Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
Trent Reznor is a man on a mission in 2017. While Nine Inch Nails EP Not the Actual Events is already out and in fans’ rotations, Reznor is far from satisfied. In addition to the NIN project, Reznor confirms the band has two more “major” releases planned for 2017. Oh and he recently scored both Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on climate change documentary (never change Leo) Before the Flood, and Peter Berg’s new film about the Boston Marathon Bombing Patriot’s Day.
Nope, still not enough for Reznor. In a report from the New York Times, both he and collaborator (and now official NIN member) Atticus Ross composed over two hours of original music for renowned documentarian Ken Burns’ latest effort, The Vietnam War. The series, set to air on PBS in September, is a 10-part, 18-hour documentary on the horrific war that was a major and consequential turning point in America’s history.
When setting out to capture the horror and gravity of the war, Burns personally approached Reznor and Ross to set the tone for the documentary’s heavy subject matter, who were more than eager to lend their talents to the project.
“I don’t think he finished the sentence before I said ‘Yeah, we’re in,’” Reznor said in an interview with the Times.
The project was something of a creative escape for Reznor and Ross, who enjoyed the ability to switch back and forth between creative efforts without drowning in any of the less-than-cheery soundscapes.
“The tone of concern in Before the Flood led perfectly into the pure dread, evil and melancholy that we explored in Patriots Day, which also provided us the momentum to make the NIN record ugly and confrontational,” Reznor explained.
“We could go deeper in each pool knowing it wasn’t forever. We could take a break from the end of the world by going into a terrorist bombing, or take a break from that by making an ‘I want to kill myself album.’”
For The Vietnam War project, the duo used actually audio recordings of everything from “mortars, helicopters, people talking…” to use as the foundation for the music, as “rhythmic starting points.”
In addition to the original compositions, The Vietnam war will also feature reworked NIN songs and their scores from The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to round out the dreary and heavy soundtrack, along with original music from Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, along with songs of that era featuring The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and other.