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.
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.
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.
If you had to pick one video game character to identify with, who would it be?
Trent: Umm, that's a tough one. [Long pause.]
I really can't think of shit right now. Rob, you got one, I know you do. You're thinking Samus, but she's a chick and you don't want to say that. [Laughs.]
It's that or Link.
Rob: Yeah, I'd go with Link, actually. That's a good one, because I was the loner kid who just wanted everyone to leave me alone so I could play Zelda. It's that lone person experience that kind of defined who I am.
Trent: Yeah and I can't think of anything.
What about Mario? You said you liked Nintendo.
Trent: No, he's too common. Too bourgeois.
Well, now that you're moving on from NIN, do you have any interest in putting your creative energy into video games? Whether it be development or creating a soundtrack for a game?
The idea of making a cool game ... now that's wildly exciting to me!
That's not my dream job, to be honest with you. The idea of making a cool game or making a cool software platform, now that's wildly exciting to me! Content creation is where me and Rob are headed.
That's sort of a direct result of what we did with Year Zero, in terms of the ARG and presenting it. That was, from my perspective, the most rewarding creative experience, musical or not. Being able to take this world and present it to people in a creative way. It wasn't a game, it wasn't a website, it was kind of all those things in one. It was an experience where it was fun to use all the different kinds of mediums that are available now and, in the end, kind of creep into people's minds.
I like playing shows, and I can play shows. I've played big shows and I've played shitty shows. I've played where people show up and played where people don't show. But what excites me is working on stuff like the Year Zero project more than my current thing. I could keep doing shows. I'm pretty good at it, but I want to fucking start something that I might suck at and try that. You know, to see what it's like to suck for once.