“Less Than” — With: Trent Reznor’s Vinyl Mission Statement
This is one the greatest album covers I have ever seen.
Let’s face it. It’s a very unsettling time right now. Things are happening in the world (and within music) that make absolutely zero sense. The biggest challenge is that …they probably never will. This image, which is art in the purest of forms, directly captures the emotions of it all.
During my interview with Charlie Clouser in August of 2015, he passionately explained how Trent Reznor changed his life. He literally put him on stage in front of 22,000 people to play keyboards with Nine Inch Nails even though Clouser had never played keyboards live before. Trust and truth. Exactly what this album cover, the new single “Less Than” and presumably the new record, Add Violence represents. What inspires me about Reznor is the same thing that inspires me so much about Jack White. It’s my art, my mind, my way, motherfucker.
Jimmy Iovine called Reznor a scientist on his recent Howard Stern show appearance. A perfect description. You see that in the art. The entire package can serve as melodious science that challenges you, makes you think and feel — in both ways you never knew of and those that are so familiar. What I appreciate most about this science is that it scratches an itch that has been in an unreachable spot. You know it’s there, it’s driving you crazy, but you just can’t tap into it. For me, “Less Than” unlocked the cage. It gave me ability the scratch like hell, and somehow in this situation, scratching actually helps heel.
Life can make you feel “Less Than,” but you’re not. So fuck you. That’s my interpretation of “Less Than.” The amplify chaos button may be lit, advanced self-awareness is dull and you can so easily move the dial to add anger. But there’s also a reset button in the lower right. It’s dusty and unattractive, but it’s always there.
“You’ve got to take care of yourselves you know I’ve got my hands full.”
Reznor; a musician, a frontman, a songwriter, an innovator, an award-winning composer, a film-scorer, a Beats Chief Creative Director, a survivor. All driving off a single foundation — honestly. There’s nothing that drives me mad like somebody that reprimands you for feeling down or confused. You shouldn’t feel that way because you have this and that, and it’s not that big of a deal, and your missing out, and you don’t have the right. Nonsense.
This album cover, just like “Less Than”, just like much of Reznor’s art, is a perfect example of what is much more comforting than the aforementioned, more common occurrence. All of these fires can ignite at the flip of a switch or push of a button. It seems the bubble of frustration has burst and these aggressive emotions are consuming, with anxiety sitting at the top, for better or worse. You can go live on all them at the same time if you’d like. It’s like the notes on a piano — each one under your fingers for you play at any time. It’s right there.
This new art served as both my alarm clock and morning coffee today. The chorus broke just as I hit stride to my desk to sit down and write this. I’m tinkering with all the buttons, with my right eye locked on the reset.
“You can always justify the missile trails across the sky.”
VINYL MISSION STATEMENT via: NIN.com
IN THESE TIMES OF NEARLY UNLIMITED ACCESS TO ALL THE MUSIC IN THE WORLD, WE’VE COME TO APPRECIATE THE VALUE AND BEAUTY OF THE PHYSICAL OBJECT. OUR STORE’S FOCUS IS ON PRESENTING THESE ITEMS TO YOU. VINYL HAS RETURNED TO BEING A PRIORITY FOR US — NOT JUST FOR THE WARMTH OF THE SOUND, BUT THE INTERACTION IT DEMANDS FROM THE LISTENER. THE CANVAS OF ARTWORK, THE WEIGHT OF THE RECORD, THE SMELL OF THE VINYL, THE DROPPING OF THE NEEDLE, THE DIFFICULTY OF SKIPPING TRACKS, THE CHANGING OF SIDES, THE SECRETS HIDDEN WITHIN, AND HAVING A PHYSICAL OBJECT THAT EXISTS IN THE REAL WORLD WITH YOU… ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE AND MAGIC.
DIGITAL FORMATS AND STREAMING ARE GREAT AND CERTAINLY CONVENIENT, BUT THE IDEAL WAY I’D HOPE A LISTENER EXPERIENCE MY MUSIC IS TO GRAB A GREAT SET OF HEADPHONES, SIT WITH THE VINYL, DROP THE NEEDLE, HOLD THE JACKET IN YOUR HANDS LOOKING AT THE ARTWORK (WITH YOUR FUCKING PHONE TURNED OFF) AND GO ON A JOURNEY WITH ME.
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