Many industrial rock fans have been wondering when/if Trent Reznor was going to end his foray into film scoring and start up Nine Inch Nails again. (Although, let’s face it, the soundtracks for The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were pretty friggin’ awesome.) Reznor started dropping clues earlier this year that the band was ramping up again, presumably only for some live show dates.
But on the band’s Tumblr last week, Reznor admitted that he’d actually been working secretly on a new full length NIN album, and this week the band announced the album title (Hesitation Marks), a release date (Sept. 3), and a lead single (“Come Back Haunted”). For NIN fans, it seems dreams really do come true.
But not all the news is good from the Nine Inch Nails camp. Amid the buzz came a sour note this week, as guitarist Adrien Belew of King Crimson fame, who had recently joined the roster and whom Reznor credits as an inspiration for rebooting NIN in the first place, announced that he was leaving the act. Consequence of Sound reports that Belew broke the news Thursday night on his Facebook page (a post that has since been removed): “I greatly respect Trent and the music he makes. No one is at fault. We both agreed it just was not working.” The original statement has since been replaced with a more terse statement: “Concerning me being part of the 2013 Nine Inch Nails band: It didn’t work.”
So what’s going on with Nine Inch Nails? Granted, the band is no stranger to the revolving door, as Reznor himself is the only permanent member, and NIN is undoubtedly his brainchild. But many fans were applauding the addition of Belew and were looking forward to what he and Reznor would do together. It raises the question: why did such an apparently good collaboration end so suddenly? And perhaps just as importantly—who will replace Belew?
For now, at least, the bottom line is we will hear Adrien Belew on the new Nine Inch Nails album, but we won’t see him on tour. NIN has announced a set of tour dates worldwide in limited cities across the world between July and November. Meanwhile, the single “Come Back Haunted” is streaming on Soundcloud (embedded below) and you can download the single by pre-ordering the album from iTunes. See the band’s website for details.