Earlier this summer, Nine Inch Nails kicked off their humongous comeback tour in advance of releasing the band’s first record since 2008, Hesitation Marks, out September 3rd (and streaming now). They’ve already hit a handful of festivals — including headlining sets at Lollapalooza and Outside Lands — and this fall they’ll embark on an extensive North American tour. Any such trek is a major undertaking, and NIN and their crew had to prep for both the festival and arena stages they’d take this year. Now you can get an inside look at how it all came together with the premiere of Nine Inch Nails’ installment in Vevo’s Tour Exposed documentary series.
“My goal, if we’re playing a 70- or 90-minute set, is that it’s almost a film where it starts off one way and, not only musically but visually, evolves into something that keeps your attention, frames the music in a way that makes it feel like a journey from one place to another,” NIN mastermind Trent Reznor says, describing his goal for the band’s latest production, which includes all sorts of visuals, lights and moving parts. “It’s cool to give people an experience.”
The episode starts 18 days before the band’s first gig at the Fuji Rocks Festival in Tokyo, and touches on everything from the creation of the video content to the realization of NIN’s new stage set up from tiny models to how the band brought these songs to life: the musicians were expected to learn multiple parts on multiple instruments, sometimes playing two on the same song (drummer Ilan Rubin was even tasked with learning to play the cello).
There are a few hiccups along the way, and plenty of tension and stress, with Reznor expressing continued concern about certain visuals and aspects of the performance just two days before the Fuji Rocks gig. But in the end, of course it rocked. With Nine Inch Nails’ comeback tour far from over, watch out for future episodes of Vevo’s Tour Exposed series with NIN in the coming weeks and months.