“I honestly couldn’t give less of a s***.”
That was Trent Reznor in an interview last year about not being nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nine Inch Nails was nominated in 2016, didn’t get in, and then left off the ballot in 2017 and 2018.
But Reznor went to this year’s induction ceremony anyway to induct The Cure, and the experience changed his perspective. He’s backing off his stance, the gist of which is that true artists don’t need any kind of hall of fame to be validated, and changing his tune.
In an interview with Fortune, the 54-year-old says being at the induction ceremony was a cool experience and he’s not afraid to publicly change his opinion.
“So I’m sitting at a table with the Radiohead guys, super nice, and I think we all kind of looked at it like, ‘This could be bull****.’” Reznor said. “As we’re there, it kind of wasn’t bull***. We’re watching Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music get inducted, who I love, and then play. And I see a whole arena full of people into it. I walk backstage cause The Cure’s gonna come up.”
“I go out and do my thing, and I’m not sure if The Cure is gonna resonate with the audience. The audience I see sitting on the floor there is mostly old industry people. Then I walk out to do the induction; it’s loud applause for them. And it seems real. They come up, and I can see that Robert Smith is happy and the other guys in the band are all kind of freaked out. It felt validating. I wanted to see them respected someplace I feel they deserve.”
Reznor may get that validation himself once and for all. Nine Inch Nails is back on the ballot this year – why shouldn’t they be? Groundbreaking albums Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral alone make them worthy.