Trent Reznor: ‘Idiots Rule’

Of all the artists emerging during the past couple of decades, one of the most articulate is Trent Reznor. He says what he means and means what he says. Which is why his recent post on the Nine Inch Nails Web site has people talking.

Reznor is more involved with the Internet than most artists. With Nine Inch Nails going the indie route of marketing itself and pushing the envelope in the world of music promotion, Reznor has often commented on the ups and downs of an Internet world.

Photo: Brian Planton
Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.

So it isn’t a surprise Reznor held nothing back when he posted a long screed yesterday, dissing social networking, the recording industry, Metal Sludge users, and even a few patrons.

On record labels and the Internet:

“The reason no record label knows how to market anything to new media is they don’t live there. They don’t get it because they don’t use it.”

Okay, much worse has been said of the recording industry, so Reznor’s observation isn’t all that special. However, those remarks were just a warm up.

For instance, Reznor had plenty to say about certain users of

“The problem with really getting engaged in a community is getting through the clutter and noise. In a closed environment like a lot of this can be moderated away, or code can be implemented to make it more difficult for troublemakers to persist. It’s tedious and feels like wasted energy doing that shit, but some people exist to ruin it for others – and they are the ones who have nothing better to do with their time. Example: on, there’s 3-4 different people that each send me between 50 – 100 message per day of delusional, often threatening nonsense. We can delete them, but they just sign back up and start again. Yes, we are implementing several changes to address this, but the point is it quickly gets very old weeding through that stuff.”

Photo: Scott Legato /
DTE Energy Center, Clarkston, Mich.

Along with expressing his displeasure with a few users, Reznor also dissed readers of Metal Sludge, the heavy metal site where the ‘80s (and hair extensions) never died.

“Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I’ve ever come across. It’s populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands. Kind of like a role-playing game where people NOBODY will f**k make up stories about their incredible sexual encounters with people they WISH they could f**k. It would be kind of funny in a sad and pathetic way except the fun doesn’t stop there – hate and good old-fashioned outright blatant racism are also encouraged to spice things up and remind you how truly ugly these scourges are. TRULY ugly on the inside (the outside is obvious).”

Reznor also expressed his dissatisfaction with social networks in general, saying he once thought of starting a “mainstream forum” requiring identity verification so folks could have some idea who they’re communicating with. Plus, while talking about the forum, he managed to throw a few more punches at social networking.

“For example, if we were discussing drumming techniques and you can see that someone participating in the discussion is a drum instructor vs. a 13 year old kid Googling answers, you’d have the proper context in which to have a potentially valid discussion. If we were discussing EDLC’s heart condition and a real cardiologist speaks up, I’d value his opinion over, say FredF**kFaceWhateverHisLastF**kingNameIs’s “opinion”. Know what I mean? Anyway, we’re in a world where the mainstream social networks want any and all people to boost user numbers for the big selloff and are not concerned with the quality of experience.”

Whether you agree with him or not, Reznor always has something worth saying, and he said a lot in yesterday’s post, which he wrote while bored “on a long bus drive.” But don’t look for him on your favorite social networking site.

“I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it’s now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule.”

Photo: AP Photo / Citizens Voice
But Trent Reznor’s howl is still in full effect when Nine Inch Nails plays the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Click here to read Trent Reznor’s complete post on