The one-man-band that calls himself "Nine Inch Nails" but is really just freaky Trent Reznor has low self-esteem. "Fear has governed my life, if I think about it," he tells Today's New York Times. "I don't even know why I'm saying this in an interview situation, but I always feel like I'm not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn't the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up."

"He wonders, in the songs on The Slip, whether he is irrelevant. The music revives Nine Inch Nails' past, from stomping hard rock to dance-club beats to piano ballad to inexorably building instrumentals. Yet amid walloping drums and distorted guitars - the sounds of angry youth - Mr. Reznor ponders his place in the present. 'Start it up again like it matters anymore/I don't know if it does,' he sings in '1,000,000.' Nine Inch Nails, Mr. Reznor said, is 'an aggressive, honest, naked, angry, ugly thing. I don't hear anybody doing anything like that right now that I'm aware of. Maybe there are, but it doesn't seem like it's the flavor of today.' [...]

"The Slip was knocked out in three weeks of studio time after a month of songwriting. During the sessions he sent one song, 'Discipline,' to rock radio stations, which have given it Top 10 airplay. The new music, Mr. Reznor acknowledged, relies more often on reflexes than does an album like The Fragile (1999), on which every sound is painstakingly shaped; he said he expects his next project to take more 'editorial time.' With The Slip, however, he finished recording the songs on a Wednesday and completed mixing, mastering and graphics to release the album five days later. 'That was fun,' Mr. Reznor said. 'You never could have done that before.' [...]

"'These days I work too much, I think, because it makes me feel good,' Mr. Reznor said. 'I don't know how to do that in a relationship. I don't have a family. I'd like to have one. I just haven't somehow gotten around to it yet. But I know that if I work, it's likely I'll come up with something I'm proud of and that gives me a sense of worth. Not for money or fame - it's, I feel good about it. So like any good addict, if I find something that feels good, if that feels good, maybe doing twice as much feels twice as, you know...'" [NYT] [Photo: Kevin Scalon]