Earlier this week, Trent Reznor teased that he would make good on his promise to put out new Nine Inch Nails music before 2016 was up. Friday afternoon, the band's website confirmed Reznor's statement, announcing a five-song EP, Not the Actual Events, due out December 23rd.
"It's an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make," Reznor said in a statement. "It's an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story."
The Nine Inch Nails website claims that the release will sound "unrecognizable" from Reznor's recent film work with his frequent collaborator, Atticus Ross. The website also included Ross as an official Nine Inch Nails member.
The new material will be available digitally, on one-sided vinyl and as a "physical component." Although the band's website doesn't explain exactly what the "physical component" entails, the image looks like a black rectangle. The website offers this vague description: "The intention of this record is for it to exist in the physical world, just like you. Choosing this package gets you the digital files and we will ship the proper physical component to your house for you to deal with." The physical product is slated to ship the week of January 1st.
Nine Inch Nails also announced the release of the quadruple-vinyl set The Fragile: Deviations 1. The band's website says it is a "unique version of Nine Inch Nails' record ... created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross"; Ross was not associated with the original release. It contains 37 instrumental, alternate and unreleased songs, many of which reportedly have never been released elsewhere. The set will not be available on digital services and is due out in the spring of 2017.
"The Fragile occupies a very interesting and intimate place in my heart," Reznor said in a statement. "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."
Additionally, all of Nine Inch Nails' studio albums are getting re-released as "definitive editions" on vinyl. The first three releases are Broken, The Downward Spiral and The Fragile. They're set to ship in the spring with more to come next year.
"We want to present the catalog as it was intended to be, with no compromises," Reznor said. "That means a careful remastering of the audio from the original sources, a careful and 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 available at a reasonable price." Reznor collaborated with art director John Crawford on the releases.
The Broken 12-inch will come with a seven-inch containing "Suck" b/w "Physical"; it contains "remastered artwork and secrets included." Similarly, The Downward Spiral contains "remastered artwork and more." And The Fragile contains "lots of details attended to that you may never notice but we care about." All of the audio was remastered in 2016.
This year, Reznor and Ross juggled a number of projects in addition to the Nine Inch Nails releases. They worked on music for Juno, a film about NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter. They also scored Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary, Before the Flood and Peter Berg's upcoming film about the Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots Day, out in January.
"Working on a film can be pretty myopic, where you fall into a hole and think about nothing but that world while you're doing it," Reznor told Rolling Stone this week. "We've been globetrotting the end of our species at our doorstep [with Before the Flood] and we've been immersed in a pretty brutal recreation of a terrible terrorist attack. Taking on a couple of things at the same time has been beneficial in a way because you're always reacting to something. Working on these two films and Nine Inch Nails has provided some good checks and balances and makes them all more interesting. You can immerse yourself in a project knowing you'll be on the other side of the spectrum next week, depending on how well you can stay sane switching between jobs. For us, it's worked pretty good."
Not the Actual Events Track List:
2. "Dear World,"
3. "She's Gone Away"
4. "The Idea of You"
5. "Burning Bright (Field on Fire)"
The Fragile: Deviations 1 Track List:
1. "Somewhat Damaged" (Instrumental)
2. "The Day the World Went Away" (Instrumental)
3. "The Frail" (Alternative Version)
4. "The Wretched" (Instrumental)
1. "Missing Places
2. 'We're in This Together" (Instrumental)
3. "The Fragile" (Instrumental)
4. "Just Like You Imagined" (Alternative Version)
5. "The March" (Instrumental)
1. "Even Deeper" (Instrumental)
2. "Pilgrimage" (Alternate Version)
3. "One Way To Get There"
4. "No, You Don't" (Instrumental)
1. "La Mer" (Alternate Version)
2. "The Great Below" (Instrumental)
3. "Not What It Seems Like" (Instrumental)
4. "White Mask"
5. "The New Flesh" (Instrumental)
1. "The Way Is Out Through" (Alternate Version)
2. "Into The Void" (Instrumental)
3. "Where Is Everybody?" (Instrumental)
4. "The Mark Has Been Made" (Alternate Version)
1. "Was It Worth It?" (Instrumental)
2. "Please" (Instrumental)
3. "+Appendage" (Instrumental)
4. "Can I Stay Here?" (Instrumental)
5. "10 Miles High" (Instrumental)
2. "Starfuckers, Inc." (Instrumental)
3. "Complication" (Alternate Version)
4. "Claustrophobia Machine" (Raw)
5. "Last Heard From"
1. "I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally" (Instrumental)
2. "The Big Come Down" (Instrumental)
3. "Underneath It All" (Instrumental)
4. "Ripe With Decay" (Instrumental)