Trent Reznor Rips ‘Collection Of Shit’ Who Called Nine Inch Nails ‘An Abortion’


Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor discussed his battle with TVT Records in the new HBO series The Defiant Ones. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

Reznor said, “TVT was just a collection of shit.”

He added, “The thing that was so frustrating to me at the time was my whole life I knew I wanted to be on stage doing this. I remember it was a slow build, where each little moment you could savor. Like hearing my song on college radio for the first time, holy shit! It was like the greatest thing in the world.

I had finally through a combination of hard work and luck, cracked the door open and signed to TVT. I recorded a collection of songs that we felt proud of, turned [Pretty Hate Machine] into [Steve] Gottlieb, and he said, ‘Well, this record is an abortion.’ That’s a blow coming when you’ve never made a record before, and he’s put records out, maybe he knows more than I do. He said to me, ‘You fucked up what could have been a good career.’

But that was the album, we put it out, and we just toured. As each small tier of success started to happen, the record started to sell. I thought that would result in Gottlieb saying, ‘Hey, You did know what you were doing.’ But instead it was, ‘If you sold 1 million copies of this album, you need to sell 4 million on the next one.’ I knew he wasn’t going to get out of the way.”

Gottlieb then said, “I didn’t see it that way. Trent would not be the first artist who thought gee, now I’m having a taste of success, wouldn’t it be nice to be off an independent label and on a big label.”

Jimmy Iovine then discussed helping Reznor get out of his TVT contract and signed to Interscope.

  • Bilbo

    Wow, somebody must be really out there to call PHM an abortion. But at least they released it, right?

  • Ricky Johnson

    Steve Gottlieb never made it as a wise man, and couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing.

    • RJ8812

      Please don’t even quote a Nickelback song in an article about Trent Reznor

  • Marty Stevens

    Trent still comes across as unappreciative and ungraceful. He thrives on disputes and anger – he sued his manager, left Interscope and frankly no one cares. TVT was a great label that released a lot of great music in all genres. TVT made NIN and they promoted the sh*t out of their first album. Without TVT there would not be NIN.

    • Ruiner

      That doesn’t change the fact that Gottlieb was an asshole and tried to control the project and wanted to take it in a different direction than what Reznor wanted. Yeah, TVT may have released their first album, and all may have seemed fine and good on the surface, but that doesn’t mean behind the scenes people weren’t being dicks.

      • astrocreep7

        It’s a business. Get in or get out. There are plenty of bands dying to take that slot.
        (I’m a big NIN fan)