When Trent Reznor put nine inch nails [cq] on hiatus in early 2009, it sounded like it would be for the long haul.
But a relatively short four years later the group has been reactivated, with a hot new album, "Hesitation Marks" -- which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 -- and a new touring lineup that Reznor has taken back out on the road.
"I think I have something to say that feel unique to who I am right now, and that's when it tells me to try to do something," says Reznor, 48, who formed the industrial rock outfit during 1988 in Cleveland and gained fame with multi-platinum albums such as "Pretty Hate Machine," "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile." "I thought for awhile to maybe do it under a different name or just under my own name.
"I think at the moment it's going to live in the nine inch nails column for a few reasons. I kind of enjoy the challenge of moving that kind of brand forward, that identity, shaping it to who I am now instead of who I was a few years ago when I last left off."
The interim has been eventful for Reznor, of course, He won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his film score to 2010's "The Social Network," followed by the American version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Reznor also formed another band, How To Destroy Angels, with his wife, former West Indian Girl singer Mariqueen Maandig and soundtrack partner Atticus Ross. The "Dragon Tattoo" project, Reznor acknowledges, also helped rekindle his desire to return to nine inch nails.
"Yeah, 'Dragon Tattoo' felt familiar, thematically, with stuff I'd done with nine inch nails in terms of dread and tension and unpleasantness and things going on under the surface and mystery and darkness," he says. "The character (of Lisbeth Salander), there's a vulnerability that's involved there. It's not apparent at first. She's hard as nails, but some humanity starts to crack through a little bit.
"So we tried weaving elements of beauty into some of these (musical) landscapes, like I've done on a lot of (nine inch nails) records. It was an interesting challenge."
nine inch nails and Explosions in the Sky perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $42.50-$99. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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