Trent Reznor Talks Trump: “You Don’t Hear A Lot From The Taylor Swifts Of The World … Because They Are Concerned About Their Brand”

Nine Inch Nails are releasing Bad Witch at the end of a week, wrapping up a trilogy that began with 2016’s Not The Actual Events. Trent Reznor’s recent run of EPs have had a pointed political bent, and in a new interview with The New York Times, Reznor talks about why he feels an obligation to speak out about politics.

“It seemed like it was a lot easier to just keep your mouth shut and let it go back then [in the mid-’90s],” he says. “You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth, because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot.”

He goes on:

I know how I feel, and I have let it get to me in ways I wish it hadn’t. My worrying about it isn’t helping anything. But what Donald Trump is doing is concerning and infuriating — and it’s not the conservative agenda, it’s not a question of religious preference, it’s not a question of should government be big or small. I don’t have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what’s really disheartening. It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.

Reznor also talked about politics in the context of the score he and Atticus Ross did for Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War documentary: “I realized that I naïvely had faith that the government must know what they’re doing.”

In less serious news, he also talks about his love for Barry Manilow. He owns his Greatest Hits album because he signed up for the Columbia Record Club: “There was a time when I had ‘Copacabana’ stuck in my head for a full year. I was legitimately concerned about it.”

Read the whole interview here.