Trent Reznor Defends U2's 'Songs of Innocence' Apple Release

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NIN's Trent Reznor with Bono at the 2005 Grammys

by Brett Buchanan, Alternative Nation

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor discussed U2's Song of Innocence being released via Apple's iTunes in an interview with Billboard. Reznor defended Bono and U2, while acknowledging the mistakes that were made with the release strategy.

"As an artist, when I make a piece of music, I'd like you to know it's out there. I don't want to force it down your throat, but I would like you to know that if you'd like to, you might brush against it -- it exists somewhere. So I can see the incentive behind what they wanted to do. I was with Bono that day. I was at the Apple event and we were hanging out after they did it. There's an immense sense of pride toward the album he just spent several years making. He was very proud of what he did.

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."

He added, "It's something I spent a lot of time thinking about. I think that paying for music is a relic of an era gone by -- and I'm saying that as somebody who hopes you pay for music. I've spent my life trying to make this thing that now everyone thinks should be free. U2, there [was] an incentive to get in front of as many eyes as possible. I can see what was appealing to them about that, and they're getting paid for it. There's the argument of, "Did that help further devalue music?" Yes, I think it did.

When you put your music on, or allow your music to be on, YouTube, which is free, is that [devaluing music]? There's a whole generation of kids that listen to music on YouTube, and they'll suffer through that ad if there is one. They're not going to pay a dollar for that song -- why would you? It's a complex problem."

Bono discussed the album in a press release with Apple last month, "From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose--so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we've written could be shared with half a billion people... by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy, it's exciting and humbling to think that people who don't know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven't been done before--that's a thrill to be part of."

"U2 has been an important part of Apple's history in music and we're thrilled to make 'Songs of Innocence' the largest album release ever," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We get to share our love of music today by gifting this great new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world."

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on November 4, 2014 1:12 AM.

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