During the mighty reign of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” Trent Reznor didn’t make too many public statements about the wildly and historically successful single. Now, though, he has spoken about the song with Rolling Stone, and while he didn’t explicitly say that he “likes” it, he had some praise for it.
Reznor called the song, which samples Nine Inch Nails’ “34 Ghosts IV,” “undeniably hooky,” and when asked if he likes it, he said, “It’s been stuck in my head enough. Let’s put it that way.”
He also spoke about when “Old Town Road” first came to his attention, saying:
“The way it was presented to me originally is I got a call from my management saying, ‘We got a call from a panicked manager saying they had used the sample of something off Ghosts. They should have cleared it, but it didn’t get cleared. It’s picking up some steam on the viral Spotify charts. What do you think about that?’ And I said, ‘Look, I’m fine with it. I get how stuff goes. They’re not saying they didn’t sample it. Just work it out, but don’t be a roadblock to this.’ I hadn’t heard it yet. Then a few weeks later, I was like, ‘Holy sh*t.'”
Reznor also explained why he hasn’t really talked about the song until now, saying that he didn’t feel his opinion would be a productive part of the conversation surrounding “Old Town Road.” He also revealed he was asked to be in the song’s music video: “The reason I haven’t stepped in to comment anything about it is, I don’t feel it’s my place to play any kind of social critic to that. It was a material that was used in a significant way and it turned into something that became something else, and those guys should be the ones the spotlight is on. They asked if I wanted to do a cameo in the video, and it was flattering, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t feel like it’s my place to shine a light on me for that. I say that with complete respect.”
Read Reznor’s full comments here.