"I'm happy with who I am now," the guy who named his first three albums Pretty Hate Machine, Broken and The Downward Spiral told Spin this month. "I feel fortunate to be where I am. We tried arranging the new songs with loud guitars, and it sounded false. Instead, we approached those old emotions in new ways that are subtler, and I think just as powerful."
It's the kind of answer people dread from their favorite artists. We often talk about how artists go bad once they get rich, sober up, get married and/or responsibly raise their kids--see Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica. We applaud the insatiable few artists who never settle down (Motörhead, Pantera, Matt Pike). We're happy when they make angry, angst-ridden art, even when it's at the expense of the artist's happiness, or worse, the artist's family and friends. We'd rather that bands never get rich, but we're OK if they die trying.
A lot of people are going to hate "Everything" a single from Nine Inch Nails' awesome new album Hesitation Marks. It's in a major key, has a throbbing, invigorating beat and has the tightest vocal harmony that Trent Reznor has ever released. I haven't been able to get it out of my head all week, and I hope it stays there. It makes me want to exercise, and I don't even like exercising. Then again, I didn't want to deal with Hurt, The Fragile, Survivalism or a Terrible Lie either.