Nine Inch Nails will self-release Not the Actual Events, a new five- song EP, on December 23. NIN founder/visionary Trent Reznor and now official bandmate Atticus Ross are said to be taking an unexpected left turn from 2013’s Hesitation Marks as well as having created something that sounds unrecognizable from their current film work. “It’s an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make,” says Reznor. “It’s an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story.”
Not the Actual Events can be preordered on Nine Inch Nails’ redesigned website, www.nin.com. Fans can preorder two formats at the NIN store: 180-gram one-sided vinyl, and a unique limited digital and physical component version. The EP will be available on all digital platforms on December 23.
Additionally, a special limited vinyl edition of NIN’s classic 1999 album The Fragile is also available for pre-order in the NIN store. Created by Reznor and Ross, this four-disc, 150-minute version of The Fragile features 37 instrumental, alternate, and unreleased tracks, many of which have never been heard before. Note, however, that The Fragile: Deviations 1 will not be available on any digital services.
“The Fragile occupies a very interesting and intimate place in my heart,” explains Reznor. “I was going through a turbulent time in my life when making it, and revisiting it has become a form of therapy for me. As an experiment, I removed all the vocals from the record and found it became a truly changed experience that worked on a different yet compelling level. The Fragile: Deviations 1 represents Atticus and I embellishing the original record with a number of tracks from those sessions we didn’t use before. The result paints a complimentary but different picture we wanted to share.”
Reznor and NIN art director John Crawford have begun the meticulous process of creating “definitive editions” of all the major NIN releases on vinyl. The first three Definitive Editions — Broken, The Downward Spiral, and The Fragile — can now be preordered in the NIN store. Those who do so will receive a digital download of the remastered audio shortly, and the vinyl will ship in spring 2017. Those interested in obtaining upcoming reissues, which will be released later in 2017, can request to be notified when specific albums become available.
“We want to present the catalog as it was intended to be, with no compromises,” says Reznor. “That means a careful remastering of the audio from the original sources, a painstaking recreation of the artwork, pristine materials, some surprises, and an insane attention to detail that you probably won’t notice — but it matters to us. No extra bullshit and gimmicks — the ‘real’ records in their truest form.”
Oh, we’ll notice, alright. I spoke with Reznor about about mixing NIN music in hi-res and surround sound for Mobile Entertainment magazine back in 2002, and one of the interesting things he told me was, “The main problem I ran into with mixing in surround: What the hell do you do with the center channel?” Hmm, I may just have to dig out that entire interview for an archival post here at some point. And if I can secure another interview with Reznor in the near future to discuss his hi-res NIN plans for 2017 and beyond, I’ll bring it to you right here on HRAC.