Tuesday, 10/15/19

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote

Nine Inch Nails​ is in the running once again for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020. Fans can vote for nin here up to five times daily.
Tuesday, 10/08/19

Damon Lindelof on the music for The Watchmen on HBO

Paul Guyet got in touch, having finagled his way into a press seat at the New York Comic Con last week. Not only was the first episode debuted - with an opening that Guyet describes as "THE BEST pairing of Reznor and Ross' music with imagery that I have ever seen", but during the talkback and Q&A, an audience member asked about the score. Lindelof replied, and I'm quoting:

I have a rule about composers, that they're different from show to show...one of the things that I didn't know about Watchmen was what it was going to sound like and every time I imagined what it would sound like, it sounded like Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. So I called HBO and said "these guys have never done TV before but do you think we could take a shot at them?" and Francesca Orsi said "that is so weird, Trent and Atticus' manager called this morning and they were asking about Watchmen".

One of the first things Trent said was "so...are you doing the squid?" and I was like "oh this guy is all the way in". They wrote a lot of this music and sent it to Nikki (director of some of the episodes) and I before we started shooting. They said "we read the script and these are some of the things we were thinking". I'd say close to 80% of the music they wrote before we even shot is in the pilot. We were just trying to make stuff worthy of those guys, they're amazing.

Sounds like we have a lot to look forward to with this one, and with any luck, maybe we'll see an original score made available in the not-too-distant future. Thanks again, Paul!
Tuesday, 10/01/19

Oh, and one more thing.

"I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil."

- Doctor Loomis, Halloween, 1978

Sacred Bones Records quietly sent out an email to folks on their distribution list informing them of October releases centered around the John Carpenter, and quietly tucked away with the reminder that the deluxe edition soundtrack from last year's Halloween movie, posters, and a preorder for a Big Trouble in Little China vinyl was an announcement that they were selling all of their remaining stock for last year's vinyl release of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' version of the Halloween theme. Here's a link to purchase either the black or orange versions which, at this time, are both in stock.

Now, I'd likely wager that this is for the corrected version and not the accidental first release that included a WIP version of the theme. BUT, and this is a big but, if you were bummed that you missed this either time around, now is your chance to get this sucker on vinyl. The b-side is the original theme, BTW.

New music from Telefon Tel Aviv and Alessandro Cortini

Beeps. Boops. Stutters. Ethereal voices. Synths. Pulsating synths.


Last Friday saw the release of two new albums - the first being from Josh Eustis under the Telefon Tel Aviv banner called Dreams Are Not Enough. This is the first major follow-up to 2009's Immolate Yourself. This is a wonderful record that recalls everything I've always enjoyed about TTA, but also moves into new territory that I'd like to think was influenced by Josh's other band, The Black Queen. Check out a sample below and order the album here.

The second of our mentioned releases comes from Alessandro Cortini under his solo banner entitled Volume Massimo. The natural evolution of Cortini's sound post-SONOIO, this album has really reminded me of a mixture of Stranger Things influence with his signature Buchla sounds. Like much of his other solo work, it's been fun listening for new things and allowing myself to kind of drift away and fade into the music. Again, check out a sampling below and order the album here.

Saturday, 9/21/19

The Fragile is 20

Two decades ago, Nine Inch Nails followed The Downward Spiral with an ambitious work of art. The first single had no drums, the photography around the release abstract, and the famous NIN logo appeared cut in half on the album cover. Below are David Carson's original visuals for La Mer, The Great Below, and The Way Out Is Through, some of which were used for Nine Inch Nails' "Fragility" tour through Europe.

Wednesday, 9/18/19

If you can't find a Fragility guitar, make one yourself

DIY NIN Fragility GuitarA while ago, when Monoprice started selling $100 Les Paul knockoffs, I briefly considered putting several hundred dollars on an order of several of them, and then getting wraps made at any of a number of available guitar decal companies online, and turning them around for a profit on eBay - not being misleading about their origins, but also figuring I could easily double my buying price.

I'm not especially good at this capitalism thing though, because the whole thing felt kind of dirty, even though all I really wanted was to profit enough to cover the costs of my own knock-off Fragility guitar.

