Trent Reznor admits Nine Inch Nails’ lineup problems disrupted his plans for the band – but he believes the end result is all the better as a result.
He announced a “reinvented” version of the band at the beginning of the year, then unveiled a group of musicians including King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew and former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery.
Last month Avery bowed out, saying he was “overwhelmed” by NIN’s touring commitments. Belew announced his departure at the beginning of June, insisting there had been no fall-out but that “we both agreed it just was not working.”
Now Reznor tells KROQ: “It’s been disruptive.
“I started off with an idea of who would be in the band, and we started working that way. You can spend a lot of time, as I have done, projecting what it’s going to be like with this chemistry and this recipe – and in reality, it rarely is that.
“It turned out to be something different in the case of a couple of people in the band. It’s felt like a wrench in the works at times. But it’s made me rethink a lot, and where we’re ending up at is much truer to what Nine Inch Nails should be – and better, in the long run.”
He’s midway through rehearsals for NIN’s upcoming tour, which includes shows at the Leeds and Reading festivals in August. “The reality of what I’ve gotten myself into is starting to sink in,” he admits, before echoing Avery’s sentiments: “I’m a little overwhelmed.”
But he’s much happier collaborating with others these days, and the band is less of the one-man show it once was. “I’m a little more comfortable in my own skin,” he reflects. “I can be in a room with people who inspire me and intimidate me and hold my own.”
Reznor also explains why he didn’t tell anyone he’d written new album Hesitation Marks until it was complete. “I still owed Interscope a greatest-hits record and there was talk of doing a couple of new tracks for that,” he says.
“I started tinkering around with a couple of songs, and felt inspired by what was happening. A couple of songs led to a couple more, then it was, ‘Let’s make another album.’
“I chose not to announce that in case I didn’t want to release it – It was seizing the moment and running with the inspiration.”
Came Back Haunted was the first track to appear from Hesitation Marks, and Reznor has since shot a video with director David Lynch, set for release in the coming days. “It’s weird, oddly enough,” he deadpans. “It’s a bizarre thing – it’s not like any other video we’ve done, and that’s what we wanted.”
Hesitations Marks is released on September 2.
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