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Trent Reznor Upset His Music Used To Torture Prisoners, Dude From Drowning Pool Not So Much - Stereogum

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Trent Reznor Upset His Music Used To Torture Prisoners, Dude From Drowning Pool Not So Much

Dec 12th '08 by brandon @ 11:26am2008/12/12 69 Comments Tweet

An article about musicians protesting the use of their tunes to torture prisoners begins with “March Of The Pigs” “blaring from a speaker behind a metal grate” at the U.S. Military detention center in Iraq where it “hit Prisoner No. 200343 like a sonic bludgeon.” This would reportedly continue for “days, then weeks, then months.” The prisoner, Chicago military contractor Donald Vance, told the AP it made him suicidal. In his case it was NIN and Queen, but the military’s also used AC/DC, Pantera, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and even music from Sesame Street (clearly Tarantino fans). Unless your name is Ted Nugent, the musicians whose work is being used as a torturing device would be outraged, right? A number of folks (Massive Attack, Tom Morello, etc.) have banded together to start the Zero dB project, which in part, includes instituting moments of silence at shows in protest of the tactics. But, hey, turns out some musicians are proud when their tunes break someone’s will to live. Take for instance, Steve Benton of Drowning Pool, whose “Bodies” is an interrogation favorite.

Via Associated Press:

“People assume we should be offended that somebody in the military thinks our song is annoying enough that played over and over it can psychologically break someone down. I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.”

Over at www.nin.com, Trent Reznor is much less of a douche in yesterday’s blog post:

It’s difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you’ve put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture. If there are any legal options that can be realistically taken they will be aggressively pursued, with any potential monetary gains donated to human rights charities. Thank God this country has appeared to side with reason and we can put the Bush administration’s reign of power, greed, lawlessness and madness behind us.

You can get more info about the the Zero dB project at their site. You can continue not listening to the Drowning Pool.

Tags: Drowning Pool, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor

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  1. jace  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Wow.

    Reply
  2. Justin  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    You would think that Reznor would instead say…”Oh, I guess we can’t really call listening to Nine Inch Nails Torture…turns out were wrong about the administration after all”. Guess Reznor agrees that his own music is torture to listen to then.

    Reply
    • David  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 +1

      It has nothing to do with how annoying a song is. For one thing, if a song is played at a loud enough decibel level, your brain will interpret that as pain. The other thing is that even if it was your favourite song, being forced to listen to it repetitively is going to be irritating and when combined with other tactics, it’s tourture.

      Reply
    • judas sackgono  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2009 -1

      I think that NIN is torture to listen to at any volume, even once! Trent Reznor is such a ?Nancy?.

      Reply
    • aboveyouall  |   Posted on Mar 10th, 2010 0

      With the exception of a very select few, the majority of people that posted/replied here are complete idiots. It just proves that a significant portion of the Internet is a respository for the mindless babblings of brain-dead morons. It is embarrassing to wade through most of this thoughtless dribble. And I love all the music “critics” here…I would bet a large sum of money that you are nothing more than talentless hacks with too much time on your hands. Post a comment or reply that addresses the issue of torture. No one wants to endure your uninspired, unintelligent ramblings about who/what constitutes good/bad music. Unfortunately, the dipshits you have surrounded yourself with have falsely inflated a sense of entitlement within you. Do us all a favor and shut the f–k up…please. Torture-good, torture bad. That is the issue. If you have to speak (and I would prefer that you didn’t), keep it to that topic. And keep Trent Reznor’s name out of your mouth. He is right to speak out against using his music in torture tactics. And if you think torture is going to prevent another 9-11, you got another thing coming. Fundamentalists (both Muslim and Christian) are totally unspoiled in their rigid, unyielding, dogmatic worldview. Until society can rid itself of all forms of fundamentalism, history will continue to repeat itself. And to all the ultra right-wing, neo-con, uber-Christian fantatics, you are a means to your own end, but you are blind to your own false