Over on Reddit, user N1I2N3, aka Liam O'Brien, felt this same struggle. Unable to locate an original Fragility guitar, or even high quality photos of them (Liam, I could have helped you out buddy), he set forth to build his own replica.

As in from scratch.

In this imgur gallery, Liam documented everything from the chainsaw cutting through an elm tree to the CNC machines shaping the slab into a body, a few false starts and lessons learned, all the way through to the finished product.

For as much as the original guitars go for these days, he might still have come out ahead in terms of dollars spent. Liam does not yet know how to play guitar, so we don't know how it sounds either, but it sure does look nice, and I bet it's got some heft to it, too.

Thursday, 9/12/19

Alternative Press does a 30 year retrospective on NIN

Normally I don't care for listicles - and this is a listicle, there's no doubt about that - but it gets a pass because it's written by Jason Pettigrew, who's been covering Nine Inch Nails a lot longer than we have. As with any of these, there's nothing new to read, but Pettigrew offers his perspective on the arc of Trent's career so far.
When it looked like every dude with bigger external hard drives and terrible haircuts was biting his moves, he pushed himself further, ending up—with creative foil Atticus Ross—as a go-to team to raise the bar for Hollywood soundtracks.

Read the full article for more of Jason's well-informed quips.
Wednesday, 9/11/19

Bad Witch vinyl for $11 on Amazon

At the time of this post, Bad Witch is available for $10.98 shipped if you're in the US.

Thursday, 8/29/19

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross nominated for a Country Music Award

The Country Music Awards announced this year's nominees, and in the "Musical Event of the Year" award(?), vying against the likes of Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and Brantley Gilbert, we of course find the longest running number one song in the charts, "Old Town Road" - credited alongside Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus are the three producers: YoungKio, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross.

Keep it coming, 2019.
Saturday, 8/24/19

Ashley O gets the remix treatment

Ashley O - On a RollAs weird as this year is, 2020's going to put 2019 to shame. But that doesn't mean 2019 isn't going to slow down any time soon, as evidenced by the quiet release of a remix EP for On a Roll (Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Apple Music, Beatport), featuring five clubby remixes by five different DJs. I can get behind the Londin vibes of the Wax Wings (Soundcloud, Instagram) version, and Junior Vasquez feels right at home doing the thing he's been doing for a very long time. KDA's mix is house music, Basic Tape are definitely French, and the DallasK mix is where I run out of enthusiasm. It's probably amazing playing through the Coked Out Casino Pool Club's sweet-ass system.

I think it's actually a pretty decent spread, from dance music veterans to dudes with less social media presence than I have. And if they're still releasing Ashley O stuff, maybe there's still a chance we'll hear "Flirt" (Hurt) one day.

Reznor and Ross to score Pixar's 'Soul'

We first got word of this from longtime Hotline reader Jim Penola - Disney's D23 Expo, a conference for their official fan club, is going on this weekend, and one of many announcements they've made is that they've got a new movie coming out next June, called "Soul. Quoting Carolyn Giardina's article in the Hollywood Reporter,
Music will play a big role in the film, and Soul will include original jazz music from Jon Batiste, and a score by Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network). It opens June 19.

There's not much more we know about the music, except that music is central to the plot of the film, and pretty much everyone involved is amazing. You know as soon as a trailer comes out that even has a hint of the original score, we'll post it here. Thanks to Amir R for sending this in as well!
Wednesday, 8/21/19

From the archives: nine inch nails spoken

There once was a website called NIN Collector, a vast collection of information about Nine Inch Nails releases, commercial and promotional. I'm sure there's a longform article about the birth, rise, and death of nincollector.com, but the legacy of the site lives on at nincatalog.com. At one point, the legendary nin collector sold off his expansive collection - this was a memorable moment for me, as I finally secured a promotional VHS copy of the Fragility 1.0 special, which ended up leading me to a digital betacam copy that we shared in 2013.

