“From the 2020 Cold and Black and Infinite tour that never happened. Commemorate the memories you’ll never forget. Every song we’ve ever written played every night. Tapeworm debut / reunion. Complimentary mango La Croix for everyone. Ted Cruz puking by the bus,” reads the description for a tote bag for the band’s now scrapped 2020 run of shows.
The dig at the senator references when frontman Reznor called out Cruz during a November 2018 concert in Texas. “He was bugging to get on the guest list, and I told him to f–k off,” the musician told fans before explaining his annoyance with the politician. “We put him on [the guest list] a few years ago; he drank all the beer, and was just a pain in the a– to be around.”
The band wasn’t done making a statement with just one item in the merch store. The description for the tour’s wall flag took a political bent, calling out the constantly changing “truth” — without naming names — that citizens have witnessed. “Since reality and truth are now malleable and subjective, perhaps this tour really did happen and it was awesome,” reads the note. “Every single comment on the internet was positive.”
Cruz later denied that ever asked to get on the guest list. “uh, no, NIN is not my music taste. He was clearly joking,” he tweeted. “And for the record, I also didn’t ‘drink all his beer’ the last time…but I would have! #FakeNews”
Reznor has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, who has often changed narratives to fit his own version of the truth not only during the global coronavirus pandemic, but since his election. “The president of the United States is a complete f—ing moron,” the rocker told the Village Voice in a 2017 interview. He also recalled how he explained his distaste for the former reality star to one of his children: “I don’t think he’s a good guy. Some people do. I don’t think he believes in science, and I don’t think he believes people should be treated decently, and I don’t think he tells the truth. That’s why I don’t like him.”
The Nine Inch Nails frontman revealed Tuesday that the band — like many other artists this year — had to scrap their previously unannounced North America 2020 tour due to the COVID-19 crisis. Since they had already printed up merchandise for the tour, the items are now available on NIN.com, with profits benefiting food banks in the cities where the shows would’ve taken place.