On February 1st, Trent Reznor posted on his rarely used Twitter, “1st official day of work in the studio.” He didn’t elaborate about what he was working on, but the answer seems to be clear: A new website for a project called How to Destroy Angels popped up on the Internet today and the homepage features a photo of someone who looks unmistakably like Reznor’s wife, Mariqueen Maandig, the singer who used to perform in the band West Indian Girl. In the video that accompanies the new site, you can see a pair of female hands playing a snippet of a song that sounds distinctively NIN-ish, using an instrument that looks like it’d come from Reznor’s arsenal of electronic gear. While Rolling Stone couldn’t confirm Reznor or Mariqueen’s involvement at press time, everything points to this being the married couple’s first collaboration. What is certain: How to Destroy Angels will release a self-titled six-song EP this summer.
There is further evidence to suggest that this is a new Reznor project: “How to Destroy Angels” was the first 12″ single ever released by the experimental electronic band Coil, a group Reznor has said was as a huge influence. In fact, Coil’s Peter Christopherson, who performed on the track “How to Destroy Angels” with the late John Balance, has worked with Reznor on a handful of projects: He produced a pair of Reznor’s Lost Highway soundtrack songs, directed the “March of Pigs” video and the short film that accompanied Nine Inch Nails’ Broken and, with Coil, remixed a track for the Further Down the Spiral remix collection. (Christopherson is also a member of the pioneering experimental band Throbbing Gristle and the art collective Hipgnosis, who designed iconic album covers for bands like Pink Floyd.) It’s unclear, however, whether Christopherson is involved in this new project.
Expect plenty of updates soon: How to Destroy Angels have already set up Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and MySpace accounts, as well as a sign-up for e-mail alerts on their website.