      Reply
      • aboveyouall  |   Posted on Mar 10th, 2010 0

        logic. Wake up and smell the ink of a thousand historical texts and see that you are stuck in your own endless cycle. Honestly, I don’t care if your unintelligent ideology is your own undoing…the sooner the better, actually. The problem I have is that the animosity that you engender in your mutually evil counterparts leads to collateral damage. I don’t want to be standing near you when the piper comes to collect. A note to all fundamentalists: do us all a favor find yourselves an island where all of you can meet and annihilate each other in the name of whatever narrow ideology you vomit from your mouth so that the intelligent among us can build a new world based on mutual respect and cooperation. If that is to much to ask, take a handful of pills and rid us of your ignorance.

        Reply
  3. karl!  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    torture?
    so americans get upset when we play loud music…

    you know what happens to american soldiers captured by iraqis?

    Reply
    • eric  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

      do they get what they deserve?

      Reply
      • pcbowen  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

        Do you really want to be that kind of a shit head? Nobody deserves to be tortured especially in the way westerners (civilians as well as soldiers) are by these people.

        Playing loud music is hazing, not torture. Frat boys have been doing it to each other for generations. It might make them assholes but giving people the equivalent of Sigma Nu “Hell Week” is not the same as slowly cutting someone’s head off with a dull knife.

        Grow Up

        Reply
        • jojo_shabadieu  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

          Ok, playing loud music is not hazing. it is actually torture. Playing loud music is not the only thing the military is doing. There are reasons why our soldiers are getting their heads slowly cut off with a dull knife. What happens in dorms across America is nowhere near the same as what happens in Gitmo. Do you really want to be that kind of a shit head? Grow up, homey ;)

          Reply
          • gofuckyerself  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

            Just because a thing is unpleasant doesn’t mean it’s torture. If it’s loud enough to cause hearing loss, that’s another story.

            Also, these people were killing Americans long before Gitmo. And contrary to the common wisdom, numerous polls have shown that public support for Al Qaeda has plummeted in the Middle East since the Iraq war.

            Reply
          • foundmyrosebud01  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

            the problem isn’t so much the violence and dB level as it the fact that these captives are getting psychologically fucked by this being played for weeks and even months. have a little heart. seriously, what the fuck

            Reply
          • birdfight  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

            Just the sound of a person talking can damage your hearing if it continues long enough. It doesn’t take much. Your ears are probably being damaged daily. so, you must consider this torture after all.

            Reply
      • Dan't  |   Posted on Dec 18th, 2008 0

        See, I thought he was just making a NIN joke.

        Reply
    • !?!  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

      Not that stupid argument again. We know, we know, it’s awful. The torture of American soldiers, however, should not justify more torture. Two wrongs do not make a right. Remember?

      Reply
  4. Larry Dickman  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Would someone please explain to me the Sesame Street/Tarantino reference? I don’t get that one at all.

    Reply
  5. vinnie/massimino  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    If I were in Drowning Pool, I wouldn’t care either. At least they have finally achieved something.

    Reply
  6. J  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    If I were a soldier I would probably support this kind of torture… As a musician I would not want my music used this way. But there really isn’t a clear answer to this moral delema to me

    Just a sad state of affairs all around and each situation requires it’s own unique solution…perhaps including this form of toruture to save the lives of others… or the toture of others.

    whew …rough topic.

    Reply
  7. Guy  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Waitaminute….why was Chicago military contractor Donald Vance a prisoner of the U.S. Military detention center in Iraq?

    Reply
  8. pauly  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    I hope drowning pool can thwart another possible terrorist attack too. I think drowning pool is more than just a band- they are freedom fighters.

    Reply
  9. Johnny Reb  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    I think I would have enjoyed this press release from Mr. Reznor a lot more had it been issued circa-drugs.

    Reply
  10. tom w  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Did the US Gov’t pay Reznor and others for the right to play their songs? Does this count as a public performance of the piece, don’t they have to pay up? If not, couldn’t Trent sue to stop it?

