Trent Reznor on KCRW

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Trent Reznor joined Jason Bentley on Morning Becomes Eclectic today to talk about composing his first ever film score for The Social Network, about the origins of Facebook. As Jason pointed out, Reznor’s score emphasized the sense of alienation the main character – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – feels, as well as his resentment. Reznor said it was his goal to “turn it a bit more sinister and to build up – bring out some of the darkness and the emotional undertones of what’s going on through this whole film.”

KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley with Trent Reznor
KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley with Trent Reznor by Larry Hirshowitz (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

As expected, he added electronic elements but arranged it in an orchestral way, referencing Tangerine Dream as a starting point. And, in a movie heavy on dialogue written by the excellent Aaron Sorkin, he focused on creating a music bed that would propel scenes along but wouldn’t interfere with the voices, while also capturing the urgency and edge of modern life.

Trent said it all started when he got an unexpected call from Director David Fincher (who directed the video for the Nine Inch Nails’ track “Only” and used NIN’s music in the opening credits to his film “Seven”) to see if he was interested in scoring the film. He had just gotten off a series of tours, gotten married and “made a pact” that he would keep himself open and “let his brain settle down.”  But, in the end, he couldn’t turn it down.

Reznor said it was an “exceptional process” working with Fincher — that he trusted his vision implicitly and enjoyed serving someone else.

You can download a free 5-track EP of the music online here.

Reznor also talked about the future of Nine Inch Nails, saying his decision to stop touring for the near future has “been the result of having the courage to finally say I need to stop doing that.”

“It’s not for any lack of love of Nine Inch Nails but, in a lot of ways, I think it’s been keeping me stagnant in this archetype of a thing, that’s been this thing I felt very precious about. The reality is I’m getting older and if it feels like its not as sincere as it always has been to me – or maybe I’m turning into somebody new and I’m wearing a mask to go play those songs — and its starting to feel that way in some ways.”

When asked about whether he will ever play as NIN again, he offers a simple “perhaps.”

Hear the full interview online in the archives here and watch David Fincher’s video for “Only” below.