He claims that social media is the result of many artists playing it safe with their music, a turn from the likes of Prince and others who didn't care what people thought of them.
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Reznor argues that while he tries to be as authentic and open as possible in his writing, many artists are too scared to do that and turn to releasing safer music to please more people. “Any time I sit down to write something, even today, I have to remind myself that it needs to be as honest as who I have become when I’m doing this stuff. And I can look back at my catalog and say with honesty that it’s the best I can do when I did it and it was the most true I could be to myself. But what has crept in is that everyone’s a commentator now. The Internet is giving voice to everybody thinking that someone gives a shit what they have to say and they have the right.”
He continues: “I think, in general, that has created a toxic environment for artists and led to some very safe music. Artists are trying to make music to please the tastemakers that tell the sheep what to like. It’s a vicious cycle and I think it’s unhealthy. I don’t see any Princes emerging on the scene today. I see a lot of people making formulaic, made to please, vegan restaurant patron-type shit. And I think it creates an environment where people are too fuckin’ worried about what other people have to say. And people who have never made anything think it’s OK to talk shit about stuff they have no right to talk about. You got a Facebook account? Nobody gives a fuck. You haven’t achieved anything.”
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Nine Inch Nails are set to perform at Panorama Festival in New York City July 30. You can grab tickets here.