Once and for all, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor sticks it to the music industry. Yesterday, he posted the following text on the Nine Inch Nails home page:

Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008. Exciting times, indeed.

Whatever you may think of their music (I for one am a big fan of their old stuff, but not so much of anything that was released after the amazing Downward Spiral album), but this is exciting news. I definitely liked Nine Inch Nails better before they went mainstream, but now I’m quite happy they took this route, as they’ll be able to have a much bigger impact on the industry. With acts like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead demonstrating that it is entirely possible to bypass the music industry, I sincerely hope that times are about to change…

I hadn’t bothered to pick up the latest Nine Inch Nails album (Year Zero), but after this I felt compelled to download it from Amazon’s music store.

There’s also some interesting coverage of this (along with tons of comments) on TechCrunch and Gizmodo (not even counting the > 1000 comments on the Nine Inch Nails home page).