13 Aug

Nine Inch Nails. Year Zero. HBO.

Posted by Bryan White | Wednesday August 13, 2008 | News

Year Zero Coming To HBOI’ve never really been a fan of Nine Inch Nails. Something about it just doesn’t connect with me. I think the only album I ever liked was Pretty Hate Machine and it probably has something to do with managing to keep one foot in that late 80’s industrial sound characterized by common Waxtrax artists which I always had a thing for. However, I kept an eye on the Year Zero alternate reality game as it went down instead of taking part in it (because I just don’t have the time or the cognition to notice the details that push those games forward) and I will say this: Wow. THAT’S how you do an ARG. Leaked tracks left on thumb drives at concert venues, images in the music when viewed through an audio spectrometer, an actual live music event for those who took it all the way only to be raided by a SWAT team. That is some ambitious shit right there.

At some point I may need to give Year Zero a listen because I’m a sucker for a concept album. In spite of their mediocre rock posturing, an album that I take out every now and then is Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime because it’s a bad ass story and the music is pretty okay. Year Zero sounds like it follows suit with a story about a near future dystopia, the US under strict government lock down and a devastating war with Iran. Sounds like pure Cory Doctorow. The LA Times is reporting in an interview with Reznor that the concept album/fucking incredible alternate reality game, Year Zero has been pitched by Reznor to HBO to become a two season TV series”

I just pitched it to HBO two weeks ago in L.A. It went great. Ideally, we’re trying to get them to do a two-year limited series. I prefer that over a film. We would have a second ARG tying into the second album and ties into the series and they all happen together with a budget needed to pull that all off. There would be a tour down the road. The record completes the story, the ending that no one knows. I know what happens. I knew when I started it. And it’s not what people think.


  1. August 13, 2008 12:12 pm


    Hey, man, you beat me to the punch! I have a story about this coming later on today.

    YEAR ZERO is definitely a good album, the closest a whole album of theirs has gotten to the whole Pretty Hate Machine vibe in a long while (that’s probably my favorite album), although the more recent free album “The Slip” has a couple of tracks that come closer.

  2. August 13, 2008 1:18 pm


    Yeah… Year Zero was a great album. Tracks like Capitol G and The Good Soldier not only fit into the Year Zero story, but also make a profound political statement about modern times as well. Not bad for a guy who most people only know that the wanted to fuck them like an animal (which is a shame, because there are SO many better tracks on that album alone).

  3. August 13, 2008 1:31 pm

    Bryan White

    I thought that was the idea that Reznor was trying to convey with the album. Like, “This is where I think 8 years of Bush policy is going to get us.” So the entire album is a metaphor for our current social and political climate.

  4. August 14, 2008 2:16 am


    My Point was that you can fit them into either scenario, whether it’s the current political climate, or in the case of “The good soldier”, as a confused military man who doesn’t know why the fuck he’s there when the aliens arrive to give earth an ultimatum of “smarten the fuck up or we will destroy you” in the later song “The Warning”.

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