Trent Reznor Pans New Kanye Album, Talks "Trumpism," "Celebration of Stupidity" | Revolver

Trent Reznor Pans New Kanye Album, Talks "Trumpism," "Celebration of Stupidity"

"I think you're seeing the fall of the empire of America in real time, before your eyes"
trent reznor nine inch nails GETTY, Rich Fury/Getty Images for FYF
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor
photograph by Rich Fury/Getty Images for FYF

Trent Reznor recently gave a wide-reaching interview to The Guardian about Nine Inch Nails' latest material (namely the upcoming album Bad Witch), Kanye West's new album ye, his struggles with addiction, his admiration for Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) and more. As in his conversation with the New York Times published earlier in the week, Reznor waxed political, as well, warning that the end times may be upon our nation as we know it.

"It feels like things are coming unhinged, socially and culturally," Reznor told the Guardian. "The rise of Trumpism, of tribalism; the celebration of stupidity. I'm ashamed, on a world stage, at what we must look like as a culture. It's seeing life through the eyes of having four small kids — what are they coming into? And who am I in this world where it feels like every day the furniture got moved a bit while I slept?"

He went on to add, "We've got dumber, more tribalized; we've found niches of other people that focus on extremity. For the miracle of everyone sharing ideas, I see a hell of a lot more racism. It doesn't feel like we've advanced. I think you're seeing the fall of the empire of America in real time, before your eyes; the internet has eroded the fabric of decency in our civilization."

Later, Reznor gave a scathing review of Kanye West's divisive new album ye, relating his frustrations with the seven-track release to thinkpiece culture and musical discourse as a whole. "How many Kanye West thinkpieces have the Guardian done in the last fucking month?" he lamented. "The guy's lost his fucking mind: That's the thinkpiece. His record sucked, and that's it. He has made great shit; he's not in a great place right now."

Reznor also spoke the praises of Childish Gambino's viral music video for "This Is America," declaring its choreography and camerawork excellent. He singled out the clip's underlying commentary on race and art as a particular strength. "What's actually being said: I'm really thinking about it," he commented. "I feel humbled by that — it reminded me that the bar can be as high as it needs to be."

Nine Inch Nails' new LP Bad Witch hits shelves tomorrow, June 22nd. Since embarking on tour last week, the group has covered songs by David Bowie and Joy Division, and treated album tracks "God Break Down the Door" and "Ahead of Ourselves" to live debuts.