Around the same time, Echoing the Sound user hellospaceboy (aka LTamasfi on Twitter) put a bid in on another tape from the same collection. Like the Fragility 1.0 VHS, the only known images of this tape originated from the nin collector site, and I've never been able to track down whether or not the audio from this made its way onto any bootleg CDs of the day, because although a description existed, if the audio ever made it to the web, I certainly missed it.

Fast-forward to 2019. There's a message in my inbox from hellospaceboy with a Dropbox link and some background information. I immediately put on my headphones at work and tried to multitask through what turned out to be a 46 minute long interview recorded at an incredibly pivotal point for Nine Inch Nails. Trent speaks in detail about the circumstances around recording Broken.

"Pretty much everyone I played it for before it was completely done didn't like it, because it was too much, or the things they were expecting to hear in terms of melody or being able to hear what I'm saying weren't as readily apparent as it was on Pretty Hate Machine, and those are all conscious choices... Let's just make something that's irritating and is as ugly as I feel now."

Trent talks about recording individual tracks, between New Orleans, Lake Geneva Wisconsin, and eventually Los Angeles, and goes into some depth about individual songs, including why Suck and Physical appear on the EP. How the popularity of the first record could have affected process on "the new record," how the media portrays Nine Inch Nails as 'industrial' despite the music being 'a far cry from that', decries the handling of the AIDS crisis and other American current events and political trends, and eventually talks about the follow-up full-length album, The Downward Spiral, sharing a surprisingly prescient vision of what the album ended up being.

You can listen to the full interview on Soundcloud below:

And if you'd like a local copy, I guess we'll test out my new hosting by hosting a zip file with the interview on our own server. If I had done this at the height of our popularity, I would have gotten a terrible hosting bill the following month, but one of the benefits of our obsolescence is that if I'm lucky 40 people are going to hit that link. Thanks again to Laszlo for sharing this insightful document of the era.

Can't wait to see what shitty headline AlternativeNation pinch off to after digesting this one!
Sunday, 8/18/19

2019 so far, more or less

2019 is full of collaborations you weren't expecting. Mumford & Sons played Hurt with Tom Morello, and there are a bunch of videos on YouTube, several of them are vertical, and miss the opening. this one does not.

GQ did a story about the Black Mirror episode featuring Miley Cyrus as Ashley O, where they talk about an as-yet unreleased cover of Hurt, "Flirt", which someone needs to leak. Charlie.

The longest running single on Billboard's Hot 100 was built on music by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. Old Town Road ny Lil Nas X suprassed Despacito and One Sweet Day after 17 weeks of being number one on the charts, and is still fucking everywhere, which is wonderful.

In other unexpected news, The Perfect Drug and Happiness in Slavery were freshly uploaded to NIN's official Youtube, but only The Perfect Drug survived. Happiness in Slavery's NSFW video is still available on Vimeo, of course.

Trent inducted The Cure into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and gave a little speech about it.

PRG spoke with Paul Gurthrie about running lighting for Nine Inch Nails' recent tours. Hat tip to Sarah K for that one.

Fillow shared this following bit: Stringspace, a musician's collective hailing from Australia, posted posted a video of a live performance of We're In This Together, as arranged by Ollie Miller. You can watch it on YouTube.

On a related note, way back in 2015, Jo Quail recorded an all-cello cover of The Great Below, performed live in London, and no one even tweeted it at us. To be fair, there's a gap in updates on this very page between late 2014 and early 2017. Obsolescence is a tough pill to swallow! Thanks to StockAvuryah for posting it on ETS.

Alessandro Cortini singlehandedly created a market for secondhand four-track cassette recorders through interviews like the one he did with Reverb.com (now owned by Etsy, because sure). You can hear elements of Came Back Haunted and Hurt, as well as some Cortini's original works, as he demonstrates how he utilizes budget home-recording equipment in a live setting. Cheers to virushopper for the link!

There was a Marvel movie with a shirt you might have heard about, and here's a shot of the visual FX team behind that movie. If you're only just now learning about this, then you might not be the target market for the official NIN/Captain Marvel collaboration, but those shirts are still available.

