Nine Inch Nails Won't Tour This Year

By BLAIR R. FISCHER for Rolling Stone on July 21, 1999

Trent Reznor will wait for the right time to strike on the road

There's a tacit assumption among concert goers that when a band -- especially one known for its live show -- releases a new album, a tour is imminent. Nine Inch Nails will defy that notion, according to a source close the band. Even the astonishing hype surrounding "The Day the World Went Away," the just-released first single from The Fragile, and a greater hysteria surrounding the album's September release won't be enough to put Trent Reznor et al on the road this year.

"He put so much effort and energy into the album, why would [Reznor] wanna take thirty days to figure out what the tour is?" says the source, who adds that if and when NIN tours, they may begin abroad. "Nine Inch Nails do things their own way and they aren't going to sign up for [a tour] with the way things are [with massive expenses and little net pay] and come home and not have any money."

It's also possible Reznor may wait to gauge the world's reaction to new NIN material before he commits himself to a tour. "He wants to get people familiar with the record [before he goes out]," says the source. "It's not necessary for Nine Inch Nails to be on the road to have a hit album."

That's assuming NIN's new sound is able to generate ample exposure on radio and MTV, and with five years of downtime between the release of The Downward Spiral and now, there's been a change in musical climate from grunge and industrial to power-pop and rapcore. And considering The Fragile is a double-album, it may take several radio hits to prod consumers into buying it. "It's important for [NIN] to get additional exposure, since radio is not likely to jump on [them]," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief for Pollstar, a touring industry trade magazine. "The Day the World Went Away" will likely be the most added single on alternative radio this week, but whether the song can walk the walk is still unknown.

In the end, it's likely NIN will tour, but just not this year. Denver area booking agent Mark Norman says he "wasn't expecting [Nine Inch Nails] on the road until next year. They usually let it build for a bit."

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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