Trent Reznor Joins The Club: Nine Inch Nails Is Contract Free
By: Spacelab Research Staff So that's why it's Year Zero. It's the beginning of Trent Reznor's new future. We can add one more heavy to the list of peeps going solo with the announcement from Trent Reznor that Nine Inch Nails have now completed all contracts with Interscope and UMG (see more about his label rants here and here) and are completely free of any obligation.
This is a growing tidal wave, following last week's announcement by Radiohead that played out with the gravity and reponse worthy of the iPhone launch. Radiohead and Trent Reznor sit in completely ideal situations right now... they've worked their way up through the major label system, benefitted from lots of paid for publicity, and have name recognition worthy of a brand name product. With that, Trent Reznor can carve out an independent future if he wants to. Or sign to a label on his own terms. Mr. Rez and Radiohead own all of the possibilities of their own future.
The announcement comes with great irony as the major labels are starting to be seen as choking on the gluttony of their lawsuit-happy scheme. They received a victory in the first legal test of the RIAA's suing of customers with their win over Jammie Thomas last week.
Check out the posting on the Nine Inch Nails web site from October 8th and realize that Trent was probably chomping at the bit all last week knowing that this was in the cards but seeing the Radiohead wave of hysteria happen in real time:
"Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed."
He did have that creative idea for the marketing of Year Zero and has always taken to deploying Nine Inch Nails as a full-on enterprise, with its own look and feel and, well, brand identity for lack of a better description. So it's no surprise that Trent Reznor could want to take Nine Inch Nails down the path of independent releases, or try to bounce between two worlds like Radiohead, selling things independently while looking for some kind of major label distribution.