About a year ago, Academy Award-winning uber-boss Trent Reznor announced that - after a three year hiatus spent knocking out soundtracks to David Fincher's Gone Girl and Peter Berg's upcoming Patriots Day - Nine Inch Nails would return with new music in 2016.
As you may have noticed, 2016 is almost over. As a result, NIN fans have spent the last few weeks getting very antsy, to the point that Reznor had to address this situation in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. When asked directly if a new Nine Inch Nails album was still in the cards, Reznor played coy, telling the magazine, "Just wait and see what happens."
Well, today, we did see: a new Nine Inch Nails EP, Not The Actual Events, will indeed arrive before the end of the year (December 23rd, to be exact). And that's not all: Reznor's also announced a 4XLP retooling of 1999's The Fragile, created in conjunction with Reznor's frequent collaborator Atticus Ross. It will feature 37 bonus tracks and over an hour's worth of previously-unheard material (!!!!).
Here's Reznor talking about the The Fragile: Deviations 1:
The Fragile occupies a very interesting and intimate place in my heart. I was going through a turbulent time in my life when making it and revisiting it has become a form of therapy for me. As an experiment, I removed all the vocals from the record and found it became a truly changed experience that worked on a different yet compelling level. The Fragile: Deviations 1 represents Atticus and I embellishing the original record with a number of tracks from those sessions we didn’t use before. The result paints a complimentary but different picture we wanted to share.
You'll notice that we've made it this far into the post without me saying "Holy shit". Allow me to do so now: HOLY SHIT.
The Fragile is, in my estimation, the all-around greatest Nine Inch Nails album (yes, yes - Downward Spiral is a close second), and fans have long begged for some type of remastered reissue of that two CD set. Because Reznor has always seemed reluctant to revisit that album - thanks to the extremely dark period in which it was made - the likelihood of that always seemed remote. That he's retooled the album with Ross and will release it (exclusively) to vinyl is very exciting, indeed.
And what of the new Nine Inch Nails record? Apparently, Not The Actual Events is something of a companion piece to 2013's Hesitation Marks, was also worked on with Ross (who Reznor is now calling an "official bandmate") and will be released next week.
Here's what Reznor has to say about the five-song EP:
"It’s an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make. It’s an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story.”
So, there you have it, folks: Trent Reznor finally made good on his promise to deliver new Nine Inch Nails by the end of 2016, and he's accompanied it with a brand-new retooling of what may be the band's greatest record (personal note: yes, I picked up The Fragile: Deviations 1 despite not actually owning a turntable yet; I regret nothing). If you manage to get Nine Inch Nails' website to load - it currently appears to have crashed - you can pick up your own copies now. Get 'em while you can: it's a limited pressing, and once it's gone, it's gone.
Now. Who wants to buy me a record player?