Speaking of comics, former NIN art director Rob Sheridan (who likely needs no introduction to anyone here) has a comic on DC Vertigo called High Level, with the debut issue having been released in February, and the final issue of the first volume coming out before the end of the month, possibly the final Vertigo comic, full stop, as DC Comics recently annoucned the closure of the legendary imprint.

There was a lot more, but I've got a redeye to Minnesota tonight that I really should be planning for.

I borrowed liberally from the NIN Spotting thread on ETS for this little update.
Friday, 8/16/19

1999-2019. What's old is new again

Welcome back. Missed you, friend.

For various boring reasons, this website has been stagnating, and we've been picking up the slack via social media. During that time, the organizations that dominate social media embraced the worst of the internet. Free syndication between sites was shut down in favor of walled gardens, Facebook tracks you wherever you go, Twitter is cluttered with bots and idiots, and a lot of what I enjoyed about using "the internet" has been coöpted as a medium for selling you things you don't want or need.

It has been nearly a decade since I last overhauled this site, and it's been over two decades since I first shared an FTP password with strangers who were comfortable enough to edit a file named index.html, and although I'm pleased the news archive never catastrophically failed, some of the decoration around the edges was falling apart, and my early attempts at being mobile-friendly had definitely aged out.

So today, a more trim and updated experience launches. Some of the crust is cut, but there are some new features:

1) For the first time in a very long time, the home page has returned, serving as a gateway to other excellent fan-run sites, and as a kind of virtual "cover" for this site, balancing the more minimal look of the interior pages. Periodically, new artwork or photography will be featured on the cover of the Hotline - and it's more than just cycling out a background image. #staytuned

2) The NIN Hotline as Mobile App: If you're reading this on your phone, you may have noticed a button next to the address bar for adding this to your home screen. This site has been set up as a Progressive Web App, basically meaning the site can be run without a browser. Right now, that's basically it, but the plan is to enable notifications, so that you have the option to get pinged when an update gets posted. No promises though.

3) The archives are back. During a server migration at the previous web host, the hosting company accidentally deleted all our databases and all their backups, and that's why so much of the archives stopped working. I have my own backups (did I mention I've been doing this for 20 years?) so I've reactivated those, and you can reach them through the homepage now. Direct links to the previous NIN Hotline news archives are forthcoming - I'm still wrangling some UX challenges there, but didn't want to hold up the relaunch for that.

4) No more tracking pixels. That stuff used to be fun, but I can't justify impacting site speed just so Google or Facebook know that you like Nine Inch Nails. In a similar effort towards keeping things fast and not relying on third parties where possible, I've also completely done away with Javascript frameworks, and made an effort to build entirely on browser-native functionality. And if you want a VERY lightweight experience, our RSS feed has never gone away.

5) I did a shirt to celebrate, annnnnd to offset the cost of pre-ordering three years of hosting at Dreamhost). It's a throwback to one of my favorite aesthetic periods. Unlike previous shirts we've done through Teespring, this time we're using Cotton Bureau because CB uses ink and silkscreens, as opposed to direct-to-garment printing. DTG has come a long way, but it's still not as good as busting out the silkscreen. Just in time for jacket weather (in the northern hemisphere anyway), there are a few options: 100% cotton, or super comfy tri-blend, in both standard and junior cuts (men's and women's, if you are fluent in boomer speak), and, actually, a pullover hoodie too. This is a limited run, you have until the end of the month to place an order, and then that's it. They hooked us up with some pretty great pricing, too.

Hotline Image2019 NIN Hotline Shirt

To everyone who's been here throughout the years, thanks for sticking with us. To folks who only know us through social media - welcome to our corner of the independent web.
Thursday, 9/14/17

Nine Inch Nails Q+A session at Chicago record store Reckless Record tonight!

Nine Inch Nails posted to twitter and facebook that the band will appear for a Q&A session at Chicago record store Reckless Records tonight at 6pm.

The first 50 people to arrive will receive a copy of the Vietnam War Original Score 3xLP set, signed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. This is the first place in the world that you can get this album.

Space is limited but the event will be broadcasted live on Facebook at 6pm (central time) .

nin at reckless records