According to The NIN Hotline, NINE INCH NAILS mastermind Trent Reznor recently took the time to answer a few questions for the official NINE INCH NAILS mailing list about the group's upcoming album, "Bleedthrough". The following are several excerpts from the latest question-and-answer session:
Q: How has your approach to this album been different to the ones in the past? With the commercialism of easy-to-use computer music and software, how do you keep your ideas and sounds fresh?
Trent Reznor: "Some music, repeat, some music created and recorded in computers can sound awfully stale and lifeless to my ears — devoid of passion or sincerity. I love working on computers and probably always will, but I've adopted some strategies that seem to work well to ensure the sound in my head gets on the disk the right way. The element of performance is one of them. Editing and correcting is avoided, if possible, whole 'takes' are encouraged as opposed to looping, etc."
Q: How does the rawness and aggressive nature of the upcoming release compare with the aggressiveness of albums like "Broken"? Can we expect the same sonic layering that was found on "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile" or will it be more of a return to the stripped-down nature of NIN's first album, or should we expect an altogether different animal?
Trent Reznor: "It's hard for me to be objective about this. I'm approaching this record from a totally different mindset and strategy than 'The Fragile', so it sounds vastly different to me."
Q: NIN live has historically been a spectacle of a show. Do you think you'll continue with that format for the new record (presuming you will tour it) or do you think you'll go with a more stripped-down, back-to-basics approach, which would possibly come off as more intimate?
Trent Reznor: "I plan on touring extensively when the record is released, and I've been putting a lot of thought into how to do that in a way that conveys what and where I am the most effectively."
Q: You have said "Bleedthrough" is "minimal and a bit brutal" of an album. What instruments and equipment are you using to achieve this sound, and will this entail the use of any digital synthesis as on previous albums?
Trent Reznor: "So far, I've been using a mix of real drumming on some things, old drum machines on others. One of the 'rules' of this record has been to orchestrate using only monophonic voices. No chords. Anywhere. Most of the synthesis has been done with a rather elaborate (and ever growing) modular rig and recorded live. It is mainly comprised of doepfer, analogue solutions, analogue systems and metasonix modules. Reaktor is also extensively used. Guitars are guitars — who cares."
Q: As a person, you've obviously changed since the release of "Pretty Hate Machine" in 1989. In which ways has that change express itself through your music, and in which way will that express itself on your forthcoming album?
Trent Reznor: "Every record I've done has reflected where I've been at as a person when it was done, for better or for worse. What is coming out of my head now seems to be from a very different place than the last record, but again it's hard for me to tell because I'm in here, too."