Nine Inch Nails will release a new five-song collection, Add Violence, on Friday, July 21st.
Trent Reznor's outfit – which now includes longtime movie-scoring-collaborator Atticus Ross – also put out "Less Than," the EP's first track. The new single is an uptempo number that builds around a peppy synthesizer riff. As the song progresses, Reznor and Ross gradually obscure the cheerful synth melody with abrasive, gnarled guitar riffs. "Did you fix what was wrong with you?" Reznor wonders. "Are you less than?" The song ends mid-gallop without warning.
Add Violence is the second installment of the group's three-part EP series. The first portion, Not the Actual Events, came out last December. On Nine Inch Nails' website, Reznor called the release "an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make."
In a conversation with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio last year, Reznor also presented his new music as an antidote to current pop music. "Something that we have always felt strongly about is the role of what we call rock has been one that should feel untethered and filled with expression and uncompromised and at times challenging," Reznor said. "In general, it seems from my perspective, and I feel Atticus feels the same way, that most entertainment, particularly music is pretty boring. Certainly, rock is boring.
"A lot of what's blessed as 'the cool thing' feels pretty generic and also feels, a lot of it, like a desperate plea for commercial airplay and success," he continued. "That combined with just our own worldview and a kind of daydream I was having led to 'Let's make a record that feels challenging, and exciting to us ...' I wanted the music to sound kind of ugly and to sound unfriendly, not suck you in with a sexy hook."
No release date has been announced for Nine Inch Nails' third and final EP. The band has four live dates scheduled at festivals around the U.S. this summer. Speaking with Lowe on Thursday, Reznor said he hoped to tour more frequently in the future. "When I imagine myself on stage again with the new material we have to play," he explained, "it seemed like something that felt uncomfortable – and felt exciting."
Add Violence Track List
1. "Less Than"
2. "The Lovers"
3. "This Isn't the Place"
4. "Not Anymore"
5. "The Background World"
Nine Inch Nails Tour Dates
July 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
July 30 – New York, NY @ Panorama Festival
September 15 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
October 21 – Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Fest