the one you serve, you're going to get what you deserve.

Tags: Bow, Deserve, Serve

Fear has governed my life, if I think about it.

Tags: Fear, Governed, Life

Frankly, I have always dreaded writing - there always seemed to be pain involved, unpleasant self-examination and a lot of fear.

Tags: Fear, Pain, Writing
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