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 email@example.com." 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 Network, The 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.