Saul Williams and Trent Raznor

02007-11-01 | Internet, Music | 5 comments

Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!

Trent Reznor and Saul Williams Discuss Their New Collaboration – New York Magazine
Trent: I think it’s just an awkward time right now to be a musician. The reality is that people think it’s okay to steal music. There’s a whole generation of people, that’s all they’ve known. I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks — if not two months — before it comes out. There’s no real way around that. I’m truly saddened because I think music has been devalued, so that it’s just a file on your computer, and it’s usually free.


I’d rather it not be a ringtone that you have to get with a free cell phone or any of that bullshit.

Here is another bit… it’s a great interview and you should read the whole thing.

I remember a time when it felt like, being on a major label, our interests were aligned. At times, it’s a pretty well-oiled machine and the luxury is that I feel like I’ve got a team of people who are taking care of the shit I don’t want to think about. I don’t care about the radio guy, I just want to make music. But those days are gone.

Raznor is right. For me that just let me create music and you take care of biz period was from the time I started work on my first album for Epic, “Solo Para Ti”, until about 1999.

OK, one more quote from Raznor and then you should head over and read the whole article.

iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don’t feel cool when I go there. I’m tired of seeing John Mayer’s face pop up.


  1. Jacqueline

    What a collaboration , this should be quite the project. Guess we wait and see, wait till I tell my kids this one! Thanks Ottmar , for once they will be perplexed!


  2. Will

    A very good interview. If people don’t wake up and see what is happening they may find themselves with no music to download at all.

    Imagine a world in which everyone stole coffee day in and day out. You run into your local Starbucks and steal a cup. You run into your grocery and steal a bag of coffee. Eventually coffee producers go out of business and YOU are the one to blame. You essentially killed coffee. No more fresh cup in the morning, no more cup on a fall or winter day, no more various tastes. Your ignorance and greed killed something you loved.

    With music it seems to be a lot easier and the death could come sooner than we think. I know of no other way of stopping it other than social responsibility. But my faith in that is weak. So goodbye guitar solos, goodbye violin concertos, goodbye the next Bob Dylan. We would rather listen to traffic, screams, and gossip. Good luck Music your fate is in the hands of the social irresponsible.

  3. Apollo

    That seems to be too bleak a view, Will. We may lose music recording as a viable way to make a living at worst, but I can’t imagine those who love music giving up making it. There is a huge problem with the cultural devaluing of recorded music, undoubtedly, but it’s a challenge we all need to step up to. As artists and appreciators of music we have a responsibility to underline the value of music and of supporting artists in inventive and compelling ways.

  4. steve

    Trent: “I’m truly saddened because I think music has been devalued, so that it’s just a file on your computer, and it’s usually free.”

    I think a lot of things in our culture are devalued. Recently I went to the opening of the new Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, and would overhear comments … it’s kind of amazing the way that people regard contemporary art. Some of it is kinda stupid, but still, it strikes me that people regard contemporary art in general as disposable. That is, just another commodity. I wonder how we got to this point in our civilization.

  5. Rik

    In a world where life itself has been devalued, how can we expect the things and experiences that make life a joy to maintain any value.
    I like your attitude, Apollo. Very ‘can-do’.


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