Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor certainly has no qualms going his own way. Most notably, he's thwarted the traditional record release model by releasing music on his own after exiting Interscope and has one of the strongest internet fanbases in popular music history.
That's precisely why it comes as a surprise that Reznor is "tuning out of the social networking sites" like Twitter, because "it's now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result."
Reznor's rant, ironically, was posted to his open message forum, which he undoubtedly will allow to continue existing - fans should just expect fewer direct correspondences throughout NIN's various social sites.
"The problem with really getting engaged in a community is getting through the clutter and noise. In a closed environment like nin.com a lot of this can be moderated away, or code can be implemented to make it more difficult for troublemakers to persist," Reznor writes. "[O]n nin.com, there's 3-4 different people that each send me between 50 - 100 message per day of delusional, often threatening nonsense. We can delete them, but they just sign back up and start again."
Reznor dotted several references to his engagement to West Indian Girl frontwoman Mariqueen Maandig throughout the 1,100 word letter, an obvious point of friction. Apparently, some fans are reacting badly to the dark songwriter committing to a special someone.
"I approached [Twitter] as a place to be less formal and more off-the-cuff, honest and "human". I was not expecting to broadcast details of my love life there, but it happened because I'm in love and it's all I think about and that's that. If this has bummed you out or destroyed what you've projected on me, fair enough - it's probably time for you to leave," he continues. "With all of that said, I have business in the real world to attend to including wrapping up the live version of NIN, DOING some cool new shit and spending as much time as possible with the most amazing woman in the world."
In unusual reaction to particular breeds of internet trolls, Reznor addressed a group her refers to as Metal Sludge and self-mutilating "cutters."
"Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I've ever come across. It's populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands... It would be kind of funny in a sad and pathetic way except the fun doesn't stop there - hate and good old-fashioned outright blatant racism are also encouraged to spice things up and remind you how truly ugly these scourges are. TRULY ugly on the inside (the outside is obvious)," he says.
"Cutter's tip for my friends there: remember to cut along the length of vein, not across. Bigger payoff. So when you see the new accounts that pop up daily on Twitter spewing exactly the kind of thing I just discussed, usually from picture-less creatively named profiles, spewing hate at Mariqueen and I, take a moment to visualize the sad couple people behind them."
There's no telling to what extent his departure from "social networking" means - whether or not he'll discontinue updating blogs on MySpace or personalized messages on his message board, for instance. The only real item that can be deduced is his displeasure with Twitter (he's not the only one).
Nine Inch Nails is co-headling Bonnaroo this weekend, with a performance scheduled for tomorrow night (June 13). The band has been on tour since early May and continues an international leg through mid-August.