Nine Inch Nails have been busy lately. Last week the band released the Add Violence EP, while also kicking off a tour, their first in three years, in Bakersfield, CA. Now, in a conversation with Lizzy Goodman writing for The Village Voice, frontman and band leader Trent Reznor lashed out against President Donald Trump.
Reznor relayed a conversation he had with his six-year-old, where his child asked, “Donald Trump is a bad guy, isn’t he?” to which Reznor replied, “Look, I don’t think he’s a good guy. Some people do. I don’t think he believes in science and I don’t think he believes people should be treated decently and I don’t think he tells the truth. That’s why I don’t like him.”
The measured approach he took with his six-year-old turned into vitriol in Goodman’s company.
“It’s tough, because the president of the United States is a complete fucking moron,” he says. “That’s what gets me the most — that he’s this vulgar, grotesque dope, everything I hate in people.
Reznor, along with longtime collaborator Atticus Ross (and now official NIN band member), scored Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens’ documentary Before the Flood, a film about the climate change. The film’s website asserts, “The ‘debate’ about climate change is over. AR5, one of the largest scientific report ever undertaken, analyzed 9,300 peer-reviewed research papers submitted by scientists from nearly every country in the world. One thing it made clear – climate change is happening now, and it is already displacing millions around the globe.”
In another interview with Vulture, Reznor expressed difficulty in knowing what to do in terms of performance amidst the current political climate. “I’ve been struggling with that, especially as far as the live performance and my trying to be a provocateur,” he said. “I’m sure I’m doing what many people are trying to do in response to the election: understand, quantify, justify, rationalize, find comfort, feel animosity, should I say something? Should I do something? Should I give up?”
He goes on to call Trump a “vulgarian” and a “grotesque person.”
Reznor has spoken out against President Trump in the past. In a 2016 interview with The Daily Beast, Reznor spoke about the weirdness of experiencing the Trump-led Republican primaries: “I’ll admit that I was entertained during the Republican debates and the whole process of whittling them down,” he said. “It’s kind of fun to see a grenade go off and see these guys – I hate every one of them – be eliminated and humiliated. But it stopped being funny months ago. It’s sad to see the discourse be dragged this low. It’s absurd that this is even happening. He referred to the rise of Trump as “absurd.”