    Reply
    • wi_ngo  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

      This is what I’ve wondered as well. Based on their track record, you’d think the RIAA would be suing the pants off of the government. But then again, the US government hasn’t been shy about changing the rules to suit their needs lately. And the RIAA probably wants to keep the government on their side anyway, so they can continue to get legislative support for their shenanigans.

      Reply
  11. Lena  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    This is so wrong. I am not going to go into the torture, torture is probably the worst thing invented by humans, and yet at war all rules are out and that’s just what it is – expecting humanist during war is childish. Soldiers of all nations throughout history killed, and robbed, and raped, and tortured. But using music for this – God. Probably not the worst kind of torture but – so not right!!!

    Reply
  12. Alex  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Once again the military is being too kind. The music they’re using is already mad compressed, but the CD remaster of The Stooges’ Raw Power will single-handedly end the war on terror, because no terrorist will want to go up against it.

    Reply
  13. Black Jesus  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    They should use Animal Collective. Every non hipster can’t listen to it.

    Reply
  14. kidacomputerok  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    When they play NIN during their “torture sessions”, is it like the video for ‘Happiness in Slavery’ where the machine rapes and kills the guy? Because if I had to listen to Trent’s dogshit music for extended periods of time I’d want to take that route too. It’s much less suffering.

    P.S. Did anyone else get a good lulz over NIN’s new album winning some Pitchfork reader’s poll award? So anytime someone criticizes all the shitty year-end lists on here they ought to go check out that one.

    Reply
  15. Skip  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Can we PLEASE just get off all this hate and focus our attention and jokes on a group that really deserves it? Say, the Jews?

    Reply
  16. Robbbb  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    Brandon…It’s naive thinking like yours that hurts good people. So what if Drowning Pool doesn’t disagree with their music used as torture for prisoners, it’s their music, they made it and own it. They are not the one’s torturing people with it. You have the nerve to call them douchebags and tell people not to listen to their music, who are you to say?! (for the record I don’t even like drowning pool) Secondly these are prisoners, and I’m sure the ones that get tortured are the ones who deserve it. I’m so sick of all you politically correct pu**y’s always sticking up for anything you hear. you are a lemming and a follower. Don’t be so naive, bad people deserve bad treatment, what you want prisoners to have queen size beds next? These types of people would hurt or kill you with no hesitation, and you’re whining because they are being “tortured” with music! They are in prison because of bad choices they made, so stop sticking up for these people. If a little music “torture” gets a secret out of a prisoner that can save good people’s lives, then so be it. If Reznor doesn’t like it then I respect that too because it’s his music. But I don’t respect you on writing a pointless rant to stick up for bad people. Your type of thinking is dangerous and needs to be stopped. Oh and by the way…you can’t sue the government.

    Reply
    • rima  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

      holy. fuck.

      Reply
    • ugh  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

      “But I don’t respect you on writing a pointless rant to stick up for bad people.”

      what

      Reply
    • Laszlo  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

      You can’t sue the gov’t? Possibly, but you can take them to court, see:

      Katz v. United States
      New York Times Co. v. United States

      and they won too

      Reply
    • shitty law student  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2008 0

      Uh, yes you can sue the government, just with some limitations. For Reznor’s purposes, he would be able to sue based on any cause of action not made immune by the Federal Tort Claims Act. I’m not exactly sure what he’d sue for (and don’t have the time to look up, because I have my own exams to study for), but he might be able to sue.

      Reply
    • aboveyouall  |   Posted on Mar 10th, 2010 0

      Can you say “douchebag”? Hey, Robbbbbb….Bbbbbblow me. And try not to get the regurgitated crap you are spewing on my shoes

      Reply
  17. humaneity  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2008 0

    are you guys seriously dsicussing whether or not it is ok to torture people? 2008 goddamit, not the middle ages!!!

    Reply
  18. mikey  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Look at Stereogum, getting all quasi-political and stuff. This is way too deep for me, I gotta go back over to Videogum to talk about how Hugh Jackman pees his pants.

    Reply
  19. Korovjov  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Robbbb: Oh my God, how can anyone be THIS stupid…

    Reply
  20. Liam  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    LOL @ “politically correct pu**y’s”. the irony kill’s me.

