Back in February, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor announced the band’s massive comeback, after seemingly calling it quits with their Wave Goodbye farewell tour in 2009.

With the announcement, Reznor revealed a revamped live lineup for their new world tour, saying “the band is reinventing itself from scratch and will be comprised of Eric Avery, Adrian Belew, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Ilan Rubin, and me.”

However, one of the key members of the band has quit a mere two months before NIN’s worldwide comeback tour kicks off.

As Consequence Of Sound reports, bassist and former founding member of Jane’s Addiction, Eric Avery today took to his Facebook page to deliver the bad news of his departure from NIN, explaining how extensive touring duties have left him feeling “overwhelmed”:

it’s with very mixed emotions i tell you all that im pulling out of NIN. i know. its been a tough call and i don’t know if its the right one. but i really want to focus on my musical life here in la, on film work in particular. as the tour dates kept growing… i just got overwhelmed. i just got home from a year of heavy travel with garbage, the idea of leaving town for another year and a half, and with all the intensity that nails demands…

It appears though that the split was amicable, as Amery describes frontman Trent Reznor’s reaction to the news:

fortunately my friend Trent understands all this and appreciated my pulling the plug now instead of deep into 2013 and 14. Go get em gentlemen.

There is yet to be confirmation of who will be covering the bass-sized hole left by Avery, and with the band’s first tour date in July at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, time is certainly ticking.

NIN are also locked in to play a series of global music festivals, including Reading and Leeds Festival in the UK in August, as well as Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Jay-Z’s Made In America Festival in Philadelphia later in the year, with more world tour dates to be announced – hopefully including an Australian visit.

Speaking about their forthcoming world tour, Reznor said “the intention is to reconstruct songs based on this new instrumentation and only play songs we as a band feel good about. With Nine Inch Nails last time, I felt that I’d explored that kind of bludgeoning rock thing in a lot of different ways, like I’d done everything I could do with that format,” he added.

It was former King Crimson member and current NIN band member Adrian Belew that was even the catalyst for some new material and, as Reznor previously revealed in the band’s official tour announcement, the whole idea of taking the NIN juggernaut back on the road:

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.

As for the possibility of new material being aired on tour, don’t get too excited. “There isn’t any new material to play except from a couple of tracks Adrian [Belew] and I started experimenting on that were intended to go on a greatest hits record. We decided to push that back to 2014, and there’s no new record scheduled at this point.”

To get NIN fans back in the mood ahead of their impending return, Reznor has been drip-feeding old material from the NIN archives on a newly-created Tumblr page. A veritable treasure trove of rare photosimages, artworkand videos from the group’s long history has been made available to the public through the online archive.

Best of all is the rarely seen 75-minute tour documentary about the group’s Self Destruct Tour, which began in 1994 and ran until mid-1996 across eight massive legs to promote the landmark NIN opus, The Downward Spiral, and features cameos from Marilyn Manson and David Bowie. There is yet to be confirmation of who will be covering the bass-sized hole left by Avery, and with the band’s first tour date in July at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, time is certainly ticking.

The multi-talented, multi-tasking Reznor has also just completed a 12-show American tour with he and his wife’s side project, How To Destroy Angels, where they played in a rather uniquely unorthodox fashion.

Performing in front of a 16-foot tall curtain of 14-inch surgical tubing and a huge projector, Reznor and wife Mariqueen Maandig, along with Atticus Ross, essentially performed behind a 3D screen operated by bandmate Rob Sheridan.

The 33 year old self-proclaimed “artist/designer/photographer/nerd” works a 16-foot tall curtain of 14-inch surgical tubing and a huge projector to create “a shimmering, three-dimensional cube of light effects”. The whole dazzling set-up is operated by a Livid MIDI controller and program called Lemur on an iPad Mini.

The translucent screen is designed to adapt throughout the show, so that at times you may see “the band’s silhouettes, faces, or nothing at all.” Combined with the images on the projector screen, Wired described it as “creating a three-dimensional feel, with the band almost floating in between.”

“We’ve essentially spent over a year experimenting with different materials to try to present this in a way that felt cool to us, and it was a lot of effort for just a few shows,” said Reznor.

If no-one puts up their hand soon to become the new NIN bassist, Reznor could always just reuse this 3D screen and leave a Tupac hologram to stand in Avery’s place. Stranger things have happened…

Nine Inch Nails 2013 Tour Dates

July 26th – Niigata Prefecture, JP @ Fuji Rock Festival
July 28th – Ansan, KR @ Ansan Valley Festival
August 2nd-4th – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza Festival
August 9th – 11th – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Festival
August 15th – Kiewit, BE @ Pukkelpop
August 16th – Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival
August 18th – Hockenheim, DE @ Rock ‘n’ Heim
August 23rd – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
August 24th – Paris, France @ Rock en Seine Festival
August 25th – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
August 28th – Milan, Italy @ Mediolanum Forum (w/ Tomahawk)
August 31st – Philadelphia, PA @ Made In America Festival
October 25th – 27th – Ashville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
November 1st – 3rd – New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Festival

+ more dates to be announced.

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