New NIN Song Set For Release; Radio Preps For Heavy Airplay
The first release from the eagerly anticipated Nine Inch Nails
double-album, The Fragile, titled "The Day the World Went
Away," will hit stores July 20, and radio programmers are on
high alert to send it out over the airwaves.
In keeping with the cryptic vibe surrounding the album's
release, however, a spokesperson for Nine Inch Nails' Nothing
Records who requested anonymity shied away from calling the
song the album's first single.
"I'm not saying it is or it isn't," said the source, "I'm just saying
it will be released July 20." The source would also not confirm
when, or if, the song would be released for radio airplay.
"The Day the World Went Away"
will be accompanied by a second
version called "The Day the World
Went Away — Quiet Version"
and the B-side "Starfuckers Inc."
The 12-inch vinyl version of the
song will feature a remix from
Porter Ricks, a duo comprising
Thomas Koner and Andy Melwig
who use heavy bass loops,
repetitive keyboard patterns and
"Whenever you have an artist
[who] was such a force in a
musical movement like NIN were
in alternative rock, radio doesn't
ignore that," Jim Kerr,
alternative-radio editor for industry
trade magazine Radio & Records,
said. No matter what
programmers think of "The Day
the World Went Away," Kerr said,
it will be added to radio stations'
playlists across the country as
soon as it's released.
There is also no official word on
when the album, the band's first
in five years, will be released,
although it is expected to hit stores in September.
Pointing to the success of the recent radio hit "Scar Tissue"
(RealAudio excerpt) by funk-poppers the Red Hot Chili
Peppers, as an example of radio's embracing of career artists,
Kerr said if NIN return with a song as strong as their
career-launching 1989 hit "Head Like a Hole" (RealAudio
excerpt), "you will see the world fall at their feet."
Several program directors at taste-maker rock stations said
they expected their audiences to be primed for a new NIN
track. "Oedipus" of WBCN-FM in Boston said although he had
not yet heard the track, he predicted his audience would be
"very enthusiastic" when, or as the case may be, if, his station
began spinning it.
The official Nine Inch Nails website (www.nin.com) started
offering a sneak peek at the album Monday, when a 36-box
window appeared, leading to photos and musical snippets.
While many of the multicolored boxes do not guide visitors to
clues, a number of them link to abstract photos and to what
appear to be lyrics written on sheets of notebook paper. There
is also at least one musical track that sounds like an
endlessly looped portion of a song being finger-picked on a
A clip of new NIN music posted on the website two weeks ago
includes a haunting keyboard loop, which is later joined by
subtle clanging, while singer Trent Reznor whispers the words
"All I've undergone, I will keep on." It is unclear if the music is
from "The Day the World Went Away" or any song from the
Los Angeles rock station KROQ-FM said anticipation is high
for the new song. "Everyone's real excited about it," said a
programming source who requested anonymity. "Especially
since it's been shrouded in such secrecy."
Among the guests scheduled to appear on the new NIN record
are former King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew (who also lent
a hand on The Downward Spiral), Helmet guitarist Page
Hamilton, Ministry drummer Bill Rieflin, former Chic/Power
Station drummer Tony Thompson, keyboardist Mike Garson
(currently on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins) and producer
Steve Albini (Page & Plant, Nirvana), who has assisted in an
The album will be NIN's third studio album of all-new material
since the band's formation in 1988. As a vehicle for Reznor's
dark vision of a twisted, often aggressive meld of hard and
electronic rock in a pop structure, NIN have scored a number
of radio hits over the past decade with songs such as "The
Perfect Drug" and "Closer." Most of Reznor's songs are
imbued with a sense of self-loathing and a decidedly bleak
vision of the future.
Although it took a year for the NIN's 1989 debut, Pretty Hate
Machine, to climb the charts, by the time Reznor assembled a
band to back him on the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991, the
group had built a sizable and loyal following.
Nine Inch Nails haven't released an album since the
multiplatinum The Downward Spiral (1994).
Reznor has spent nearly two years in his New Orleans studio
working on The Fragile, according to an interview with the
reclusive singer in the current issue of Rolling Stone. He has
remained relatively quiet about the project, except for a vague
and mysterious advertising campaign and a few interviews.
In the article, Reznor was quoted as saying The Fragile is
"one of those records that doesn't jump out of the speakers."
The album is slated to contain more than two dozen songs,
including "The Day the World Went Away," its B-side and
"The Wretched," the latter two of which are said to sound like
typical Nine Inch Nails rockers, while others, such as "La Mer"
("The Sea") and "Into the Void," are described by Reznor as
"detours," Rolling Stone reported.
In addition to the two studio albums, NIN have also released
an EP, Broken (1992), and two remix collections: Fixed (1992)
and Further Down the Spiral (1995).
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman
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