    Reply
  21. lip  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Drowning Pool dude doesn’t know what “quell” means.

    Reply
  22. Jimmy J  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Hey Karl!, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    Reply
  23. Daniel  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Yes…Animal Collective. Or better yet, A Place To Bury Strangers.

    Reply
  24. Shomer Shabbos  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Hopefully any legal action taken by Reznor and his band of personal freedom fighters will include those of us who are tortured by having to hear his music on a regular basis thanks to the poor taste of a few. A good compromise might be for him and fellow douche Tom Morello to volunteer their services to the military — the only thing I can think of that would be worse than listening to their blaring music would be having to listen to these self-righteous pricks lecture about human rights.

    Reply
    • kidacomputerok  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2008 0

      Unless I’m mistaken, Shomer Shabbos aren’t supposed to use the Internet on Saturday, right? You know, since you can’t drive a car, or handle money, or fucking roll, and all that, no?

      Reply
  25. Heh  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

    Tom Morello? Morello’s a fan of Che Guevara, a man who sentenced thousands to death without much in the way of a trial. Survivors of that lovely little bloodbath describe him shooting prisoners in the head with his own two tender little hands. For extra points, didja know they imprisoned rock musicians for playing rock’n'roll? Oh, yes they did. If Tom Morello had met Che, Che would’ve sent Morello to prison just for playing rock’n'roll.

    What a dirty little hypocritical piece of garbage Tom Morello is. What a daring little “rebel” he is, with his millions in net worth and his safe little life in a free democracy, cheering on mass-murdering dictators from his nice warm safe mansion! What courage he has!

    Reply
    • Mandy  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2008 0

      lol, where are you getting your information about che guevera? because your Imagination is not a legitimate source.

      Reply
    • che  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2008 0

      Of course nobody is going to look fondly at the brutal murder of human beings. However, che was staging a revolution. Every revolution is bloody and awful while it is being staged, including the one that created the united states. It is true that che silenced creative types during the revolution because he had conditioned himself to be a machine in order to successfully complete his mission and felt he had to censor others in order to succeed. During a revolution, you want civilians to hear nothing but the goals of the horrendous war going on around them. Its not a justification of censorship or a defense of murder but we should put the actions of all historical figures in context. I”m sure tom morello respects che for his beliefs, his sympathy for the impoverished, his hatred for capitalism, and his dedication to leave a privileged life and dedicate himself to change for latinamerica.

      Reply
      • kidacomputerok  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2008 0

        The logic you used could also be used to exonerate Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot. Che might have started out with good intentions (like every other revolutionary), but he ended up as a piece of shit who got what he deserved in Bolivia. Power corrupts all, apparently.

        Reply
      • CheWasABeast  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2008 0

        Che was a beast; anyone who does not see that is either demented or uninformed.

        Interesting article/video on Che – [web.archive.org]

        Reply
  26. Ryan  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2008 0

    “I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.”

    That is truly stupidity worthy of Bush himself. It’s like thinking that beating on the hornets’ nest after being stung will prevent more stings.

    Reply
  27. Diego21  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2008 0

    I’m in no life threathing situation and it will still torture me to hear succh a shitty band

    Reply
  28. aaron  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    Makes sense. Drowning Pool’s name already reminds me of waterboarding, so it’s no surprise that they would be happy their music is being used for torture.

    Reply
  29. Danza  |   Posted on Dec 17th, 2008 0

    The torture wasn’t about making people listen to loud music… prisoners were chained to the ground and not allowed to sleep for days at a time while being beaten, starved, and exposed to extreme temperatures. This would happen for years in most cases, not for a week or a few days while your meathead buddies make you do the elephant walk and drink vodka.

    The worst part is that these people weren’t provided with any legal recourse, but rather they were held without charges filed against them or even the opportunity for a trial and the chance to prove their innocence or guilt. While that probably doesn’t mean a lot to most of you, the fact of the matter is that if a member of the government so desired, they could essentially arrest anyone off of the street and declare them an enemy combatant essentially stripping them of their rights to a fair trial without any cause. They can throw you in jail forever without any reason according to the Bush administration’s policies, and that would include American citizens.

