Last week, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘ Nine Inch Nails announced their promised return with their third and final EP, Bad Witch, which releases on June 22. The band has released the first of six tracks, “God Break Down the Door”, which takes a bit of getting used to. Reznor had explained in a previous interview that the third EP’s delay was to avoid retread and allow the duo to reinvent themselves. This has proven to be true with “God Break Down the Door”, which mixes somber vocals with one of the heaviest NIN tracks in recent memory. Reznor channels the late David Bowie on the track, which also harkens back to one of his greatest musical accomplishments, “The Perfect Drug”. Check it out:
Bad Witch is now available for pre-order in all formats and limited exclusive merch bundles from https://nin.lnk.to/Music. The track listing is as follows:
1. Shit Mirror
2. Ahead of Ourselves
3. Play the Goddamned Part
4. God Break Down the Door
5. I’m Not From This World
6. Over and out
The album completes the trilogy that began with 2016’s Not The Actual Events and 2017’s ADD VIOLENCE.
CoS transcribes a brand new interview with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, in which Reznor discussed the song, and how it features a particularly unique vocal performance:
“We find if we don’t watch ourselves we tend to try to get some more comfortable with because it feels better. And from the sound of the drums to the kind of frantic drumbeat to looking around the studio and seeing the untouched baritone tenor and alto sax that are sitting there. They’re there because they remind me that I can’t play them as well as I used to be able to. For 20 years, I’ve been saying I’m going of really get my technique back because it would be fun to do. And there they sit taunting me in the corner. We pulled them out and we just started fucking around really, led with Atticus arranging. I was just kind of going, an hour performance kind of turned into this thing that felt like we hadn’t been there before and that started to reveal a whole different character. The space changed and then we felt motivated. When it came time to sing I was really just trying things out, just to see. I never had the courage to sing like that, I didn’t know I could sing.”
Reznor revealed more interesting tidbits about NIN’s upcoming material, including the trilogy’s evolution and Bad Witch’s place within it:
“Let me drop some cryptic information on you. The idea of this three EP thing was all too find truth in us figuring out who we are now and how we fit into the world. The first EP, Not the Actual Events, was meant to be a personal angry self-destructive of reflection on that question and defining how I feel in a world, it feels stranger, part of that’s aging. Part of that’s because the world is getting weirder. Finding your place in a world that looks different every day little bit changes and reacting to that in the first EP through anger and self-destruction and sitting alone setting a match to your life.
“The second EP, Add Violence, was meant to the same question. But looking for answers externally. Maybe it’s because of this and there’s comfort in that. Maybe there’s a reason things feel kind of crazy and it’s not that I’m insane that I’m in a situation that’s insane.
“There was the third EP which has grown into an LP (Bad Witch). It was coming to one final look at that question from rejecting what the number two says that it wasn’t an easy answer. It’s not it’s not we I can’t point at that as a formula and that’s what it was. And that the entire system has a much more bleak and pessimistic outlook and I want to say too much because it gives away kind of the what the thing is. But it wasn’t necessarily what we thought it was going to be when we started. I thought it was going to go more science fiction. I don’t really want to overwhelm you with cleverness and deep diving and part of that felt like an arms race and it also felt like a cop out.”