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Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor Says Having Kids Is ‘Humbling’

Trent Reznor
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Nine Inch Nails are gearing up for the release of ‘Hesitation Marks’ on Sept. 3 and the heart of the operation Trent Reznor seems to be in a good head space. Any longtime fan of the band knows that has not always been the case for the king of angst, who distilled his pain into his art. He’s a father now, and yeah, things have changed.

In his Sept. 2013 SPIN cover story, Reznor waxes about the digital age, oversharing, his love of ‘nut’ humor and crowdfunding (he’s not into shaking his cup for scraps). He also presents himself as a man changed by fatherhood, but one whose edge has not been blunted as a result.

“When I was 25, people used to say to me that having kids would change you, and I’d roll my eyes,” Reznor, the father of two young boys, said. “I don’t know what it’ll be like when they read old stories about my addiction or listen to the older songs. I do know that I caught myself swearing in front of them during a road-rage moment and was worried they’d parrot it back.”

He admitted that 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.’” While “cute” is not usually a word one uses in relation to Trent Reznor’s aura or his music, that’s certainly a cute moment.

This is a “new” image and view of Reznor, who’s most famous lyrical line is ‘I want to f— you like an animal.” Still, he’s not coasting on his past. He admitted, “I feel so much younger than I am. I wish I could change some things about the path it took to get here, but I feel lucky that I’m not as caught up in anger as I was.”

That path was littered with drugs, drama and self-loathing. But as we said, he’s in a better place and feels it was the right time to resurrect the band.

“I feel like I’ve done good work, and there’s still an audience there,” he said, pointing out that it’s not just middle-aged fans looking back at him. “I’m not looking out at the crowd and seeing a bunch of orthodontists. It’s new faces that look like the old ones, if that makes any sense. It feels valid to be back.”

From what we’ve heard of ‘Hesitation Marks,’ Reznor’s music is as relevant now as it ever was.

In other NIN news, if you pre-ordered the album the through the band’s website, there’s a special treat that goes along with it and that’s a free audiophile version of the album. It will be released digitally on Sept. 3.

The standard version is “loud and “more aggressive,” while the Audiophile Mastered Version “highlights the mixes as they are without compromising the dynamics and low end, and not being concerned about how ‘loud’ the album would be. The goal was to simply allow the mixes to retain the spatial relationship between instruments and the robust, grandiose sound,” according to the band’s Tumblr. So if you’re a sound nerd, you will want this version.

Next: Listen to 'Hesitation Marks' by Nine Inch Nails

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