New Nine Inch Nails 'Not a Gentle Record,' Reveals Frontman Trent Reznor

Singer talks "sparse, minimal" upcoming album "Hesitation Marks," due out in early September.

Ultimate Guitar

Nine Inch Nails mainman Trent Reznor recently discussed the upcoming record "Hesitation Marks," describing it as somewhere in between the extremities when it comes to intensity.

"I don't think it's a gentle record," Reznor tells New York Times. "I do think it's more subversive in how it gets you. 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."

The music was mostly composed on the frontman's laptop, using it primarily as a drum machine. "It feels sparse, and it feels minimal," he explained. "It's hard for me to do that. I've realized over the years that if I have 100 tracks, I'll use 110 tracks. This was really about economy. It was just a weird puzzle of grooves."

Reznor also discussed his vocal dynamics on the record, describing them in a way as much more subtle. "It didn't dawn on me until I was almost done with the record that I don't really even raise my voice on this album that much," he added. "The mechanism of screaming choruses doesn't exist here. And that wasn't by design."

Due out on September 3, "Hesitation Marks" comes as the ninth record in the NIN opus. Featuring a set of four different covers, the effort was previously announced with a "Came Back Haunted" music video.

The group's previous album, "The Slip," dropped back in July 2008, landing at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart with over 98,000 units shipped in the US within the first week.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Reznor can do it any way he wants to, it'll never turn out a bad record. He's just got it.
    Thrice Capades
    Reznor could record himself clearing his sinuses with an Epi Pot and I'm pretty sure it'd still be better than half the crap music on the radio today. (that means i'm excited about this album)
    NIN is part of the crap music on the radio today...lel.
    Thrice Capades
    I really like how you used examples and logic to back up your argument. Reznor is a maestro of multiple instruments. He is a pioneer of production. And to even compare him to the likes of AWOLNATION, fun, and Imagine Dragons is to show your lack of credibility in this argument. You may now resume listening to Robin Thicke.
    If your opinion on music is contrary to Sam's, then you're usually on track. His track record includes calling Sabbath's 13 shit and Operation Mindcrime shit, while showing zealous love of Megadeth's latest album and fiercly defending it against any criticism voiced by the UG community.
    I don't really listen to radio, but I wasn't aware there were stadiums playing NIN. Anyways there's fun stuff in the charts. Always has been.
    There are gentle NIN records? Maybe Ghosts I-IV...
    The Fragile had some amazing contrasts between harsh and gentle. I'd love something along the lines of the latter.
    I enjoyed some of the fragile. it had some great moments. And also a bunch of filler. I he would have condensed it to one disk it would have been great
    I love the instrumental tracks on that album, though. Without those, it just would have been a poor man's Downward Spiral.
    Then it wouldn't have had that conceptual taste or it wouldn't carry out it's message entirely. Musicwise, I don't feel that The Fragile has fillers. Every song connects nicely and it wouldn't feel the same if you take out some songs out of the record. Some people may dislike songs like "Ripe (With Decay)"for instance; but the album starts off "Somewhat Damaged" and ends "Ripe". It carries a message.
    I agree, they're really not filler. They're just songs without vocals. Saying they're filler is kind of like saying half of Frank Zappa's catalogue is filler.
    So would I actually. But ignoring the specific songwriting, the general soundscape that Reznor made for the album (pretty consistent throughout) was great. I liked that under all the distortion it was all pretty stripped back and raw stuff compared to the layered and intricate Downward Spiral.
    Why do a goodbye tour if you're gonna release another album 3 years later ?
    he did a farewell tour cause he had a child and was planning on being done with NIN for a long time.
    PHM, broken (even though its only an ep), and TDS were all better the with teeth. Not saying with teeth was bad... but it was rather boring compared to his earlier work. Much like the slip. I'd rather see him get back to a lot more electronic and synths like with HTDA and came back haunted. And his older stuff preWT
    Gentle? Iv never heard a gentle NIN record, but if did im sure it would still be awesome.
    Just my opinion, but "With Teeth" is the best album yet and I'm hoping for one that sounds like that. Not one where he forces himself to scream to create an album like "The Downward Spiral."