Reznor, who is now sober and a father to two young boys, admitted that he went through one of his darkest periods of self-destruction when he toured the 1994 album ‘The Downward Spiral’ and the new Nine Inch Nails record is a reflection of his state of mind at the time.
Speaking to The Guardian, Reznor explained: “The ‘Downward Spiral’ felt like I had an unending bottomless pit of rage and self-loathing inside me and I had to somehow challenge something or I’d explode. I thought I could get through by putting everything into my music, standing in front of an audience and screaming emotions at them from my guts but after a while it didn’t sustain itself, and other things took over – drugs and alcohol.”
The frontman, says he turned to Bowie for advice at one point: “It reminds me, when I was in the throes of that [addiction] was when we toured with Bowie, and this was the Bowie that had come out the other side and was happily married. I was nearing the peak of my addiction, and his role to me was kind of mentor, big brother, friend, and also he’d give me kind of shamanish advice.”
Reznor claims forthcoming LP ‘Hesitation Marks’, which is out on September 3, documents his process of recovery and self-awareness. Reznor added: “I’m happy that I don’t feel that way any more. I’ve learned to recognise, a lot of it forced through the process of recovery, that I’m wired wrong in certain ways, the chemical balance of my brain is off in terms of depression a little bit. This record was written as the other side of that journey. The despair and loneliness and rage and isolation and the not-fitting-in aspect that still is in me, but I can express that in a way that feels more appropriate to who I am now. And often that rage is quieter.”
The new album, which is the follow-up to 2008’s ‘The Slip’, features guest appearances by bassist Pino Palladino, who regularly plays with The Who, and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Nine Inch Nails band will play London’s Scala on August 20 ahead of their performance at Reading and Leeds festivals the following week.