    As far as the music goes, I would say that the association of your work with one of the greatest human rights violations of this generation is cause for a little anger on the artists’ part. I doubt they have any legal recourse.

    For those people that say “fuck ‘em, they’re terrorists” you should know that every incident like this that gets publicized just backs up what the terrorist recruiters are saying about Americans being evil assholes and brings in more fresh faces that are appalled that their fellow men are being tortured, and you can bet that our soldiers are having a much worse time of it thanks to the ills we’ve visited on our captives.

    Reply
  30. bob seger  |   Posted on Dec 18th, 2008 0

    Trent Reznor has been torturing all of us with his crap music for a long time. NIN has sucked for a while. Get over it Trent, you should be glad that anyone bought your music.

    Reply
  31. magsweeto  |   Posted on Dec 19th, 2008 0

    Did I correctly read that adjectival clause? The prisoner was Chicago military contractor Donald Vance? So this is American on American torture…which just makes it more weird. Do Americans imprison? Yes. Do we interrogate? Yes. Do we execute? (Unfortunately) Yes. Do we torture? NO. I’m tired of hearing defensive rhetoric condoning American torture practices. Are there really that many self-loathing closet SM fetishists making important decisions, and are there really that many self-loathing closet SM fetishists willing to say it’s “OK” to do so in the name of freedom? If there’s a war, just fight the war; cut the creepy bullshit out, America. And leave the Chicagoan alone.

    Reply
  32. This is my serious face  |   Posted on Dec 20th, 2008 0

    I object to the description of Trent Reznor as “much less of a douche.” Surely “an equally large but different type of douche” is more accurate?

    Reply
  33. shitface mcgreggorstein  |   Posted on Dec 25th, 2008 0

    dropping water on someone’s face doesn’t sound like torture either, but water boarding is one of the most notorious torture methods. the us government isn’t about being incest ridden rednecks or self-loathing closet sex addicts, they’re about being effective to the highest degree of ruthlessness. i seriously doubt that whatever they’re doing with this music+prisoners thing resembles listening to music in your room. if the us government is doing it to torture people, you can guarantee it’s brutal and appalling. shit i tried not to make a long post fuuuuuuuuck

    Reply
  34. Victoriya  |   Posted on Feb 10th, 2009 0

    Nice data, gracias!

    Reply
  35. nader paul kucinich gravel  |   Posted on Oct 24th, 2009 0

    There is no political solution
    To our troubled evolution
    Have no faith in constitution
    There is no bloody revolution

    Our so-called leaders speak
    With words they try to jail you
    They subjugate the meek
    But it’s the rhetoric of failure

    Props: Tom, Trent, Marilyn, Michael, Eddie, and David.

    Ventura Sheehan Perot Paul Nader McKinney
    Kucinich Kaptur Grayson Gravel
    Gonzalez Clemente Choate
    Carter Baldwin Anderson

    Reply
  36. belowyouall  |   Posted on Mar 10th, 2010 0

    “Thank GOD this country has appeared to side with reason and we can put the Bush administration’s reign of power, greed, lawlessness and madness behind us.”

    Err… I thought (according to his own creation: “Heresy” on “The Downward Spiral”) that “Your GOD is dead and no one cares”. Who are you thanking then? Yourself?

    Lyrics:
    [web.archive.org]

    Definitions of cooperation and respect, so think and enjoy:

    [web.archive.org]
    [web.archive.org]

    Besides all that noise, you have to come to the realization that a song like “March of the Pigs” makes no sense to play at any dB level to individuals who already hate you and are willing to kill themselves in order to bring you down with them. In the end these practices just make the prisoners more pissed off and gives them more motive to kill.

    Of course you can tell yourself anything you want to because to you it will always be the truth and you will never be wrong.

    Hate is hate regardless of whether it is blaring from a speaker behind a metal grate or methodically typed out in a blog post.

    Reply

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