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Trent Reznor Brutally Sons Smart-Ass Redditor in How to Destroy Angels AMA

Plus: NIN tour will be more "audio/visual installation" than rock concert, some people won't "get it"

picture-18276-1372868632Chris Martins // March 6, 2013

Trent Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels released their debut album Welcome Oblivion today and, as a treat for fans, hopped onto Reddit to host an AMA (“ask me anything”). With recently announced tours on the horizon for both HTDA and the recently reformed Nine Inch Nails — plus that “Head Like a Hole” Carly Rae Jepsen mashup making the rounds — there was plenty to talk about. That said, it was a fairly boring talk, with one glaring exception.

One “fan” took the opportunity to call Reznor out for a handful of things: “As millionaires, why did you sign up with a record label to promote your new album? … I don’t buy the ‘get it to as many people as possible’ excuse … especially when Trent conveniently places a spotlight on his former cash cow a few days before your band releases this new album. Good marketing, Gene Sim-, er, Trent Reznor. When can I get my NIN toothpaste?”

But stow your “oooohs” until you read Reznor’s argument-ending response: “[Trent] Sorry, the wifi on our yacht is having issues, we can’t get your full question to load. Try sending me an email at” Burn. “How to Destroy Assholes,” quipped one Redditor. Another pointed out that the user had a valid question, even if it was dripping with utter insult. The GIF response ranged from this to this, for the record.

Another highlight came in Reznor’s response to a question about Dave Grohl’s Sound City and the issue of people trumpeting (no pun) traditional instruments over computers: “I don’t really care if you can play an instrument or not. I don’t think that’s a mandatory skill required to make music that can connect with people. I do think computers have made it easy to make lazy music that sounds nice. I find a fair amount of what’s championed today feels to me like it falls in that category – much more fashion than substance. There’s also a lot of current music I think is great … The Knife is a good example.”

Reznor also explained that his view on A-list team-ups has evolved through the years: “Working with David Fincher [The Social NetworkThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo] taught me a lot about collaboration, and HTDA allowed me to work in a band environment that I found very rewarding. I don’t know that I was ever comfortable enough with myself earlier in my life to be able to open up and collaborate. Regarding NIN, what’s interesting to me about re-assembling it is trying some new things out with a different type of lineup. We’re not deep into NIN rehearsals yet, but the idea is exciting.”

Beyond that, Rob Sheridan spoke on his plans for HTDA visuals on the road: “Do not go in expecting [NIN’s] Lights in the Sky, because this is a very very different presentation from NIN. This is going to be more of a statement, more of an audio/visual installation than a rock concert. Probably a lot of people aren’t going to ‘get’ it, but hopefully they’ll walk away saying, ‘I’m not sure what the hell I just watched, but it was pretty cool.'”

Oh, and Mariqueen Maandig acknowledged the “Call Me Maybe” mashup: “Honestly I haven’t even heard it yet. But I’ll make that priority #586 for today.” We can see why she and Reznor get along.