In a Joystiq interview in September 2009 Trent Reznor shares thoughts on Rock Band, and also confirms that he currently has no intention of offering more songs for the platform.
On Rock Band saving the music industry:
Joystiq: Are you fans of Rock Band or Guitar Hero?
Trent: I dabble around in them and I actually think those games are fun. As a gamer, it's interesting, fun and surprisingly rewarding when you get it right. As a musician, who's watching the record industry look at these games as a type of salvation ... it's laughable. That's just desperate people in the record business thinking. "Man, we finally have a way to turn people onto music."
In a good way, a friend of mine who is my age, he has a couple kids under ten years old who now really like AC/DC and other classic music. Music they may not have discovered at their age. It's kind of fun to walk into Best Buy and hear people get excited about trying to play a Beck song and I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm kind of excited to see how they did on Beatles: Rock Band. I read about that in Wired, and it sounds like they did an A-list job in creating the depth of the experience.
On his skills:
Joystiq: How are your Rock Band skills?
Trent: I'm not bad, but to be honest with you, I haven't allowed myself go too deep down the path of perfection.
Joystiq: If I were to set up a rock-off, a game of Rock Band between you and a band like ... say, Coldplay. Who would win?
Trent: I don't know, but if it descended into physical violence, we'd probably win. Those guys strike me as having a lot of time on the bus tweaking or stringing some riffs together. [Laughs.]
I'll tell you one thing I can't do that just amazes me is watching the masters of the Dance Dance Revolution game while I was in Japan. I got to see some asian kid, where his feet are moving faster than I can see shit coming down the screen. That's amazing.
On future releases and RBN:
Joystiq: Will we be seeing anymore Nine Inch Nails DLC releases for Rock Band or Guitar Hero by year's end?
Joystiq: Is there a reason?
Trent: I just really never thought about it. When Rock Band first came out there were a couple songs involved and they asked for more in a content pack. I just said pick some of the hardest material we have, like "The Perfect Drug," which has some difficult drums. Then I asked them to make it as hard as they could possibly make it. That led to me seeing a couple YouTube videos of people getting high scores and, well ... that's really it. I feel we did all we needed to do with it.
Joystiq: What do you think of the upcoming Rock Band Network? Will you support the service?
Trent: I think that's an interesting idea, but I'd have to think about it some more. Would I do it for Nine Inch Nails? No -- and I'll tell you why.
At the end of the day, I don't mind putting my song in a movie I like. Something like where JJ Abrams calls asking to use a song in "Fringe." I say, "I like what you do, I know it'll be used tastefully."
Music isn't a game, it's supposed to be an emotional kind of experience.
If someone hears it in that context, well, okay, that's cool. Again, at the end of the day, my concern is to write music and that's what it is.
When I heard about Rock Band and was asked to put some music on it, I did that. Then I thought, what if, with our next record, we release it on Rock Band first? The entire album. But then I thought about it some more and decided no, because I don't want people remembering it that way. I want it to be an album, a piece of music and not a game. There's a balance there, but music should have its own place, because it is not just about how many people can get it in whatever form.
Joystiq: Activision released special band-specific Guitar Hero games, like Metallica and Aerosmith. Have you ever been approached about a NIN edition?
Trent: Not that I know of. I'm not saying this to be modest, but we aren't in the same demographic or audience size as those bands. NIN doesn't really fit that mold, because there is no guitar in a third of our songs and, to be honest with you, I wouldn't want to do that anyway.