It looks like TR is putting his money where his mouth is... sorta. The new Saul Williams album (which he produced) is being delivered in a Radiohead esque content delivery system. Here is Trent's letter to fans:
As many of you know, I've been working closely with Saul Williams on his new record. We've spent many hours together in hotel rooms, busses, backstages and studios around the world working on something we knew was great. This is the most involved I've been with any project outside NIN since Antichrist Superstar, and I've been impatiently waiting for the chance for you to hear it. Well... guess what?
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! has arrived! After my own recent dealings with record labels we decided to release it directly to you. Head over to http://www.niggytardust.comfor all the details. Register now and you can download the record November 1st. Working on this project was a real pleasure. Saul was interested in breaking boundaries / crossing genres / defying expectations and we learned a great deal from one another in the process. When asked about the sound of the record, I've had to resort to "... I really don't know HOW to describe it." That's a good thing more than ever these days.
A word on the way we've chosen to release this. There are obvious similarities in how Radiohead just released their new record and the way we've chosen to. After thinking about this way too much, I feel we've improved upon their idea in a few profound ways that benefit you, the consumer. You obviously will be the judge of this in the end. One thing that IS very different in our situation is that Saul's not the household name (yet!) that Radiohead is, and that means we need your support on this more than ever. If you like what you hear, spread the word.
I hope you enjoy the music,
I hopped on over to the site and was presented two choices. Pay nothing and get the album. Or I could pay $5.00 and have my choice of 192kbs or 320kbs mp3 OR a lossless FLAC version (which would require reformatting to play in iTunes or on an iPod).
So now we have somebody who is as well established of an artist as Trent Reznor helping to get a record out there for a really deserving artist. I REALLY hope more people follow suit and push this new model forward. It's the only way that artists will break free of the label system.
You can pre-order the album below. I urge you to do so.