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Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor Discusses Electronic Musical Direction + Stage Show Presentation

Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Trent Reznor laid a big surprise on the music industry when he announced a new Nine Inch Nails album was in the works. ‘Hesitation Marks’ is coming out on Sept. 3, and to promote its release Reznor had an in-depth sit down with KROQ Los Angeles’ morning hosts Kevin & Bean in which he delved into the different musical direction for the upcoming disc.

The surprisingly melodic ‘Came Back Haunted’ surfaced several weeks back and it’s a song that signals a different creative avenue that was not traversed in his last effort ‘The Slip.’ “I think with this record, I didn’t go into it with an agenda of ‘it’s going to be this or that,’” said Reznor. “I sat down and from a very pure place went with what feels right and songs started coming out. Generally I would say the album is more electronic in nature. It’s more exciting to me than loud banging drums. ‘The Slip,’ the last record, was very much made to sound like it was in a garage with loud banging drums and what not.”

Even with the exit of bassist Eric Avery and guitarist Adrian Belew, Nine Inch Nails are scheduled to hit the road for festivals this summer and a full-on headlining trek this fall. Expect a video-driven aesthetic from Reznor, who cites the 2008 ‘Lights in the Sky’ tour as an inspiration for the visual look of the ‘Hesitation Marks’ dates.

“I’ve always enjoyed the idea of presenting the band in an interesting way and paying attention to the production and the stage design because I think it frames the music,” said Reznor. “And if you’re paying to come see a show I think you should be taken into a different place and it should be an experience that’s not just for your ears, but it envelops you.”

Reznor, who has never shied away from surreal images, says he and Rob Sheridan have enjoyed coming up with presentation ideas for both Nine Inch Nails and his other band How to Destroy Angels and they look forward to sharing the new-look stage show on tour this year. Listen to Reznor’s full interview with KROQ-FM here.

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