TITLE: This Fan's Perspective
DATE: 3/21/2005 12:35:00 PM
Every time new NIN music surfaces (like it happens so often), Trent Reznor's stupid fans instantly segregate into four basic groups:
Group A: "This sounds too much like NIN's older stuff. Trent Reznor is stupid and I would gladly punch him in the head if given the opportunity."
Group B: "This sounds too different from NIN's older stuff. Trent Reznor is stupid and I hope he runs into someone's open car door the next time he rides his bike."
Group C: "I like this music quite a bit. Trent Reznor is cool and I hope his kitchen appliances continue to function properly for many years to come."
Group D: "Who the hell is Trent Reznor? Hey, get back here with my groceries!"
You know how that old saying goes, "You can't please everyone, even if you're naked and covered in pudding." Well, this is true for El Rezzo today just as it was true back when Beverly Hills Cop II was in theaters. No matter what the new music sounds like, someone will love it and someone will be a total choad about it and act like it's the worst thing they've ever heard. But let us not forget how George Washington valiantly gave his life fighting those giant scorpions in Vietnam so that we as Americans would have the right to act like choads on the internet. Therefore, it's not my place to judge those retards who don't like the new songs for some idiotic reason. If you don't like them, there is plenty of other music that probably sucks for you to enjoy. Morons. -- The Meathead Perspective.
I fall into group C. Or perhaps Group C, subsection (1), which would state:
I like this music quite a bit. Trent Reznor is cool and I hope his kitchen appliances continue to function properly for many years to come, AND...
This sounds creepy, but I am continually impressed by how closely the music of Nine Inch Nails matches my overall mood or phase of life when it comes out. Much as it irks me otherwise, this probably has a lot to do with how long it takes Trent to put out a new album--each new release comes after five years of change for both himself and his audience.
The Downward Spiral was my first experience of NIN, and was pretty much what I was at the time: creative, intellectually burgeoning, yet obscenely angry. Alternately raging at the universe and huddled inside myself, sure that "everyone I know goes away in the end."
That one song, "Hurt", TDS' final track...the other day I was making a mix CD for Kellie for her birthday, and happened to listen to the last verse of that song. I was amazed, moved almost to tears, at the number of deep, deep places in my heart that song was able to brush its fingers over. It's not just that the song is so powerful to me, but all the places I've been with it, and it's been with me, both literal and figurative.
As my teenage angst intensified, I discovered Broken. The synth-poppy Pretty Hate Machine was kind of an afterthought, although certain songs like "Something I Can Never Have", and "Sanctified" still strike a chord.
Then there was a long wait. A long, slow, metamorphosis on my side, a stare into the abyss on his. Then there was The Fragile--loose, long-winded, disorganized, faint, sounding somehow distant, thin wisps of strained music, half-finished thoughts, the roar of a vacuum all around. Exactly how I felt. Exactly.
And then another long wait, during which I have thought my typical thoughts: What if the new stuff sucks? What if it lets me down? What if I can't follow it in the direction it's going, and I've lost this musical companion?
I should know better.
Now comes With Teeth. I've only heard the first single and will reserve final judgement on things as a whole until I've listened to the whole album several times, but from what I can tell from the new single, I like the way things are with Trent. Because, again, they are exactly the same with me.
Via The NIN Hotline:
I was just um...at a point in my life where I was very ill, very off track. And I needed to take some time and get my life in order. I couldn't go forward. It was either going to be, die or get better, 'cos I was running out of last chances. When I decided to correct the situation, and really actively try to repair myself I also decided it was time for me to take a little time to get to know who I had become and what I was.
I feel a thousand pounds lighter [now] that I'm not carrying around a bunch of secrets and hiding and lying and living this terrible life I've been involved in so...I'm ready to go out on tour. I'm ready to...make music good again.
The song feels that way, too, a thousand pounds lighter, but tighter, more solid. Easier. Less convoluted, tortured--clearer. Stripped to basics, revisting verse-chorus-verse after a long sojourn into the psychedelic.
Kind of like me right now--fixated on home, relationship, work, family. Learning to be independent. Learning to carve out my space in the world. The basics.
I need to get real when it comes to anticipating new music from Trent--not that there's any guarantee it'll happen again. It has never failed to speak to me, and whether or not it makes me look "cool" to like it has never been what it's about. It's like I said in my post when I first heard they were going on tour:
Imagine you spend your entire life speaking English. Then one day as an adolescent someone you've never seen before walks up to you and begins speaking to you in a language you've never heard before--but that you instantly understand and find you can speak fluently yourself. That's what discovering Nine Inch Nails felt like to me.
And that's what it feels like every time the music is reincarnated, and I rediscover it. In my own little personal universe, Trent is freely conversant in ways that never cease to amaze me.
Once again, I'm dancing on the edge of cliche, dancing at the very cusp of earning myself eyerolls, coming off as a delusional groupie. It's so hard to explain, but it's not like that. Basically, what separates this from stalker-ism is that I'm content with the way things are. I'll never meet him, I'll never physically speak with him, but for the last decade I've been on some kind of metaphysical journey with a person who shares some kind of spiritual DNA with me, some kind of long-lost blood-brother who happens to make beautiful music.
Whatever the consequences of that are--"uncoolness" among them, or you all thinking I'm a psychopath--so be it.