Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor revealed how he discovered KISS’ Gene Simmons is an asshole in a new Juxtapoz interview.
“Growing up in cultural isolation made me focus on what I wanted to do. I learned internally that playing music and expressing myself through music felt like a connection to my soul, and it made me feel good about myself. It felt like I tapped into something I needed to pursue.
I had a fairly mainstream, FM pipeline of music, but when I did find those influences at whatever age, they really resonated. For example, with a KISS album, my friends and I would pore over every clue that was on the physical thing. I didn’t know what they sounded like talking, because they weren’t on TV and there wasn’t internet. Limited access allowed you, the fan, to fill in the blanks, and the artists became who you thought they were. I started really trying to absorb the music and artists via their album covers, the liner notes, whatever bits of information, because again, you didn’t have that much information.
I think it created a climate where the music was allowed to fulfill a bigger role than it appears to have today. Since I wasn’t bombarded with too much information about the band, it didn’t feel as much like marketing. There wasn’t social media, where I could see what salad Gene Simmons was eating, then immediately find out he was an asshole. It took me years to figure that out.”