Yet another track lifted from Nine Inch Nails’ comeback album Hesitation Marks, due 3rd September via Columbia Records, has been surfaced (that’ll be the fourth for those playing at home), while the band’s artistic ringleader, Trent Reznor, has given unlikely praise to one of the Top 30 Rappers Of All-Time: Kanye West.
Reznor is no stranger to controversy over the course of his 25-year-career, and following on from shocking Nine Inch Nails fans with the peppy, synth-pop sounds of new single ‘Everything’, he’s likely to irk his diehard fan-based again in a forthcoming interview with SPIN.
In the interview, the comparison is made between NIN’s industrial brand of electro-rock and another polarising performer, hip hop superstar Kanye West, to which Reznor replied by heaping praise upon the rapper, calling him “the [most] dangerous entertainer in 2013.”
“I know [Kanye] a bit,” says Reznor. “He’s come out to shows and we’ve had some humorous— I’ve listened to him talk backstage a few times. I can’t say that we had a conversation. I find him an interesting character.”
Reznor also shared Lou Reed’s enthusiasm for Kanye’s angriest album to date, this year’s Yeezus. “I really love it. I think the sound of it is cool,” says Reznor. “I can’t endorse what he’s saying lyrically, but I will say that in terms of the role of the dangerous entertainer in 2013, nobody is beating him at that game.”
“It feels like he might implode,” he continues. “Even if it is calculated to some degree, it feels rough on the edges in a way that I can appreciate. I’m glad he’s out there. Consistently he’s put out ahead-of-the-curve shit. He’s definitely a talented guy.”
Meanwhile, the studio version of ‘Find My Way’, which was first premiered live on the first date of Nine Inch Nails current music festival-travelling, visually stunning world tour, was premiered on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show before a high quality rip of the tune turned up online, as Consequence Of Sound points out.
As the NIN linchpin intones the titular phrase over circular electronic textures, “I’m just trying to find my way,” the track is closer in line to ‘Copy of A’, which also got its debut at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan before leaking online; a slowly blossoming web of synth lines and minimal beats that reflects Reznor’s previous comments about Hesitation Marks being “a weird puzzle of grooves.”
‘Find My Way’ is the fourth track fans have heard from Hesitation Marks, which leaves only 10 of the 14 tracks left to be heard ahead of the album’s 3rd September release. Previous tunes include ‘Came Back Haunted’, and its David Lynch-directed, epilepsy-inducing music video, the aforementioned post-modernist anthem ‘Copy of A’, and the upbeat pop-leaning ‘Everything‘ which has definitely polarised some fans, with one sarcastic YouTube user even putting together a cheeky fan-made music video for the track featuring cute puppies and an image of Reznor astride a unicorn.
The ream of new tracks arrives as Nine Inch Nails’ current visually-stunning world tour – featuring the current live line up of Reznor, Robin Finck, Allessandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin, and Josh Eustis – continues through festival commitments before starting an extensive North American tour that runs through to November.
With no dates booked for next year, it hopefully frees the band up for other territories, including Australia. Although there were rumours suggesting that Nine Inch Nails could be headlining Soundwave 2014, but today’s lineup announcement reveals that they won’t be making the trek with annual music festival, with promoter AJ Maddah tweeting to a disappointed fan: “Sadly Trent wants to be mainstream now and reach Justin Timberlake’s audience :( ”
Despite the lack of a confirmed Australian visit, 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 has said of the record. “What fear I had — of ‘What does Nine Inch Nails have to say in 2013?’ — this is it,” says the 48-year-old musician. “It’s not about everything being at 11 and the pyrotechnics of sound and scare tactics, which I’ve definitely used in the past. But it doesn’t feel like the middle-aged, I’ve-given-up record either.”