93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

SPEECH BY: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste


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Q. Congratulations, guys.  Unbelievable work. 
A. Thank you.

Q. I got to ask, you know, what's it like for you to separate kind of, I hate to say, "your day job," you know, from your amazing score work?  And also, are we going to see any more, you know, Nine Inch Nails stuff coming up the pike soon?
A. (Trent Reznor)  Ten years ago, when we did Social Network, which is the first film that worked on, it was such a great experience, six months of the most intense, positive ‑‑ just came out of it inspired and re‑energized, and it was working on a medium we hadn't done before and learned so much, that we felt like, hey, let's do a Nine Inch Nails record; let's go on tour. 
And what we've tried to do in the last ‑‑ since then is break it up where we do some rock music, we come back and do some film work.  We've just done three pretty big films in Watchmen, Mank, and Soul in a row.  We should be on tour but COVID has prevented that.  And we are planning on working on Nine Inch Nails material as soon as I ‑‑ probably tomorrow.

Q. Congratulations on the win. 
A. (Jon Batiste):  Hi Jazz.

Q. Hello.  You are one step closer to EGOT.  Would you want to write a foray musical ‑‑ maybe of SOUL or something else? 
A. (Jon Batiste)  I wouldn't say no. 
A. (Trent Reznor)  No.  I love it.  Let's do it. 
A. (Jon Batiste)  Okay.  We are going to start on that tomorrow again as well.

Q. Can you hear me? 
A. Yes.

Q. Hi.  I will like to know the ‑‑ the effect or how much this affected you once you finished this project, or once you finish every project, how does this affect you when you are probably, like, taking a look back?  And I mean your work, I mean the essence of your work, and in the meaning that you are trying to put in it?
A. (Trent Reznor)  I'll start real quick.  Every project, we try to immerse ourselves in it and we try to do the best work we can and we hope we learn something in the process.  And the real reward is doing it and knowing you did the best you could.  And I'm not going to say tonight sucks because it doesn't.  It's pretty awesome.  But it's not the ‑‑ it's not the motivating factor, you know. 
And, for me personally, we are going to wake up tomorrow the same people we were today, you know, we were last week.  But it's the process, it's the exploring, it's the learning about this beautiful gift of music and how to apply it and how you can express it, you know.  That's my take. 
A. (Jon Batiste):  I think I re‑affirm the fact that your collaborators, the people around you, the people who you have the pleasure of trading information as we all accumulate information on the journey of life and music is life.  So I look at them as one and the same. 
And just kind of seeing how that transpires in the next project you take on and transpires in the next moments in your life.  And this will definitely be something that will resonate until the day I die, this collaboration. 
And working with Pixar, obviously working with Trent and Atticus, the whole scope of it over two years was beyond. 
A. (Atticus Ross) I would just like to add to your point about the very end, how does one feel. What was interesting about this film was it was a film that asked us as composers to reflect on, essentially, the meaning of life. 
And when this film landed was at a point in COVID, and I think that one of the few good things about COVID is it was kind of a transformative period where a lot of people were able to look at their lives and examine what is really important and what isn't.  And I know that was part of COVID for me.  And Soul speaks to that.  So, when you talk about the end of the project, watching that film on Christmas Day with 20,000 a day coming up in L.A., it was a pretty moving experience.

Q. Thank you.  And congratulations to our winners.


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