Music
Tune in and turn up
Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has accused both Kanye West and The Weeknd of ripping off the band’s stage productions. In a new interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, the NIN frontman outlines why he thinks both Kanye West and Abel Tesfaye have copied the group’s singular live show visuals. Check out the clip below.

“I remember us watching a string of bands on Coachella from the comfort of our couch,” Reznor recalled. “Every band has a video playing behind them. And every band is synced up with a convenient, polite lighting package, you know? And I saw Kanye West blatantly rip off – and The Weeknd rip-off – our tours production-wise, which I’ll say without any hesitation. And they know.”

Reznor then went on to explain that due to those copying NIN’s stage setup, the band is planning to return to a more barebones production style for their upcoming tour.

“When I think back to The Cure, when I saw them for the first time in the mid-’80s — or the Jesus and Mary Chain when we opened for them — and all I remember of that was smoke, maybe a color, a little bit of someone’s hair, and real, real loud guitars,” Reznor explained. “That’s exciting and I don’t see that happening much. So we kind of went the opposite of the arms race we had been in of immersive, technological-based production. It’s music being played somewhat sloppily with an element of danger and uncertainty and unpredictability.”

As Pitchfork points out, both NIN and West have worked with production designer Martin Phillips on live shows. In addition, the set designers behind The Weeknd’s recent ‘Starboy: Legend of the Fall’ tour have revealed that they were inspired by NIN in an interview with Billboard.

“We’ve always called [the Weeknd’s] aesthetic the Nine Inch Nails of R&B,” they shared. “His music has so many dynamics and the visuals and lighting have to reflect that. But, it still has to be simple.” Routhier said, “I have always looked up to and respected Roy Bennett. His lighting designs for Nine Inch Nails and Prince have inspired me since I was in college.”

Do you think Kanye West and The Weeknd ripped off Nine Inch Nails? Sound off in the comments below.

In other music news, Tyler, the Creator dropped yet another new track called “PEACH FUZZ.” Listen to it right here.

Associate Music Editor

A “multi-hyphenate” Cancer Sun, Aquarius Rising, Virgo Moon, whom loves matcha.

What To Read Next