Bad Witch

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Halo 32: Bad Witch
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Alternate Cover

Bad Witch (also known as Halo 32) will be released on June 22, 2018 on Capitol Records. This album acts as the third installment of a trilogy, following the 2016 release of Not The Actual Events and the 2017 release of Add Violence. The album leaked on June 18, 2018.

Track List

  1. "Shit Mirror" – 3:06
  2. "Ahead Of Ourselves" – 3:30
  3. "Play The Goddamned Part" – 4:51
  4. "God Break Down The Door" – 4:14
  5. "I'm Not From This World" – 6:41
  6. "Over And Out" – 7:49


Like the two previous releases, Bad Witch will be available as a 12" vinyl, a digital download and as a CD. Despite the fact that Not The Actual Events and Add Violence were marketed as EPs, Bad Witch is marketed as an album. In a post on ETS, Trent Reznor explained the decision behind the format change by stating that "EPs show up with singles in Spotify and other streaming services = they get lost easier. EPs feel less important in today’s music-isn’t-as-important-as-it-once-was world. Why make it easier to ignore?"

An exclusive run (limited to 2400), off-white vinyl pressing was also offered through Merchbar as part of the #SpotifyFansFirst campaign.

A limited number of CD and vinyl copies pre-ordered through Australian retailer JB Hi-Fi came with a card autographed by Reznor and Atticus Ross.


Bad Witch was officially announced on May 10, 2018. The official website description states:


In an interview with Zane Lowe[1], Reznor somewhat explained the concept underlying each piece of the trilogy:

"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 from a personal angry self-destructive reflection on that question and defining how I feel in a world, that feels 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 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, that I’m in a situation that’s insane.

And with the third EP which has grown into an LP (Bad Witch). It was coming to one final look at that question from rejecting what EP number two says, and it wasn’t an easy answer… The entire system has a much more bleak and pessimistic outlook and I 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."

In another interview, Reznor explains the trilogy’s concept in detail:

"The first record, Not the Actual Events, was more of an internal fantasy of what if I lit a match to my life and just embraced burning the whole fucking thing down. You know? All of this is an illusion and I really should be dead or lying in a ditch somewhere. Who I really am is an addict that self-destructs. That’s my true nature and this is an illusion and some borrowed time. It wasn’t a pleasant thing, but it felt like, that’s a story to tell. And if felt like something I needed to internally process.

With the second one, Add Violence, the idea was, loosely, to zoom out, to be more global and to imply that maybe we’re all in a simulated reality. And that might introduce the concept of meaninglessness but also provide a safe container to explain why everything feels off.

By the time we got to the third one, we had an idea in mind but it felt … rehearsed. Predictable. In the end, what felt true was to say that we as a society and as a species are probably an accident, a mutation. Really what we are is fucking animals. And the illusion was enlightenment. The more we’ve connected with each other the dumber we’ve gotten and the more we decide we want to kill each other. We’re not some elevated transcendent beings, we’re bacteria in a jar. I wanted the art direction of Bad Witch to feel like shadows on a cave wall and we’re trying to figure out what it is and really there’s no nice, clean, safe scientific explanation. We’re just an accident. String theory and quantum physics is a fucking trick. And we’re not going to suddenly elevate ourselves into transcendent beings. We’re kidding ourselves. I know this will be an unsatisfying conclusion for some people. It isn’t what they want. They want it to be full matrix virtual reality, and this is the opposite of that, this is dirt and a broken computer chip and everything you believe in is really just bullshit."

On May 19, 2018, at "The Physical World" ticket presale, an exclusive listening station was made available for those in attendance. It gave fans the opportunity to hear the songs "Ahead Of Ourselves" and "Play The Goddamned Part" before the album's release.

LP Title

Unlike the two preceding EPs, the title of "Bad Witch" is not derived from a lyric sung or printed in the album’s digital or liner notes. A definitive explanation of the title is yet to be revealed.


Bad Witch back cover

The "scratch marks" seen in the Not The Actual Events and Add Violence cover artworks appear in a different form on the right border of the back cover of this album.

An alternate front cover was found, depicting different hues and contrasts on all five boxes, as well as a different hand and a different computer chip.

The computer chip, within the fifth box, appears to be an image of the Intel 4004 CPU.

External Links

Previous release - "Add Violence" Halo number: 32 Next release - "TBD"