Published Oct 15, 2012Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has been fiercely independent for the last few years, having released recent albums through his own Null Corporation label. That changed last month, however, as his How to Destroy Angels project signed with Columbia in advance of their new EP and LP. Now, Reznor has spoken out about his decision to align himself with a major label once again.
During a live chat with David Byrne on Sunday (October 14) in Los Angeles [via Antiquiet/Echoing the Sound], Reznor explained that he realized the pitfalls of self-releasing music during a 2009 tour with Nine Inch Nails. "We're playing that night in Prague," he said, "I'm walking around — we're playing that night in Prague — but I see flyers up for Radiohead, that's playing the same place we're playing, six months from then. Then I walk into the record shop, and there isn't a section that says Nine Inch Nails. There's no kind of presence that we're even there."
In other words, the decision to sign with Columbia was a lot about promotion and having a group of marketing professionals helping him to hit all corners of the globe. Of his latest label experience, he said, "So far, it's been pleasantly pleasant, having people that actually kind of know what they're talking about, having a team — it's been nice."
Although he illuminated the shortcomings of being an independent artist, he also sung the praises of the DIY model. He noted, "The great part of self-releasing has been controlling our own destiny, nobody having any approval, finishing a song at night and putting it out the next day, getting the fans excited because [of] no leak because you have the only copy and you uploaded it and you hit 'publish.' Wow, that's fun. It felt great, particularly after a long career in the weirdness of label."
Watch the interview below. Stay tuned for How to Destroy Angels' new EP, An Omen, which drops on November 13.