Frontlash for Trent

I’m sure Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails was super-busy for the last few months, with the GHOSTS album – and THE SLIP – but now it’s the media and public who have been busy loading praise on him, and his “vision”.

Saw this post from Ian Rogers @ FISTFULAYEN :

Thanks Trent Reznor for blazing the trail.

Everyone is talking about his latest free download and his previous digital foray, but don’t forget his work with Saul Williams (statistical transparency included) and the marketing of his last record for Universal, which was by far the craziest marketing endeavor in the history of recorded music (if you follow one link in this post, follow that one).

As Bob Lefsetz pointed out yesterday, it’s not about a press release, it’s about connecting with your fans and giving them something to believe in.

And Trent has the attention to detail to see it all the way through. I’ve never met the guy but he seems driven.

What he’s doing doesn’t just take balls, it takes awareness and intelligence. Congrats, man. Keep it comin’.

The 2007 campaign (over two months) leading up to the YEAR ZERO album launch, used a number of viral websites, and USB keys left in bathrooms with new songs, recorded messages, and even a free concert interrupted by a military & army platoon.

The “campaign” has won the production company a Webby award – People’s Voice Winner for Integrated Campaigns.

Click here to see a great “case study” in the campaign from 42 Entertainment.

His battles with the recording industry, and his own record label, have pushed him further to become the “digital music visionary” – he’s never backed down on what the landscape should or could consist of – for fans mainly.

He’s been giving the power back to fans, by releasing ALL the music as re-mixable, and a website for people to upload their own. He makes music – but shares it – in the truest sense of the word.

And – even has used FaceBook, and BitTorrent to get his music out there.

This comment from the FISTFULAYEN web post says it all – better than I could have !

Trent has always been visionary, and I think he saw this shift in the music distribution paradigm coming a long time ago, or at least the seeds were planted early, and deep; he’s had his share of fights with record labels (and other industry “middlemen”) that attempted to rip him off as well as the fans in any number of ways, in addition to trying to dictate to him what he could and could not put on a record.

Trent is in the somewhat unique position of being very wealthy, extremely talented with a work ethic to match, widely popular (not just as an artist but as a producer/collaborator as well), and about as computer/Internet-savvy as one can get without it being their full-time career (though much of what Trent does comes pretty close).

Add all that to his place in time, now, when the Internet makes this kind of distribution even possible, and it seems only natural to me that he is doing what he’s doing.

And on whatever scale “Success” can be measured for this kind of endeavor, I am confident Trent will achieve it as he has with most everything else he has put his mind to.

It won’t be long before we see more musicians following suit.

Original comment here.

Can’t wait to see what’s next – he keeps surprising us !

NIN for Big Day Out 2008 !?!!! (fingers crossed)


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