Trent Reznor Now Kinda Likes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
A year after profanely dismissing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor is now singing a different tune. In a new interview, he says that his experience earlier this year, when he inducted the Cure, helped change his mind.
Nine Inch Nails are currently on the ballot, after having first been nominated in 2015. But in 2018, he said, "it’s always nice to feel you’ve been appreciated to some degree," but that he "honestly couldn’t give less of a shit. ... It’s irritating every year that suddenly my inbox lights up with, 'Oh man, sorry about … ' I don’t give a fuck! You know what I mean? … The worst would be if we did [get inducted] and then what? We’d have to fuckin’ show up and jam? I can’t even imagine what that would be."
Speaking to Forbes now, Reznor said that the reason he participated in the ceremony back in March was so that the Cure could be "inducted properly." Then, while in Brooklyn's Barclays Center, he realized that "it felt kind of cool in the audience. 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 bullshit.’ As we’re there, it kind of wasn’t bullshit. 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."
At the appropriate time, he said, he went backstage and then up to the podium, but with some initial trepidation. "I’m not sure if the Cure is gonna resonate with the audience," he recalled thinking. "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."
"It ended up being a pretty cool experience," he concluded, "and I thought, ‘All right, it doesn’t feel as bullshit as I kind of snarkily dismissed it as.’ I don’t have any problem admitting I’ve changed my opinion about something."
Reznor isn't particularly optimistic about his chances for making the cut, however, due to some of the other names on the ballot, in particular "Todd Rundgren, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk. And it's hard for me to make an argument why I should get in before they do. Those guys, all of them, have been incredibly integral to me even having a band."
But should he prevail, he admitted that he's not sure who he would want to perform the honor of inducting him, because his ideal choice is no longer with us.
"Well I sure wish it could've been David Bowie," he said. "I don't know. I honestly haven't thought that far about it."