Trent Reznor is set to take the revitalised Nine Inch Nails live lineup through its paces for a massive, globe-trotting comeback tour, the band’s first since seemingly being put to pasture after the 2009 Wave Goodbye Tour.

But Reznor has been “less than honest” with the leagues of NIN fans; not about the upcoming world tour dates, or even the recent departure of bassist Eric Avery, but about plans for a new studio album.

“I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to lately,” wrote the 48-year-old in a post on the band’s official website. “For the last year I’ve been secretly working non-stop with (bandmate) Atticus Ross and (producer) Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I am happy to say is finished and frankly fucking great.”

The new studio album will be released through Columbia Records, which is also home to How To Destroy Angels, the musical side-project featuring Reznor’s wife Mariqueen Maandig, Atticuss Ross, and Rob Sheridan, who recently completed a 12-show American tour with a stunning translucent light show.

Reznor reveals that it was the creation of a new Nine Inch Nails record that was “the real impetus and motivation behind the decision to assemble a new band and tour again. My forays into film, HTDA  and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place… Stay tuned.”

Despite the departure of Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery this month, just weeks out from the band’s debut date this July at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival, Reznor has found a replacement in former guitarist, Robin Finck, who SPIN reports is a new addition to the touring lineup, which features Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, and Ilan Rubin. But not, as previously thought and confirmed by Reznor, King Crimson alumni Adrian Belew.

Pitchfork reports that Belew is “not part of the touring band. [but] just contributed to the album.” Reznor previously stated that it was working with the King Crimson musician that first sparked the idea of taking the NIN juggernaut back on the road, saying at the time of the official announcement:

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.

Since Reznor has now revealed he’s been working on the new album in secret, it may contradict his previous statements that “there isn’t any new material to play” on the upcoming tour. Saying that there was only a “couple of tracks… 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.” Since that was a fib, perhaps airing new songs on tour is also likely.

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.

Nine Ninch Nails are 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. Full points to the first music festival that can secure Reznor and co. (we’re looking at you Big Day Out and Soundwave).

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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