Trent Reznor Slams ‘Taylor Swifts’ Who Keep Politics Out of Their Music
Trent Reznor called out “Taylor Swifts” who keep politics out of their music, arguing that high-profile artists like himself have a responsibility to speak out for those who won’t be heard at the same level.
The Nine Inch Nails frontman is making the promotional rounds for his band's new album, Bad Witch, which comes out tomorrow.
“I was doing press with somebody in the mid-'90s,” Reznor told The New York Times in a new interview, “and they made an argument that stayed with me: that I have influence, and that it’s my job to call out whatever needs to be called out, because there are people who feel the same way but need someone to articulate it. And I think about that today, because it seemed like it was a lot easier to just keep your mouth shut and let it go back then. You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth, because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot.”
Asked if he thought the modern environment felt different, he agreed. “I know how I feel, and I have let it get to me in ways I wish it hadn’t," he said. "My worrying about it isn’t helping anything. But what Donald Trump is doing is concerning and infuriating — and it’s not the conservative agenda, it’s not a question of religious preference, it’s not a question of should government be big or small. I don’t have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what’s really disheartening. It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.”
Noting it was “easy to feel pessimistic now,” Reznor added that “being a father of young kids, my job is to preserve their innocence as long as possible. Every time I’ve got to jump to turn the TV off so I don’t have to explain the myriad embarrassments that are coming out of the current administration — ‘What’s a porn star, Dad?’ — it affects me in ways that I probably wouldn’t have been this tuned in to a couple of years ago."
Bad Witch completes a trilogy that started with 2016’s Not the Actual Events EP and last year’s Add Violence EP. Reznor recently explained that the 30-minute Bad Witch is being labeled an album rather than an EP so it wouldn't get lost on streaming sites that tend to emphasize individual songs over full-length works.
Nine Inch Nails’ Cold and Infinite and Black tour, which was preceded by a three-night Las Vegas residency earlier this month, takes in Europe and the U.K. before arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 13 and running until Dec. 15.