I don't even know why I'm saying this in an interview situation, but I always feel like I'm not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn't the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.
Spotify - I met those guys before they launched in America and was wildly excited about the idea. 'Wow, this is all the music in the world, for a flat fee.'
People want to listen to a lot of music and do whatever they want with it. They don't want DRM, they don't want subscriptions. They don't want a player that only can do this but can't do that and you only have one copy. They don't want that. You know? I don't want that.
I'd rather not get into what I'm talking about lyrically. I think it's impossible not to demystify a song when saying what it's about. Music and art can be damaged severely by too much information; I say that as somebody that has participated in that.
When I was 25, people used to say to me that having kids would change you, and I'd roll my eyes.
My experience with record labels throughout my career has generally fallen into wishing I could do things that they're not built to do, whether it be arguing about having a nicer package - because I do believe some people care about that - to trying to always bank on art-versus-the-easy-commerce route; there's always been headbutting involved.
'Yeezus,' I really love it. I think the sound of it is cool.
'Downward Spiral' felt like I had an unending bottomless pit of rage and self-loathing inside me and I had to somehow challenge something or I'd explode. I thought I could get through by putting everything into my music, standing in front of an audience and screaming emotions at them from my guts.
Now that I have a thousand albums in my car all the time, I listen to more music. I was too lazy; I always had the same five discs in there. I'd never think to change it.
If you can use a search engine, you can find any piece of music that's been recorded for free. I'm not saying that's right, but it's a fact, and I'm surprised that more people don't accept or acknowledge that and try to adapt in some way.
I lived a fairly average, anonymous small-town life till I got the idea to do Nine Inch Nails. Then I locked myself in a studio for a year, and then got off the tour bus two years after that, and I didn't know who I'd turned into.
I spent a long time experimenting, saying, 'Here's a record that's free, or $5 if you want a nice version or $250 if you'd like a really nice coffee-table thing.' Everything felt like the right thing to do at the time and then six months later would feel tired. And I would feel tired. So that's one reason for returning to a major label.
My advice today, to established acts and new-coming acts, is the same advice I'd give to myself: pause for a minute, and really think about 'What is your goal? Where do you see yourself?'
I'll be honest, watching the music industry collapse has been demoralizing and disheartening at times.
My dad and I are best friends. He's pretty much responsible for the way I turned out. He would provide a little artistic inspiration here and there in the form of a guitar, stuff like that.
I miss how a record label can help spread the word that you have something out.
As long as it feels valid to me and feels sincere, I'll do what I do under the moniker of Nine Inch Nails if it's appropriate. I would hate to think I would ever be in a position where I'm faking it to get a paycheck.
In Nine Inch Nails, I've been the guy calling the shots since inception. I'd gotten used to that.
The first set of lyrics for the first songs I ever wrote, which are the ones on 'Pretty Hate Machine,' came from private journal entries that I realized I was writing in lyric form.
When David Fincher called me up a few years ago and said, 'Hey, I'd like you to score this film 'The Social Network,' I said, 'I'm flattered, but I really don't have any real experience scoring films, and I'd rather not screw it up on a high-profile project. And I like you and I don't want to compromise our friendship.'
Self-examination with a close-up mirror in an antiseptic environment is what Nine Inch Nails is based on.
I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy.
When your culture comes from watching TV every day, you're bombarded with images of things that seem cool, places that seem interesting, people who have jobs and careers and opportunities. None of that happened where I was. You're almost taught to realize it's not for you.
I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks - if not two months - before it comes out. There's no real way around that.
I'm not Prince or Rivers Cuomo, who brags about having hundreds of great songs.
I believe sometimes you have a choice in what inspiration you choose to follow and other times you really don't.
I tend to not listen to my own music when I'm not working on it. No real reason other than it's nice to get away from it.
I often find myself listening to a record because a lot of people or magazines have told me it's good and I'm supposed to like it, and I try to stay in touch with what's happening and I'm also a fan of music. I find myself trying to like something that I really don't think is that great.
I had to come to terms about becoming an addict, which, for a long time, I lied to myself about the status of until I couldn't lie any more, 'cause I was either going to die or get better.
It's a humbling thing, having kids. One of my sons came to rehearsals, and now he says Daddy's job is 'go play loud music.'
I do actually believe in love. I can't say that I'm 100 percent successful in that department, but I think it's one of the few worthwhile human experiences. It's cooler than anything I can think of right now.
Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is, 'Oh, I'm on stage playing a song,' because you're daydreaming about something else, you're on autopilot. You have to fight that.
Books are better than movies because you design the set the way you want it to look.
It's one thing to sit back and say, 'Hey let's play a club, that will be great,' but then you get there and say, 'Hey wait, this is the dressing room? Where's my dressing room?'
I like the idea of subversively communicating with people... so that you make people see things in different ways.
If there used to be 100 people at a major working on a record, now there are 18, but they're the good ones. There's a lean, mean hunger.
My input for the first 16, 17 years of my life was AM radio, FM radio - pretty mainstream stuff. Rolling Stone was probably as edgy as it got.
Bow down before the one you serve, you're going to get what you deserve.
If I go onstage, I want to give people everything they want and more. I'll wash their car for them on their way out.
A lot of what I've done as Nine Inch Nails has been governed by fear. I was trying to keep the songs in a framework that was tough, and I learnt a lot from Jesus and Mary Chain about how to bury nice pop songs in unlistenable noise - the idea being if you can get behind that wall, you find there's a pearl inside.
The idea of politics is just so uninteresting to me - I've never paid much attention to it. I don't believe things can really change. It doesn't matter who's president. Nothing really gets resolved. I don't know. I guess that's not the right attitude to take.
I realized when I was 23 that I had never really tried anything.
My life has been many examples of shortsighted goals that I thought would fix things. You know, if there's something broken inside me, if there's a hole in there, I thought: If I could just write a good song someday, then I'd be OK. You know, if I could just be on stage in front of people I'd never seen before and be validated by them.
My life has two modes. One is sitting around writing and contemplating or building things. The other is execution mode. It takes a while to switch from one to the other.