I've never met anyone who hated a musician as much as you apparently hate NIN.
You hate them/him MUCH more than I like them, just so you know. So, you're not going to get an equal response.
Jesus man. I really hate some artists (Drake) but I can't imagine goingas nuts on him as you are on NIN.
Sorry you can't believe it or understand it, but I like NIN as well as Sonic Youth and Throbbing Gristle (Genesis P-Orridge likes NIN too, just saying), and the Melvins and Einstürzende Neubauten, and Velvet Undergeound and Big Black andall the "legit" and "cool" other bands out there. Again, I like music that makes my ears and brain feel good.
There was a time, around age 18 to 21-22, when I decided NIN didn't match up with my increasingly cool and exclusive (
) standards for music. They weren't, y'know, actually repulsive to the average listener so they HAD to be just too low brow for me.
Eventually I realized that this was just a symptom of early-adulthood assholism and exclusivity syndrome. I realized that, hey, come to think of it, Pearl Jam isn't the devil either. Not great, but they had some good songs and it's okay for me to think that and still be a John Cage-listening, chin rubbing, musical elite-type guy.
Sorry my friend but you and I think about music far too differently to have a productive discussion here. You come across sounding, like, really
snobby even though I don't think that's what you're going for. Also, have you nothing to say about Kim Carnes? Fleetwood Mac? Meh?
Here's some more unworthy, establishment type music whose that I don't hate completely:
The White Stripes (love
Madonna (she had some bangers... Mostly shit, but that shit was flecked with fuckin' bangers)
Janet Jackson (Control.)
Phish (they have at least 3 great albums. Can't hate them completely, despite the 13 awful ones)
Jane's Addiction (this should piss you off as much as, if not more than, NIN. Jane's was THE catalyst in the rise of mainstream rock bands that stole from the underground and took the basement to the arena. They preceded NIN and were instrumental in helping NIN launch. So, in theory your ire should be seven fold for them)
Faith No More (see above! Mind you, I don't like all FNM, and what I do like is generally pretty accepted by my underground fanatic friends, but holy wow, these guys really walked the tightrope between awesomeness and absurdity.)
Nirvana (What do we have here? A multi-platinum band that started in the underground and rode a trend to the top of the charts while Sonic Yough and Mudhoney toiled away in the clubs. Shouldn't Nirvana essentially be very picture of everything you loathe? Re-write your ablve speech and substitute "Nine Inch Nails" for "Nirvana," and "industrial" for "punk," and it should work just fine.)
But I don't think you hate Nirvana, because I'm pretty sure you, like me, are a white guy between 35 and 40 who grew up with them. Ditto for Jane's and FNM. Why should these bands get any kind of pass? Why should NIN be evaluated only on the most awful elements of their look and "scene?")
There's also this one thing you don't seem to be getting: Trent Reznor is a music NERD. He grew up in Peter Frampton, Kiss, Van Halen. He somehow loves RUSH as much as he loves Savbath, and Depeche Mode as much if not more than Joy Division. He loved the Cure as much as Ministry, that's for sure.
He set out to make fucking dance music. Like, awful dance music. And yet, somehow, he adapted his disco sound to allow for the influence of Throbbing Gristle and New Order and Kraftwerk. Then made a reductive metal album that's heavier than all of Pantera's catalog combined. Then he added Pink Floyd and the Beatles to his list of bands to run through a blender, and he made textures and melodic "concept" records like Downward Spiral and The Fragile. Then he made some poor choices, yeah ("The Hand that Feeds" is oh my god so bad) ... but he managed to turn that to his advantage, and made anotrher reductionist, well-crafted, gem with The Slip before bowing out for a bit.
Then he got into scoring films, and the feedback has been pretty unanimously positive.
Blah. I said you wouldn't get an equal reply, and I guess I lied. But seriously, if NIN is the worst band you've ever heard, or somehow the most "offensive" to your DIY punk n' stuff ideals, then I'd say you need to broaden your horizons as listen to more music. There's a world of polished, mass market shit out there that makes NIN look like fucking Fugazi.
if you're telling me that you genuinely dislike the song "Closer," not because of over-saturation, but because it is SO offensive to your musical, ethical and cultural sensibilities that that infectious, decade-defining groove elicits nothing but disgust from you.... then I say you're a goddamn liar.
Sorry. I must insist on being antagonistic as hell here. You've pointed to some vague, abstractions to argue that NIN is, presumably, worse than KoRn and Coldplay and Metallica and U2, but you haven't talked about the actual music. And while sure, some of it is embarrassingly bad, you're gonna have to look me dead in the eye and tell me exactly why "Closer" is NOT one of the best pop singles of the '90s in order for me to even concede one point to you.
I'd love to hear what's wrong with "Into the Void" and "The Perfect Drug" too, but I can't spend all day on this.