Trent Reznor’s got opinions, y’all. This week alone we’ve heard the Nine Inch Nails frontman heap praise upon Donald Glover, condemn Taylor Swift’s political ambivalence, and double down on his criticism of President Donald Trump. He’s got plenty more to say about Trump in his latest interview—”It feels like things are coming unhinged, socially and culturally”—but he also didn’t hold back when it comes to headline hogger Kanye West, whose latest, ye, he didn’t quite appreciate.
While speaking with The Guardian, he called out the publication, and media at large, for spilling so much ink on the increasingly unhinged rapper. “How many Kanye West thinkpieces have the Guardian done in the last fucking month?” he asks. “The guy’s lost his fucking mind: that’s the thinkpiece. His record sucked, and that’s it. He has made great shit; he’s not in a great place right now.”
Reznor’s despair at the state of both culture and society is palpable. “The rise of Trumpism, of tribalism; the celebration of stupidity. I’m ashamed, on a world stage, at what we must look like as a culture. It’s seeing life through the eyes of having four small kids – what are they coming into? And who am I in this world where it feels like every day the furniture got moved a bit while I slept?”
Those ideas, he says, are intrinsic to the themes of his upcoming album (?) Bad Witch. “We aren’t these enlightened beings, here to take care of each other and think about our benevolent role in the universe as protectors and creators – we’re just a fucking mutation and an accident,” he says of the thoughts that inspired these new songs. “We’ve got dumber, more tribalised; we’ve found niches of other people that focus on extremity. For the miracle of everyone sharing ideas, I see a hell of a lot more racism. It doesn’t feel like we’ve advanced. I think you’re seeing the fall of the empire of America in real time, before your eyes; the internet has eroded the fabric of decency in our civilisation.”
Elsewhere, Reznor discusses his upbringing, his struggles with addiction, and how David Bowie was an early inspiration in his decision to get sober. Read the full interview here.
We liked ye a bit more than Reznor did — listen to our audio review below: