The newly revitalised Nine Inch Nails are currently rolling their way through music festivals across the globe after debuting their new live show to the audience at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival last month, and hopefully adding Australia’s Soundwave to that list early next year if rumours prove true.
While an Australian visit from the industrial rock pioneers is still pending, ringleader Trent Reznor has already talked up the audio/visual experience of the band’s new tour, which is inspired by the 1983 Talking Heads tour movie Stop Making Sense, as well as the “sparse… minimal” sound of Hesitation Marks, the new Nine Inch Nails album that Reznor had secretly been working on and is due next month.
Now the band have a released a new helping of both their live show and the new album in the form of a brand new single and some ace behind the scenes footage.
Following on from lead single ‘Came Back Haunted’, and its David Lynch-directed, epilepsy-inducing music video, comes the second helping from Hesitation Marks, ‘Copy Of A’, which got its live debut at Fuji Rock Festival, but now Reznor has released the studio version of the song.
The track’s dotted synth lines and rave-like groove certainly reflect Reznor’s previous comments about the new record being “a weird puzzle of grooves,” while post-modernists will likely get a kick from lines like “I am just a copy of a copy of a copy” and “I am just an echo of an echo of an echo” as the track rides on a skittering momentum.
Meanwhile footage from the production team behind the ambitious Nine Inch Nails live show, which features choreographed movement of digital displays on rolling video screens, has surfaced online giving an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the arena-sized show.
The current live set-up is a collaboration between Reznor, media and entertainment company Moment Factory, art director Rob Sheridan (aka the dude that ‘played light’ for the How To Destroy Angels Tour), and long-term production and lighting designer Roy Bennett.
The tour video describes how Moment Factory “designed and created a wide variety of pre-rendered and real-time content for mobile LED screens,” and the results will make you want to live inside the Nine Inch Nails set, or at the very least get you very excited for the band’s live show, which will hopefully head Down Under in the near future.
“We’re always pushing the envelope,” says lighting and production designer Roy Bennett of the new NIN stage set-up. “We’ve always tried to make people think and keep them on edge and keep them wondering what’s going on.”
The ambitious live show sees Reznor – along with current live line up Robin Finck, Allessandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin, and Josh Eustis – continue their festival commitments through August and September before starting an extensive North American tour that runs through to November, hopefully freeing the band up for other territories early next year, with rumours suggesting that they could be headlining Soundwave 2014.
Before then, fans can at least look forward to the release of Hesitation Marks on 3rd September through Columbia Records, which features contributions from Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, bassist Pino Palladino, and extensive work with King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew (who ended up quitting the band ahead of the live shows)
“I’m proud of it,” Reznor says of the record. “What fear I had — of ‘What does Nine Inch Nails have to say in 2013?’ — this is it. I don’t feel like it’s trying to force something into the wrong container.”