Trent Reznor on Working for Apple: 'It's Everything I Asked For'

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and the former Chief Creative Officer for Beats Music, said that it was "flattering" to be asked to work directly for Apple, Beats' new owner. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Mr. Reznor said that working for Apple was, "unfamiliar and it's kind of everything I asked for." He added, "and the bad thing is it's everything I asked for."

Trent Reznor Onstage in 2009
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mr. Reznor said that he was still working on streaming music for Apple, but wouldn't specify exactly what he doing.

"I am on the side of streaming music," he said. "And I think the right streaming service could solve everybody's problems. Ownership is waning. Everybody is comfortable with the cloud—your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them. That idea that I've got my records on the shelf doesn't feel as important even to me as it used to. I just think we haven't quite hit the right formula yet."

Mr. Reznor recently turned 50—Pretty Hate Machine came out in 1989 and was remastered in 2010—told Billboard that the age of paying for music is "a relic of a bygone era," noting that his livelihood was predicated on the idea of people doing just that, paying for his music.

He argued that all the "free" music everywhere devalued music, but that this was part and parcel to music being allowed to live on YouTube

"There's a whole generation of kids that listen to music on YouTube," he said. "And they'll suffer through that ad if there is one. They're not going to pay a dollar for that song—why would you? It's a complex problem."

The rock icon turned business executive also offered his thoughts on the tempest in a teacup that was the U2 album Songs of Innocence giveaway through Apple.

As an artist, when I make a piece of music, I'd like you to know it's out there. I don't want to force it down your throat, but I would like you to know that if you'd like to, you might brush against it -- it exists somewhere.

So I can see the incentive behind what they wanted to do. I was with Bono that day. I was at the Apple event and we were hanging out after they did it. There's an immense sense of pride toward the album he just spent several years making. He was very proud of what he did.

I think the misstep was the wording: If it would've been, 'Here it is, if you want it, come grab it...' I am assuming the momentum of that situation led to the oversight in not thinking that people might feel intruded upon.

There much more about non-Apple-related things in the interview. I recommend the full article at Billboard.