Because of Trent Reznor and David Fincher’s string of collaborative projects, including this year’s Gone Girl, we’ve recently found ourselves wondering if the duo just might be the next Leone and Morricone. However, as much as the Nine Inch Nails frontman loves to lend his talents to the big screen, it seems as though he’s also pretty devoted to the future of music technology, specifically the business of streaming music services and Apple, the parent company of Beats Music (where he currently serves as chief creative officer).
You’re working with Apple. Is this an evolution of your Beats role?
It’s related to that. Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them. I can’t go into details, but I feel like I’m in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. That does mean some compromises in terms of how much brain power goes toward music and creating. This is very creative work that’s not directly making music, but it’s around music.
Is it about music delivery?
It’s in that world. It’s exciting to me, and I think it could have a big enough impact that it’s worth the effort. I’m fully in it right now, and it’s challenging, and it’s unfamiliar and it’s kind of everything I asked for — and the bad thing is it’s everything I asked for.
Elsewhere in the interview, Reznor notes that he thinks “the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems”, adding that he wants to bring back the value of ownership.
“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.”
Lastly, even he, an employee of Apple, found the U2 stunt to be a bit of flop. Of course, he put it in nicer terms…
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.