The comment came while the NIN frontman spoke about the current “arms race” in production design, where video projections and interactive stage elements abound, and why he’s no longer so interested in such grandiose multimedia gadgetry. Reznor sounded sure of his influence on the trend.
“I remember us watching a string of bands on Coachella from the comfort of our coach, and every band has a video playing behind them, and every band is synced up with a convenient, polite lighting package,” he said. “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.”
West and Reznor have both worked with production designer Martin Phillips, while the Starboy tour designers have publicly cited Nine Inch Nails’ lighting design as an influence, so the claim isn’t exactly controversial. Still, it’s a strong statement toward two artists who have never personally extended credit to the band’s influence on their work.
You can listen to Reznor discuss the topic below, where you’ll also find photos of performances by each of the three acts, each with notably similar lighting set-ups.
Nine Inch Nails, 2014 Grammy Awards
Kanye West, 2015 IHeartRadio Music Festival
The Weeknd, 2018 Coachella
See Photos of Kanye West’s Different Looks Over the Years