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Trent Reznor discusses Nine Inch Nails return, departure of Adrian Belew and Eric Avery

on June 25, 2013, 2:18pm

trent reznor nin

Yesterday, Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor appeared on Los Angeles radio station KROQ, where he discussed the band’s unexpected return, the release of their new album Hesitation Marks, and the recent upheaval in the band’s touring lineup.

On the creation of Hesitation Marks and why he chose to keep its release a secret…

It started a year and half ago or so. I still owe Interscope a greatest hits record. There was talk about doing a couple new tracks for the compilation under NIN header. And this was coming out of the couple of scores I filmed and working with How to Destroy Angels. I started tinkering with a couple songs for Nine Inc Nails. I felt inspired by what’s happening. A couple songs led to a couple more songs and pretty soon it was a full-fledged, ‘let’s make an album.’ I chose not to announce that because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. If I even wanted to release it when it was finished. It wasn’t really a plan. It was seizing the moment of inspiration and just running with it.

Whether lead single “Came Back Haunted” is indicative of the rest of the album…

With this record I didn’t go into it with an agenda of it’s going to be this or that. I sat down from a very pure place and just went with what feels right, and songs started coming out. Generally, I would say this album is more electronic in nature that was more exciting to me than loud banging drums. The Slip was very much made to sound like it was in a garage with loud banging drums. This record was much more electronic for a lack of a better word.

‘Came Back Haunted’ is familiar, it’s very self-referential and purposely. I think that’s the most like that there is on that record. It felt like the biggest moment I can remember in Nine Inch Nails history in terms of feeling like people were aware of it.

On the reason he signed with a major label (Columbia) for the album’s release…

It felt like the right thing to do. I’m catching some slack from a DIY camp, but I never signed up to say, ‘hey, I’m the spokesperson for that sort of thing.’

I was spending a lot of time thinking about thinking about stuff that wasn’t music. I was spending a lot of time thinking about marketing, how to engage fans, and how to price point. I found I could do it, but I’d rather not do it. A lot of effort goes into it, a lot of thought, and it’s time not going toward writing music and thinking about things that mean more to me.

Regarding the recent departures of Adrian Belew and Eric Avery…

It’s been disruptive. You know when I started off with an idea of who would be in the band and we started working that way. And you realize you can spend a lot of time, like I’ve done, hypothesizing and imagining and projecting as to what it’s going to be like with this chemistry and this recipe of people in a room playing music. And in reality, it rarely is that. You know, it turned out to be something different and in the case of a couple people in the band some switches were made and it’s turned into something different. Much like any creative endeavor it does go through that path of how you think it’s going to be and how it ends up being. It’s felt a wrench in the works at time, but at the same time it’s made me rethink a lot of how we put this together and I think where we’re ending up at a place that’s much truer to where Nine Inch Nails should be and better in the long run.

Hesitation Marks arrives September 3rd via Columbia.

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