Trent Reznor: Lil Nas X Sampling of Nine Inch Nails Is ‘Very Flattering’
"Old Town Road" was the biggest song of 2019. Months after the revelation that Lil Nas X sampled Nine Inch Nails' "34 Ghosts IV" for the song, frontman Trent Reznor has finally given his thoughts about it — he thinks it's "very flattering."
“At first when you hear your stuff turned into something else, it always feels awkward because it’s something that intimately came from you in some way," Reznor told Rolling Stone. "You feel a little bit violated, you know?”
The vocalist then acknowledges that it's a compliment to have someone want to recreate your music. And while he points out that his music sampled in "Old Town Road" didn't come from as personal a place as "Hurt" did — which was covered in country-style by Johnny Cash — it still felt "strange at first."
Reznor discovered the Lil Nas X anthem through his management team, who had contacted him to let him know that NIN had been sampled in a song that was gaining mass popularity. "I said, ‘Look, I’m fine with it. I get how stuff goes. They’re not saying they didn’t sample it. Just work it out but don’t be a roadblock to this.’ I hadn’t heard it yet. Then a few weeks later, I was like, ‘Holy shit,'" he remembered.
While Nine Inch Nails did have an impact on the song, Reznor doesn't feel he deserves any recognition for its success. “Having been listed on the credits of the all-time, Number One whatever-the-fuck-it-is wasn’t something … I didn’t see that one coming,” he said. “But the world is full of weird things that happen like that. It’s flattering. But I don’t feel it’s for me to step in there and pat myself on the back for that.”
Finally, he admitted that the song has been stuck in his head...a lot.
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