Joystiq has an excellent interview with independent noise harnessers, Trent Reznor and Rob Sheridan, of Nine Inch Nails fame. Unlikely guests for the 'stiq until they begin reminiscing about their Pong roots and flame-baiting the PS3 and Xbox 360 faithful. They also hint at near-term plans to develop "some entertainment-based video game–type stuff" while lambasting a record industry looking to Rock Band and Guitar Hero for its salvation. You get the idea, gaming nerds nerding-out about gaming only using a few more expletives than moms would probably like.

The interview goes much deeper than you might have realized. The "lost questions" are now posted on Dustin Burg's personal blog. There you'll find Trent (a man who successfully trail-blazed riches at the dawn of the digital age without major label support) and Rob discussing modern music distribution techniques, the limitations of social media for engaging fans, and software application development on modern smartphones. Fascinating insight for both consumers and the industry executives controlling the music, video, and apps we crave from the artists that create them.

For example, in discussing why people steal music, Trent soberly notes that, "People aren't stealing music to make money. They steal because they love music." This isn't about bootlegging anymore. Accepting this, Reznor chose to engage his fans in a new way instead of fighting them:
"...that's why we released our recent records for free. That's why we came up with the pricing tiers that we did, giving people something that had value for their money if they wanted it. But we gave it away for those who aren't going to pay anyway and figured that maybe we can at least get their email address and let them know when our next record is coming out. Or, maybe, we can let them know when our next concert is coming up."
Pretty savvy. More after the break.

The duo also expanded on their prioritization of smartphone platforms upon which to develop its NIN application:
"We used the iPhone, because it has a good developer kit, its hardware makes sense and it's just one product. That versus what we tried doing on the Blackberry where it was a nightmare for a number of reason. The libraries suck, the hardware isn't consistent from model to model, they aren't that helpful and from a programming prospective, it isn't nearly where the iPhone is. As far as Android, it has no permeation in the market."
That latter point will certainly change in 2010. With regard to social media, Reznor found out the hard way that social media is not always, shall we say, social:
"Soon, I learned that Twitter and really everywhere on the internet the power of being anonymous. The boldness and coward in people comes out, where they say things that they'd never say to someone's face."
Eh hem, indeed. Hit the read links to dive right in.

Read -- Joystiq interview
Read -- "The Lost Questions"

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