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Trent Reznor announces the return of Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails 2013

It’s been suspected for a little while now, but Nine Inch Nails (NiN) are finally making a return to music! The band originally departed after their  ”Wave Goodbye” tour some four years ago, and even then Reznor did say that the band would most likely return, citing that he needed to recalibrate and refocus. Reznor has been causing a variety of rumblings lately, starting to rear his head back into the music scene with his public announcement of a  collaboration with Dre Beats and Interscope Records as well as a AMA (Ask Me Anything for the uninitiated) on Reddit, where he teased an imminent NIN return. It’s interesting that he would choose to work with Interscope Records though, primarily due to their previous tempestuous relationship that ended in a rather ugly and very public way.

When Reznor was getting frustrated with the label head Jimmy Iovine‘s attempts to modify and “polish” NiN’s sound he responded eloquently with a rather golden soundbite. “You know what, Jimmy? Fuck you. Take that beat and shove it up Timbaland’s ass!” Clearly, they seem to have settled their differences.

It also seems that his general apprehension and disdain for the mainstream record label industry has subsided, because his electronic project with his wife (as well as longtime musical collaborators Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan), How To Destroy Angels (which we wrote about previously here) are now signed to Colombia Records and are set to release their debut album Welcome Oblivion on the 5th March.

All of this change seems to be a good thing as Reznor is getting ready to launch Nine Inch Nails back into the limelight. While details are currently thin on the ground Reznor promises that a lot more information will soon present itself. As of now, we only have the ominous banner at the top of this post, which was uploaded to their Facebook page earlier today and a short statement from Reznor about the band. His statement is as follows:

Nine Inch Nails are touring this year.

I was working with Adrian Belew on some musical ideas, which led to some discussion on performing, which led to some beard-scratching, which (many steps later) led to the decision to re-think the idea of what Nine Inch Nails could be, and the idea of playing a show. Calls were made to some friends, lots of new ideas were discussed, and a show was booked – which led to another, which somehow led to a lot of shows.

The band is reinventing itself from scratch and will be comprised of Eric Avery, Adrian Belew, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Ilan Rubin, and me. The first shows will begin this summer, followed by a full-on arena tour of the US this fall, and lots of other dates worldwide to follow through 2014.

Lots of details and dates to come. See you soon.


What’s most intriguing about this is the talk of the band “reinventing itself from scratch” – how big of a change are we talking? Ardent fans are somewhat infamous for being resistant to change; could Nine Inch Nails next move potentially alienate a large section of their audience and established fanbase? Reznor is a smart man, but at the same time he has displayed a lack of care as to what people may or may not publicly perceive him to be. He’s always been outspoken and honest, so perhaps fans should consider bracing themselves for a slightly turbulent future…

Trent Reznor

On the same token, Reznor is rightfully considered to be a musical genius, in the same category as other legendary artists like Mike Patton and Devin Townsend – two other musicians who have made their name by exploring countless styles of music, whilst also firmly placing their own personalized imprint upon it, so I’m sure Reznor is capable of the same feats of excellence. Especially considering the impressive line-up that he has managed to rally behind him for this new era of musical output. Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction, Adrian Belew of King Crimson and Josh Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, as well as previous NiN alumni Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin; suggesting that NiN’s future output will have an extremely strong musical backbone. It’s a talented group of individuals that have rallied behind Reznor, so we’re even more curious to get our hands on this proclaimed “new direction”.

One does wonder why Atticus Ross is no longer present, as the two have been working together consistently on both How To Destroy Angels and various film scores. Perhaps Atticus feels more comfortable in his role as a composer now and doesn’t feel like the upheaval in life that touring hard would bring. It’s a shame regardless, as the two have an incredibly strong track record of producing great music together. I’m sure Reznor has managed to find adequate replacements though.

So, can we expect to see a more progressive rock future for Nine Inch Nails? What is this mysterious project with Dre Beats and Interscope Records and are you excited?! Answers on a postcard.

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