The Nine Inch Nails frontman is no stranger to soundtrack work, composing for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and nabbing an Oscar for his work with Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for The Social Network. Reznor has reportedly written the video game’s theme song, an “aggressive sounding” rocker.
The game takes place during a new Cold War between the U.S. and China as an international villain toys with the two nations. “There is a lot of reservation and angst and sense of loss and regret and anger bubbling under the surface,” Reznor said of the music. “So it didn’t make sense to have a gung ho, patriotic-feeling kind of theme song. It has to feel weighty.”
Reznor has worked on video games in the past, such as Quake and Doom 3, but he holds a particular affinity for the Call of Duty franchise. “I have always looked to that franchise as the cutting edge of what seemingly unlimited budgets and full-on not cutting any corners can do in the current day and age,” he said.
Reznor also revealed to USA Today that the next record from How to Destroy Angels, his side project with his wife, Mariqueen Maandiq, and Ross, is finished, though the group is still making a few tweaks. “That became much more rhythmic and not any happier, but it really started to take on its own identity,” Reznor told Rolling Stone last year about the new How to Destroy Angels tunes. “We were influenced by early Cabaret Voltaire – it’s very deconstructed rhythmically and more textural. Mariqueen found her place – we used her in a quite interesting way, I think.”
He also noted that he’s working on new material for Nine Inch Nails, which would mark the first batch of new music from the group since 2008’s The Slip: “Right now, it’s in its gestation period,” he said.