Trent Reznor: his name sounds like “razor” and the man sure enjoys tearing his enemies to ribbons. Recently he told one of his own fans to “suck my entire cock”. Not just a little bit of it; the entire thing. This was because there’s debate over whether the Nine Inch Nails frontman’s upcoming latest release should be considered and EP or a full album.
‘Bad Witch’, to be released on June 22, will be just six tracks long, leading one fan to post on the band’s online forum, under the name Quantum550, that it should be considered an EP. Reznor replied: “Want to know why it’s being labelled an LP instead of an EP? EPs show up with singles in Spotify and other streaming services = they get lost easier. EPs feel less important in today’s music-isn’t-as-important-as-it-once-was world. Why make it easier to ignore? We’re not charging any more for it so why get worked up about it? Quantum550: suck my entire cock.”
It’s not the first time ol’ Trent has been entertainingly outspoken. Ever since he helped to invent industrial music in the late 80s and early 90s, he’s earned a reputation as one of the best shit-talkers in town, having fallen out with stars as diverse as the provocative Marilyn Manson (an ongoing saga) and the seemingly innocuous Ashton Kutcher. Behold! Mr Reznor’s best barbs.
Calling Ashton Kutcher “an asshole”
Just last year, while discussing celebrities and tech, Reznor sent his barbed words sailing in the direction of That ’70s Show star Ashton Kutcher. Nine Inch Nails are widely considered ahead of their time for having embraced tech and advances in the music industry while others were reluctant to do so. Yet Reznor does not believe that he – or any other celebrity, for that matter – should be held up as any kind of tech innovator. Kutcher has invested in tech companies and has, in some circles, come to be considered something of a representative for the tech revolution.
Pah! Reznor told Vulture: “My experience with Beats Music and then at Apple largely was dismissed from outside, maybe justifiably, as here’s another celebrity moron holding up a phone and expecting some sort of credit. That kind of situation, which mine isn’t, would be insulting to the people that actually are doing the important jobs. And I don’t want to hear about ‘Ashton Kutcher’s a fucking tech genius.’ I don’t give a s–t about that. He seems like an asshole.”
Slamming the Grammys
The year is 2014, and a Reznor led super-group is to perform at the glitzy Grammy awards ceremony. Queens of the Stone Age! Dave Grohl! Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac! Yet their set was cut short after just two songs, because the show was running late and the producers needed to cut to an ad break. Dave Grohl, the nice guy of rock, presumably took it quite well, but Trent – one of the most vexed dudes in the business – later vented his spleen on Twitter, riffing on the ceremony’s tagline: “Music’s biggest night. . . to be disrespected. A heartfelt FUCK YOU guys”.
Knocking Fred Durst’s red cap well and truly off
Early noughties nu-metal: it’s a simpler time. The jeans were low, and so were the ambitions. Yet Reznor railed against the scene during its heyday, telling Kerrang!, of genre kings Limp Bizkit, in 2002: “It’s one thing if you know your place, like, ‘Hey, I’m an idiot who plays shitty music, but people buy it, f**k it, I’m having fun’. But it’s another thing when you think you’re David Bowie after you’ve stayed up all night to write a song called ‘Break Stuff’,” Reznor laughs, injecting contempt into every word. “I mean, Fred Durst probably spelt the word ‘break’ wrong the first couple of times. Fred Durst might be a cool guy, I don’t know him. But his ‘art’ – in the word’s loosest sense – sucks.”
Calling Marilyn Manson “a dopey clown”
A good insult. A very, very good insult. Reznor and Manson were once close, and have recently begun to rebuild their relationship, but the pair fell out massively in the mid-90s. The tension carried over to the late noughties, and in 2009 Reznor shared a no-holds-barred tirade against the God of Fuck, telling Mojo: “He is a malicious guy and will step on anybody’s face to succeed and cross any line of decency. Seeing him now, drugs and alcohol now rule his life and he’s become a dopey clown.” He then delivered his killer blow: “He used to be the smartest guy in the room. And as a fan of his talents, I hope he gets his shit together.”
Telling fans not to buy his own music
Trent Reznor is blessed with a reported net worth of $70m and so we must assume that he is a savvy business person (movie soundtracks such as The Social Network can’t have hurt). Yet he’s never been one for shameless cash-ins, as an incident from 2011 proved. When his timeless industrial 1989 classic ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ was re-released in 2011, he tweeted: “NIN fans, don’t waste your money on this version of PHM that was released… It’s very similar to the original release. This is not a remastered release… It’s a record label bullshit bullshit move repackaging the old version. Ignore please.” Talk about biting the hands that feeds.