A week after finally confirming the release of the final installment of their current trilogy, Nine Inch Nails have returned with the record’s first single. On Thursday (May 17), the Ohio-founded band headed over to Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show for Apple Music to premiere “God Break Down the Door.” Listen to “God Break Down the Door” above.
During the premiere of the song, frontman Trent Reznor spoke (transcript provided by Nine Inch Nails’ management) to Lowe about how the song’s sound came to be.
“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 [to] 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.”
In the same sit down, Reznor also gave some insight on each of the trilogy’s album. He unveiled how the story evolved from Not the Actual Events and what Bad Witch’s place is among the three records.
“Let me drop some cryptic information on you. The idea of this three EP thing was all to 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 reflection on that question and defining how I feel in a world. I feel 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 [but] 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 [from] 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[ don’t] 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.”
“God Break Down the Door” will be featured on Bad Witch. The third installment of the band’s current trilogy is due out June 22. Bad Witch follows the release of 2016’s Not the Actual Event and 2017’s Add Violence.
In support of Bad Witch’s release, Nine Inch Nails announced plans last week to hit the road during the months September, October, November, and December. The “Cold and Black and Infinite” North American tour will kick off on Sept. 13 at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix and conclude three months later on Dec. 12 at the Palladium in Los Angeles. The complete list of tour dates can be found here.
The Jesus and Mary Chain will join Nine Inch Nails for the full tour run. Tickets for the shows will go on sale beginning this Saturday, May 19, at each of the venue’s box office.