Of all Trent Reznor‘s many different, out-of-left-field projects, producing a Halsey album is perhaps the most surprising. As the Nine Inch Nails frontman tells Entertainment Weekly, he felt the same way.
“It was completely unexpected,” Reznor says. “‘Would you be interested in working on this project that was not something that you had planned or even thought about?’ And it caught me in the moment, where I said, ‘Let me hear what you’re talking about.'”
“To my surprise, I really had fun writing material in a format I’d never thought about before,” he continues. “I found myself excited. I wanted to get up even earlier to start working on it.”
Reznor produced the album, which is titled If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, alongside his NIN band mate and scoring partner Atticus Ross. What attracted him to the project, Reznor explains, was how artistically genuine it felt.
“I thought, ‘Well, I haven’t thought through all the repercussions of what it means to my career or to my people or to her people or how I’m f***ing myself in this, but it’s exciting to me as an artist for the right reasons,'” Reznor says. “It’s not for a trophy or a paycheck or anything. The end result of working on that Halsey record is Atticus and I went into it with a set understanding of what we thought we were doing and we came out the other end realizing we don’t know everything.”
Reznor’s main concern about the project now, though, is that he hopes “other people won’t think it’s a piece of s***.”
“Maybe I f***ed it up a little bit much,” he says.
If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power arrives this Friday, August 27.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.