Los Angeles electro-industrial band HEALTH revealed that they will be releasing a song they recorded with Nine Inch Nails this Thursday, May 6. Aside from their DISCO4+ remix album, it’s HEALTH’s first song of 2021, following their Cyberpunk 2077 contribution “Cyberpunk 18.104.22.168.”
They’ve released several collaborations over the past few years, including singles with artists like Soccer Mommy, Youth Code, 100 Gecs, JPEGMAFIA, Ghostmane, Xiu Xiu and a song they recorded with Full of Hell called “FULL OF HEALTH.” All of these were compiled last October as Disco4 :: Part 1. Due to the “Part 1” in the compilation’s name, it’s probable that the Nine Inch Nails collaboration will be the first single from an upcoming Part 2.
— HEALTH (@_HEALTH_) May 3, 2021
A teaser they posted for the Nine Inch Nails track identifies the song as “Isn’t Everyone.” The clip features some industrial-inspired field recordings of distant machines and perhaps some passing cars and roaring wind. In an interview Webworm’s David Farrier did with HEALTH frontman Jake Duzsik and bassist John Famiglietti, the band said that the song was built from the ground up in collaboration with Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor and multi-instrumentalist/producer Atticus Ross and should be listened to at a loud volume.
Duzsik also talked about their experience with the collaborations that went into Disco 4 :: Part 1, saying “It really gets you out of any pitfalls of repetition of your own work. You have less time to be precious about things, because you are working with someone else. When I write melodies, I have certain things that I tend towards. And if someone else brings in something I would not have thought to do, that gives me an idea of how to bring my style to it. So it’s very fun.”
They began recording the collaborations in 2017, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 lockdown hit that working with Nine Inch Nails became possible. Duzsik added, “And so part of the conversation the whole time is ‘it would be fucking amazing to do one of these with Nine Inch Nails.’ Which given the amount of demand for Trent and Atticus’ work as composers now — it’s crazy. And we’ve known them for quite some time, but it’s not like we’ve been in constant dialogue. And I just had this thought in the middle of the lockdown. We had enough experience with Trent in that he’s just an incredibly magnanimous, giving sort of person as far as our history of him and as a band.”
HEALTH had opened for Nine Inch Nails some years ago, which is when they met Reznor. They knew he was still extremely busy due to the success of his film scoring even though he couldn’t be touring last year, but they also figured that him being busy is the main reason the collaboration opportunity would be turned down. Reznor and Ross just won ‘Best Original Score‘ at the Oscars for their work on Pixar’s Soul. Following the win, Nine Inch Nails announced they’d be working on their own new material and supposedly started that last week.
“So we sent him a demo and we did it very purposefully, where we sent something that was very skeletal,” Duzsik continued. “Because if you sent mostly a done track, that is not a collaboration — you are asking someone to guest on it. And the thing that ended up being really remarkable on it was we have done a lot of these collaborations now, and there can be a fair amount of awkwardness and not knowing —getting comfortable with your bandmates takes time— so you never know what it’s going to be like. But Atticus and Trent put in more effort and more time — we did conference calls! They take everything they do very seriously so it was very deliberate, with a lot of attention to detail.”
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat