Htda Questions

From NinWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

The following Q&A is from the official How To Destroy Angels Facebook Page and Tumblr, and the AmA on Reddit



May 6 2010

HTDA: We're experimenting with Facebook's ability to host a Q&A type scenario here. If you have a question, post it here and we will check in from time to time (and MAY even answer some!)

Physical release

Luke Norton: are there any plans for a physical release of the single and/ or e.p.?

TR: yes for EP, no for single


Joel Sanderson: Are there plans for touring?

TR: This EP is the results of early collaboration. We were going to use all of 2010 to experiment and gestate but liked the early results and decided to share them. Next up is a full LP (tent. early 2011) and then MAYBE some degree of touring.

Differences between NIN and HTDA

Eliot Jenkins: TR: it's obvious that you've wanted to put nine inch nails on hold for a while and try some other things. so, for you, how is this different from nine inch nails (besides the obvious: a different vocalist, a more collaborative work, etc.)? what do you feel you can do now with this band that you couldn't do with nine inch nails?

TR: As stated above, this EP is a very early phase of this project. Yes, it sounds more NIN-ish than I believe it will as we progress. To me, HTDA frees me from some of the constraints I've begun to feel (primarily emotionally) in NIN. NIN is not dead and I am about to work on some material that I believe will be quite different than previous NIN very soon.

UK and international download

Joanne Greenwood: Any plans for a uk download of drowning

HTDA: A Drowning should be available on Amazon's UK site. The download will also be available on numerous other download sites, including iTunes worldwide, Zune, Napster, etc, in the coming days. It's been submitted, but exactly when it appears in these stores is out of our hands. Amazon US & UK were simply the first ones to add it.

Atticus Ross and Peter Christopherson

Alun Phillips: UK Tour?, Is Atticuss a band member or a collaborator? and How deep is the Coil connection ( Read somewhere that Peter Christopherson may be a member), is it just the name?

TR: The band at the moment is Mariqueen, Atticus and myself. Peter is an old friend and collaborator. I obviously ran the name choice by him first and we've discussed him contributing to the upcoming material in one form or another. Tour question answered above.

Teaser videos

Robert Duff: Are the earlier sample/teaser noises from the website going to be released or preserved in any way?

TR: this will become clear soon.

TR: whoa... what?

Melissa Salazar: Is the writing just as collaborative as the music? Please, tell us- just how seperate our we to consider NIN from How to Destroy Angels? Are you striving to make HDH have a musical identity of it's own? With it's own fan base? Own agenda? Own vision? Are you expecting (for lack of a better word) NIN fans to recieve HDH well? To appreciate and respect HDH while still loving NIN?

TR: whoa... what??

Kraftwerk and Coldplay

Jeff Davis: One of the synthlines in the teaser videos sounds similar to 'Computer Love' by Kraftwerk/'Talk' by Coldplay. Is this indicative of a cover, an homage, or was it unintentional?

TR: Yes to the Kraftwerk influence / nod but please don't remind me of the Coldplay abomination.

Swarmatron and Ghosts

Ollie Nedwell: Apparently there are only two 'Swarmatrons' in existence. It sounds excellent on the very first video you released (nice work Mariqueen, unless Trent got back into black nail varnish... ). I was wondering if you were given it as a present or whether you purchased one? Trent: Does the instrument feature on Ghosts 20 III by any chance?

TR: For those of you interested in the green thing Mariqueen is playing:
I bought this from Big City Music and it's been a pleasant surprise in terms of usability and sound. We didn't use it on Ghosts because I only learned of it's existence a few months ago. Next Ghosts, for sure.

May 7th 2010

Other single releases

Jaykub Muf Fin Birney: Hey, in the off-chance you read this, I got to say I love A Drowning to death. Great job :) Any plans to release any other songs/samples/possible video for the single before the EP? I seriously can't wait--any idea what month the EP will be released?

TR: more will be released before the whole thing. Friday is a cool day... EP in July

Physical release

Melissa Chambers McClellan: This question is for Mariqueen, Atticus and Trent, any or all to answer. I read that there would indeed be a physical release for "How To Destroy Angels," but I'm curious as to if there will be any type of Deluxe Packaging, perhaps even along the lines of NIN's "Ghosts?" I for one know that I would love to have such a thing, as I'm sure that many already-made-fans would also be interested. Thanks, Luke

TR: No Deluxe packaging for the EP, but certainly for the full length record next year.

Diddy blog

Brian Hughes: How do you feel about After seeing that 25% of my IRA had evaporated overnight seeing this pretty much sealed it as a shitty day.

TR: I haven't actually experienced the "Diddy blog" but just putting those two words together leads me to think I'm not missing much.

Rob Sheridan

Doug Mroz: Are you and Rob Sheridan still working together?

TR: Yes of course. He's art directing HTDA as well as working on a few other items with me at the moment.

Remixing and multitracks

Paul Scott: Will multi-track audio be made available for fans to remix, like with NIN?

TR: You know, I haven't really thought about that. Yes probably. I'd like to build out the HTDA site a bit to accommodate it directly rather than piggyback it into, but (thinking as I'm writing) fuck it maybe I'll put the multitracks up there in the meantime. Thanks for bringing that up.

Year Zero TV

Zep Ilyas: Hey Trent, are you still planning on doing a live action adaptation of Year Zero or are you planning a sequel to Year Zero?

TR: I'm still getting used to the incredibly slow pace that television works, but for now just let me say YZ is very much alive. Can't say any more yet. The fate of the musical sequel / conclusion / coda to YZ is somewhat dependent on how things play out with the series as well as the how the tone of the new material I have earmarked for NIN develops. Did that make any sense?


Mollie Echeverria: I dig the Cranes-y juxtaposition of female vocals and noisy music. Can we expect a dream pop/shoegaze/ethereal sound for the EP? Alternately, since I noticed Gang of Four and Cabaret Voltaire listed as influences on your Myspace page, will there be a current of funkiness? Finally, there's a piece called "A Drowning" in Tuxedomoon's Ghost Sonata; was this in any way an influence (or just coincidental)?

TR: A Drowning is fairly unlike the rest of the EP. The rest of it gets noisier. Early to mid-period Cabaret Voltaire is a big influence, as is GO4, as is P.i.L. and the like. I'm aware of Tuxedomoon but never listened to them.

May 11 2010


Daniel Dunderfelt: Who is the main lyrics writer in this project? Also, Mariqueen, you sound amazing. Your voice is just so perfect for Trent's music! Sorry if this sounds like asskissing, but I really mean it. A Drowning is amazing.

MR: nobody has strict rules as to their role in the band, but the majority of the lyrical content falls on me. ps - thanks :)

May 12 2010


Serena Pegues: My question is for Trent. I am 7 months sober and a dancer., I've been dancing since i was a baby. Ever since I got sober, I am finding it hard to create/choreograph. Did you experience a lapse in creativity when you got sober? How did u move past it?

TR: For me personally, I waited a while to feel somewhat human and then found creating to be much easier and natural. Drugs hindered me much more than they ever helped creatively.

May 20 2010

The Space In Between Video

TR: Lots have been asking about the video for The Space In Between. Here's some details. The concept was conceived by the band as the song was being written. Rupert Sanders (who happens to be Atticus' brother-in-law) showed interest and embellished the concept into what you see now. Laurie Boccaccio went the extra mile pulling this together producing. Greig Fraser was the DP and we shot on 35mm using anamorphic lenses. Visual effects were done by The Mill LA. Full credits here:

The mysterious woman on the phone is Molly McDowell.

June 2 2010

Fur-Lined drums

Karlzt Michael: why are the drums in "Fur-Lined" recycled from "Only?"

TR: They aren't. I think I used the same "vintage" drum machine (SC Drumtraks - I think) so the sounds could be similar / the same.

Download sales

Marcus Proctor: What was the ratio of people initially downloading the EP that actually paid you a few bucks, compared to the fans who downloaded the free verson? Just wondering due to the poor performance of the Niggy Tardust release.

TR: Not sure yet, but we were really just trying to cover bandwidth expense with the 2$. Over 100K downloads on the first day - better than we expected.

Limited Edition T Shirt

Marcus Proctor: Secondly, did the Limited Edition sell out so quickly because there was no limit to the ammount you could buy, meaning someone (scalper) has relisted 10, 15, 100, etc shirts on Ebay?

TR: We didn't really think that through, but I'll check and see if something was put in place to prevent that. I don't THINK that happened and will make sure we have something in place for the next limited event.


Marcus ProctorThanks for the EP guys, sounds great, alot of my favorite TR and Atticus studio style matched perfectly with Mariqueens haunting, yet incredible vox.

TR: Thanks - we had fun doing this.

Favourite track

James 'Churchy' Churchill A question for all of you: What is your favourite track on the EP and which one was the most enjoyable to create?

TR: I think most of us enjoyed working on The Believers from start to finish and that was a band fave for a while. Fur-Lined was difficult to get to the right place and we almost left it off the EP. Glad now we included it.

Tour dates

Timothy Sharp: I'm shore you have been ask already but I'll throw it out there When can we expect tour dates? Will you be doing the states first or last? Much less will you be touring world wide or just the states or is it both?

TR: I am currently finishing an unrelated project, then we're going to finish a full-length record over the course of this year. We are discussing touring and would like to on a limited basis but this will not happen until the full-length comes out.

June 23 2010

FLAC quality

George Kalamaras: Ghosts was released in 24bit 96000hz. How come this time around we're not getting the full experience?

HTDA: We recorded this at 24bit 48k because we're currently subscribing to the belief that it actually sounds better than 96k. Hence, no reason for larger files to be distributed.


Following the success of How To Destroy Angels' FaceBook Q&A, a tumblr page was created for the same concept.

June 3 2010

Full length album

armandolara:Are you planning on releasing a full LP? If so, when can we expect it?

TR: We are working on a full-length release now. We hope to have it released Q1 2011.


nothingxs: What was the inspiration behind the EP? Was there some sort of specific sound you were trying to capture, or was it a more natural "build and see how it goes" affair?

TR: As I mentioned elsewhere, this EP is an artifact of the very first experiments we tried together. We were going to wait until we had a large batch of songs and then distill things down from there, but we liked this first collection and decided to release them. I would expect the next release to sound a bit more focused as we discover more about our combined chemistry.


antidoto:When are you planning to tour?

TR: No immediate plans for touring. We’re focusing on the new full-length record and then we’ll consider.

Alan Moulder

poly915Is Alan Moulder still the king of the universe?

TR: Of course he is!

Doom 4

shagg187:An off-topic question for Trent: Whats going on with id software and you? Are you working on Doom 4 or was it just a false rumor?

TR: I haven’t been contacted by them and find it unlikely that I would have time at this point.

The Believers sfx

lookoverthere12346:How did you make those atari-like synth sounds in The Believers?

TR: That was actually the iPhone app “Bebot” played by Mariqueen and then fed into a tape echo to add bends and warble.

Massive Attack

steelknight:Hi from Spain!! While listening to your new work I thought sometimes it sounded a bit like Massive Attack. Maybe it's Mariqueen's voice or... is there an influence from this UK band? What do you think of them? Hope to see and listen to you in Madrid, we are waiting with our arms open!!

TR: All of us really like Massive Attack and certainly they were an influence.

Musical equipment

reconnection:What was the most used piece of gear on the EP?

Thank you for the new music, it is fantastic.

HTDA:We kind of decided to use only drum machines / programmed drums leaning towards analog sounds as a starting point. From there I think we only used real analog synths as opposed to virtual ones. Lots of Arp Odyssey, Korg MS-20, Moog Voyager and lots of modular. More exotic instruments we used a lot were the Swarmatron
and a prototype of the Rozzbox Oddulator.

Physical EP

24airic:Should I be preordering the physical EP from Amazon, or will you be selling it directly from your site?

TR: The physical EP will not be sold on our site. If you are interested in one, I highly recommend buying it from your local independent record store (if there is one).


adamrhodes:That fucking Rozzbox. Ive been trying to get my hands on one for ages. Fancy convincing the guy who made them to sell me one? ;) I jest ... But srsly.

TR: Email him -that’s what I did. I don’t think he’s going to put them in production but they sound AMAZING.

"Wired" iPad app

redlamp:I'd love to know what your thoughts and experience was like with the Wired iPad feature. It was great to get such a sensory glimpse into the creative process. TR has been very forward thinking about the music industry and distribution, do you think there is some carry over or lessons for print?

TR: The Wired iPad feature is substantially trimmed down in scale (content and features) from what I’d hoped, but I’m glad we had the opportunity to be involved. Bryan Gardiner is a cool guy.

Obscure instruments

adamrhodes:Where do you find these obscure instruments? Like the Oddulator and Swarmatron...

TR: Here’s two excellent places I get a lot of gear from:

June 4th 2010


auramineo:Were all of your lyrics a collaborative effort? If not which songs did Mariqueen write?

MMR: seeing as how trent is a veteran & atticus is a fancy englishman, i would consult with the boys from time to time to see if they liked what i had come up with. lucky for me, they did.

With Teeth recycling?

auramineo:Some guy on was blurbing about how you guys used samples from With Teeth multiple times in the new EP. I just don't hear it...

Am I crazy, or is he crazy?

MMR: there are no recycled samples on HTDA’s ep.

Vocal recording

nheagy:In the Wired article Mariqueen is standing in the control room. Do you really record vocals in there, or was that just posed for the photo?

MMR: all of the vocals were recorded there with the exception of “the believers”.

Hip Hop HTDA

needlezkane:I was really into that Saul Williams "Industrial Hip Hop" project from awhile back. Any chance HTDA will go into Hip Hop territory?

Like with Mariqueen singing the hook while someone raps a couple versus?

MMR: signs point to NO.

Mariqueen inspiration

lighannlaur:Mariqueen, I wondered what your earliest inspirations were and who is still inspiring you today? And also, was being a singer always your dream, or did you have another career in mind? Thanks!

MMR:i started singing after a friend introduced me to the musical “miss saigon”. she convinced me to watch a video of the making of it & i was instantly mesmerized. i purchased the cd of the original london cast & that was how i developed my voice & my desire to sing (mostly in the shower). to be honest, being a professional singer was never a dream of mine, wait, that’s a lie, in the 8th grade i wanted to do broadway but in high school i realized i didn’t enjoy musical theatre that much. professionally, i wanted to be a buyer/stylist/personal shopper but after a couple of years at a fashion institute, i became very uninspired & lost. i stumbled into singing a year later & used the opportunity to overcome my severe stage fright. ta-da.

Working as a team

erockparty:Q for Mariqueen: How is working with the production team of Trent, Atticus Ross, and Alan Moulder?

MMR: intimidating at first, then surprisingly easy, which led up to being quite heavenly.

Bowel movements

runnie:does your poop stink? mine does.

MMR: i am a woman, we don’t poop.

Current top 5 bands

mhord:Also what's your top 5 on your ipod right now?

The Bloody Beetroots
How To Destroy Angels (obviusly)
Crystal Castles
Cynic Re-traced
Rusko OMG

MMR: the entrance band, gonjasufi, the horrors, vitalic & dusty springfield. oh & M83, i know that’s six, but i listen to “saturdays = youth” every day even though it may not be on my ipod.

June 9 2010

Zach de la Roch collaboration?

buzzcaner:I was lucky enough to go to RATM's "Ragefactor" on Sunday, are there any plans for any of the tracks Zach and Trent put together to be released? Are there likely to be any further collaborations with Zach de la Rocha in the future?

TR:No idea about that music coming out. Some of the stuff we did together turned out pretty cool but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a release.

I like Zach and think he’s a talented guy.

Drum Machine

privatestarfukers:hi , i'd like to know the name of the tube drum machine you used for this EP.



stih:Do you still use your minimoog(s), and do you have any tricks for keeping the damn thing in tune? TR: I really only use the Moog Voyager now. Sounds the same to me, much more flexible and STAYS IN TUNE!

Whole EP multitracks

jmacd263:Question for Trent, you released the multi tracks for A Drowning and The Space In Between, are there plans to release the rest of the ep. in multi track form? And if so will they be released prior to the physical release or included with it?

TR: Um… we will release the entire EP in multitrack form (for free) - not sure exactly when. Most likely before the physical release.

Trent's soundtrack work

theremoteviewer:Trent: Do you wish you were more recognized for your soundtrack work? Lost Highway and Natural Born Killers both feel very cohesive and natural as complete works.

TR: I’ll have some news in this arena very soon.

ID3 tagging

jameslucas:How To Destroy Angels EP makes the leap into ID3v2.4. Was there any debate behind the decision? I know NIN releases have always illustrated much consideration regarding compatibility issues, and I suspect the mentality in HTDA is no different.

TR: Truth be told, I didn’t personally tag them myself this time. I’m aware of incompatibility issues - sorry for the hassle.

Some bad dudes

rkeine: Atticus, why you so bad in "The Space in Between"?

And Mariqueen and Trent, why you so dead in "The Space in Between"? I think Mariqueen and Trent stronger Atticus and unknown girl.

TR: I’ve read your question five times and I still have no idea what you’re saying. I’m into it, though.

Touring. Again.

slowriot:Have you guys got any plans to tour as HTDA?

TR: This has been asked and answered several times, but we will likely do some form of touring in 2011 after a full length release. We’re working on the record and all having babies this year.

Atticus Ross

azreal677: Did Atticus Ross contribute to the EP?

TR: Let’s see - he’s in the band, co-wrote all the music, programmed it all, played some of it and co-produced. So yes!

Most profitable release

azreal677: When I want to make sure the artist gets the biggest share out of my album purchase, should I buy iTunes, Amazon or a physical release?

TR: Good question. Physical release.

June 10th 2010

Making sounds

nekto: guys wtf ? I try to make a sound but all the peoples around me tell me that its shit or even tell nothing (worst) . One question - what I need to do? shoot myself or what?

thank you

AR ; impossible to answer but a good question nonetheless. I’ve been smiling ever since I read it.

Voltage pictures lawsuits

fupadupa:What do you think about Voltage Pictures suing 5,000 torrent users for downloading The Hurt Locker?

AR; I think it’s pointless and stupid

Atticus' hometown

nrdarcy: Whereabouts in England is Atticus from? can't find anything about his early life online. PS. If you don't answer this I will fart on your balls.

AR; West London (Ladbroke grove)

12 Rounds

leonciorules:Trent, if I remember well you worked with Atticus and his band 12 Rounds on their third album a few years ago, and some of the songs from that unreleased album have been released on 12 Rounds' web and I think all of them are pretty awesome. Do you (or Atticus) know if that album will be fully released (or published) some day either digitally or physically (I would prefer this tbh)? I hope so. Thanks and congrats for the HTDA's ep, it's great.

AR; I doubt there will be a physical release but we’ll continue to put songs up (slowly, as you may have noticed)

RE: Some Bad Dudes

phiq:rkeine translation:

“Dear Atticus, why did you unexpectedly turn evil in the “The Space In Between” video clip? You murdered Trent and Mariqueen, who looked very deceased. I am unhappy about this because I am sure Trent and Mariqueen could, like, totally beat Atticus and that other girl in a fight.”

AR:; regardless of how a fight may turn out (and I wouldn’t be so quick with your assumption - the blonde is an excellent fighter) I have to point you toward a couple of clues; I am enjoying a cigarette and some tv ,two of my favorite pastimes, and the blonde is chatting on the phone. There isn’t a spot of blood on us. Trent and Mariqueen are covered in blood and both have a weapon either in hand or nearby. Draw your own conclusions.

Fuckable music

justinmay:On behalf of my girlfriend and I thank you for making great music to fuck to!

AR; you’re very welcome.

Tea bags

ellz815:Do you guys drink tea while writing/recording music? If you do, then can you tell me how I might be able to create the 'ultimate' cup of tea?

p.s. Love the EP, great job!

AR; I love to drink tea - my favorite is PG tips with milk and 2 sugars. If you’re feeling special you can add a bag of Earl grey.

June 16th 2010

Production influences

brainysod: This is a question for all of you. What would you say were your production influences? Like, if you could pick one album each where you think the production is incredible, what would it be?

TR: At this moment, I would probably say my favorite record of all time is Talking Heads Remain in Light. I mean that from a “favorite record” AND production standpoint. I’ve come back to that record endlessly since its release and it always sounds inspirational.

Cabaret Voltaire influence

sebastienperron: What song or album of Cabaret Voltaire influenced you the most?

TR: The Voice of America confused and terrified me when I first heard it. I particularly like The Crackdown and Code.


benjosblog: Spotify. Any thoughts on it, or plans to submit to the service?

TR: I’ve met with the Spotify guys and like them and the service. I wish the US would allow this to happen, but once again major labels continue pursuing every opportunity to NOT give the public what they want.

June 20 2010

HDA Tattoos

emiliewantstobeamasterchef: A friend of mine is a huge NIN fans and now LOVES HDA, he recently got a HDA tattoo on his leg. Considering you just released your first EP do you think this LAME? Or what DO you think guys?? I personally think band tats are a bit lame, but that's just my opinion.

MMR: what kind of tattoo did he get? hope it wasnt HDA since its actually HTDA… that would be a huge bummer.


lainieh: from a 43 yr old married woman.. silly question: will you ever sing duets together? something subtle maybe? hope so..:) ps.. since I'm in the same relative age group as TR it's interesting to witness maturing of musical direction over time. HDTA intrigues me from an artistic standpoint and the (fire) video was spot on. Thank you for this art. Mariqueen is beautiful too. Best.

MMR: if you are going by the standard definition of a duet then you’ll want to take a listen to “parasite”, “BBB” & “the believers”.


sourstone:Is autotune used in The Space in Between? I keep hearing this, but I'm not sure if it's true.

MMR: NO. we are all against autotune. all you hear is glorious reverb.

Mariqueen's NIN experience

jaboma: For Mariqueen, is music from the earlier work of Nine Inch Nails something you'd listen to considering your musical background from West Indian Girl. Just curious if you and Trent clash musically.

MMR: i owned “pretty hate machine”, “the fragile” & “year zero”. the fact that i was in west indian girl always puzzled my friends since they never saw it as a musical fit to my taste. i was never a big part in the creative process with WIG so now that ive started doing HTDA its very refreshing to be working with people that are aesthetically on the same level.

Trent giving lead vocals

inkua: Is Trent Reznor going to sing only in back vocal? Great EP, but I'd like to hear Trent's voice more often =)

MMR: you might want to check out this band called NIN. i think he sings all the vocals for that project.  : )

Toilet cleaning

stih: Do you need someone to clean toilets in your studio? MMR: no, our toilets, much like the subjects that use them are majestic & spotless.

Sexy Rob Sheridan

rkeine: Mariqueen, Rob Sheridan is a sexy guy? I know, you are the wife of Trent Reznor - you are the best for Trent Reznor, but if Trent Reznor is don't to be created (is don't was born), you will be wife of Rob Sheridan? Oh, shit, this question looks like troll, I think. I don't now, my english is so bad (like Atticus). Just… just say: you thinking what Rob Sheridan is a sexy guy? And you thinking what Rob Sheridan looks like Elijah Wood? It's Frodo Baggins, you know. He's eyes… what a sexy eyes! Thus spoke my girlfriend. And thanks for Atticus and guy who re-asked my question about bad Atticus, and Trent who... I think, I've been got trolled by Trent, because guy who re-asked my question about bad Atticus fucking understand it!!! Thanks.

MMR: you are rad, please keep submitting to our tumblr, seriously.


HTDA launched an Ask me Anything on Reddit following the release of Welcome Oblivion on March 5th 2013.

March 5th, 2013

HTDA future and a NIN mashup

link343:Hi guys. I have a few questions: With the news of NIN coming back, is HTDA over or will it be an on-going project? Are there any plans for additional HTDA tour dates beyond the 13 up now? This mashup Like a Hole x Call Me Maybe) popped up on my twitter Timeline this morning. Thoughts?

[Mariqueen]: 1) HTDA is definitely not over. We'll continue to work on it as long as it's fun and rewarding to do so. 2) Quite possibly... 3) Honestly I haven't even heard it yet. But I'll make that priority #586 for today.

When are you coming to...?

Ret0x: Any chance of touring in Canada other than Toronto?

[Rob]: This is an answer to every "are you coming to city/country X" question: We don't know. With NIN tour plans falling into place, future HTDA tour dates are completely up in the air, and not something we are directly in control of right now. The HTDA production is a complicated one to move around, so we'll just have to see how this first run of dates goes and take it from there.

The underscore

minyan9: HTDA: who's idea was it to add the _ at the end of the name and will you ever adopt any other cool symbols for future releases?

[Trent]: That move was mine. I'd like to work my way up to an umlaut, but I wanted to ease into it.



[Rob]: There will be multitracks. We're just figuring out the best way to put them out there. What do you guys think? The record label has suggested using as a way to have an organized remix contest - thoughts on that site? We're not familiar with it. Other ideas?
pado_: Why not ? You managed to put Saul Williams, Jane's Addiction and Street Sweeper Social Club, does it have to do with the record label ?
[Rob]: The problem with is that it's tremendously out of date. We just haven't had a budget to modernize it, and it just doesn't feel like the best place for an HTDA contest right now. I really love what we started over there though, and hope we can revisit and modernize it.

Videos, visuals and taping policy

Bachy:Absolutely love the album and the music videos you've released for it thus far. Are you all planning on releasing any other videos for the album? Also, is it safe to say that the live performances you've currently got lined up will be as much of a visual experience as it will be musically (ala NIN LITS tour)?

[Mariqueen]: Thank you. We have a couple ideas kicking around for videos, we'll see if they come about or not. We've spent the last year working on the presentation of the live show, and we're excited for you to see it. It's very much unlike anything you've seen before.
russizm: What will the camera policy be at these shows? It was always awesome to see the show you just saw online the next day but also has the spoiler element to it. Should I go in blind?
[Rob]: Our intention is for an open camera policy, but we haven't dived into specifics with the venues yet, so I don't want to make any guarantees. In the case of this show, I think if you are able to see it in person you should go in blind. It's going to be a difficult thing to convey on video (although we'll try our best for the Coachella live stream). Also, regarding the comparison to NIN's Lights in the Sky: The HTDA show will be a very visual experience, and all of the creative team from Lights in the Sky is working on this. BUT, please do not go in expecting Lights in the Sky, because this is a very very different presentation from NIN. This is going to be more of a statement, more of an audio/visual installation than a rock concert. Probably a lot of people aren't going to "get" it, but hopefully they'll walk away saying "I'm not sure what the hell I just watched, but it was pretty cool."

Touring, talcum powder and diapers

anxdiety: A long time fan here, so thanks for doing this. I've got a few questions: Trent/Mariqueen: Will your children (Lazarus Echo and ????) be on the tour with you? How has being parents changed your perspective of touring and being on the road? Rob: How has things changed for yourself going from being in the shadows and behind the scenes to being a stage performer and direct influence on the music itself? General: Nine Inch Nails was renown for their live performances in the way of lighting and visuals. What can we expect with the live performances of HTDA? Any special surprises planned along the way? The new album is awesome (Strings and Attractors being my favourite thus far). I cannot wait to see you in Toronto in April.

[Trent]: We haven't toured yet, so I'm expecting there will be more diapers packed than usual.
[Rob]: So far it hasn't changed much, but doing the live shows is going to make it quite a bit different. I'll be running visuals live from the stage - having never done that before, I'll have to let you know after the first show how it is being a stage performer. I think it's going to be a blast though. Regarding the visual presentation of the live performances, this will be very different from NIN shows, but an extremely visual experience. We're thrilled to be working with Roy Bennett and Moment Factory again...
anxdiety: Talcum powder instead of the cornstarch is an awesome idea.
[Trent]: Actually, that's not an awesome idea. Douse yourself in it, run around screaming and sweating for a couple hours (preferably drunk) and see what happens. Stick with the Argo.

Busy life schedule

Ret0x: For Trent: You seem to be working a lot recently (HTDA, Movie scores, new NIN tour/album(?) coming up, family life). How is it juggling all of these things?

[Trent]: At this very moment it feels a bit overwhelming, as everything is converging at the same time. However, I enjoy the challenge.

Mastering anomaly

indecisean: On track 7 of "Welcome oblivion" ("Too Late, All Gone") there appears to be a mastering anomaly where part of the song plateaus on a lower audio spectrum. With some artists I'd assume this was a mistake in mastering, but with the parties involved in HTDA…………seemed maybe it was intentional? Can you tell us any more about that, please? P.S. Congrats on the release of the record! Really enjoying it (and have loved Rob's contributions/the Pitchfork premiere microsite).

[Trent]: Intentional. We mastered that song several times, and that one sounded the best to us, hence its inclusion on the record.

Writing, recording, performing

Darknight007: Just wanted to say that you all did an amazing job on the album I bought it this morning and I am just hooked! I'm hoping to see you guys at the fox theater in Pomona. My question is how was the writing and recording process on the album? Which songs were your favorite to write and which ones are you looking forward to perform?

[Mariqueen]: We spent a long time writing the record. For the most part I focused on lyrics and melodies, and Trent and Atticus developed the music, but that wasn't always the case. Favorite track to write? Ice Age was one I found very easy to write, but we had a hard time mixing it to get it right. And the track Welcome Oblivion sounds like it will be fun to perform live.

Themes, art and themes

scorpiusdiamond:There seems to be an underlying theme to the album, (like albums The Downward Spiral or Year Zero) was this an intention from the start, something that happened over time, or just a coincidence due to the mood surrounding the making of the album? Also thematically, was your interest in glitch art (like used in the album artwork and graphics) an influence on the music, or did it just seem appropriate for the music as it sounded when it finished?

[Mariqueen]: We started by experimenting with musical ideas to see what caught our interest. We ended up getting the most excited by old sequencers and analog gear. We as a group spent a lot of time talking about various ideas, and realized we all felt a sense of paranoia about the times we live in. The rate of information, and how everything has become less personal, the way people interact, the consequences of technology moving faster than we as a species can keep up with, and its impact on society. That sense of paranoia provided the backdrop for the subject matter of most of the songs, and it matched up perfectly with the music we were excited about.

Trent influencing Trent

brettrosey: Trent - How much has HTDA influenced the way you're planning on changing things up with NIN? What have you learned about yourself during the process of creating an album for a band other than NIN?

[Trent]: Working with David Fincher taught me a lot about collaboration, and HTDA allowed me to work in a band environment that I found very rewarding. I don't know that I was ever comfortable enough with myself earlier in my life to be able to open up and collaborate. Regarding NIN, what's interesting to me about re-assembling it is trying some new things out with a different type of lineup. We're not deep into NIN rehearsals yet, but the idea is exciting.

Rob Sheridan, band member

moonyj: I turn away for a second and Rob Sheridan is in the band. How did Rob go from NIN art director to joining the band? It's a pretty fuckin' cool transition if you ask me.

[Trent]: He's like that. Gotta keep your eye on that dude.

Don't mention NIN

thuh_dood_man: My question is for Mariqueen, Atticus, and Rob. Is it annoying that so many people are aksing about NIN in this AMA?...myself included. Do you feel that HTDA will ever rise out of the shadow of such a collasus?

[Rob]: It's not something that really annoys us - it's fairly inevitable. I do find it funny that the NIN fans who don't like HTDA equally cite that it either is too much like NIN or not enough like NIN. What's weird to me is that these people focus so much on the comparison one way or another, and aren't able to just judge HTDA on its own. Do you think it's not enough like NIN? That's why it's called something different. Do you think it's too much like NIN? The band is made up of Trent, two guys he's been working closely with for 10+ years, and his wife - of COURSE it's going to have similarities. How much it was or wasn't like NIN was never a goal or concern for us in creating HTDA. It's simply what we wanted it to be, and we're extremely proud of it.

Rob Sheridan, integral partner

sonicnurse: Trent- Rob has been your collaborator for more of your career than any other (so it seems) and has recently earned full fledged status in the band. Can you tell us more about how this collaboration came to be and how it has evolved? What is a typical workflow / brainstorming process between the two of you? Thanks for the sound + vision!

[Trent]: Rob has been an integral part of my creative world for years, and when HTDA was forming we thought it would be interesting to have him involved as an equal partner from inception so that a visual voice was present even before the music was being recorded. It's made for an interesting new form of collaboration and it's helped shaped the sound as much as anyone playing any instrument would.

12 Rounds

frothy_hero: This question is for Atticus. My Big Hero is one of my favorite albums...great stuff. Any plans for a new full length 12 Rounds album?

[Atticus]: Not right now... but you never know.


Aubron: Posed towards Trent: You've made clear that you've been disappointed with the "tip jar" method of music release. What hopes do you have for change in distribution models in the future? Streaming services like Spotify have proven to be great alternatives to piracy for consumers, but apparently far less profitable for artists. Anything you can share with us about Beats Electronics new music subscription service and how it will be different for consumers and artists?

[Trent]: Regarding Beats: Rob has been involved from the start on this project as well, and I will turn this answer over to him while I go pee.
[Rob]: The opportunity to work on the Beats Music service happened to come up at a time when Trent and I had, as music fans and consumers, been collectively identifying a lot of shortcomings with the existing (legal) music services. This has led us to create a service that considers everything from the perspective of what is best for the user's experience. Basically, we're designing what we wish a music service would be, and it's been an exciting challenge. We're also taking into consideration the needs of artists, and incorporating tools to help artists out in every way that we can while bolstering the artist-fan relationship. It's exciting enough that I find myself anxious for it to be finished so I can use it myself.

Sound City and music without instruments

minusxero: Trent: In the Sound City documentary, Dave Grohl describes you as being a musician that uses technology as a tool or instrument, rather than a crutch. Which musicians currently creating music today would you point out as doing the same? Who out there impresses you with their use of technology to create music?

[Trent]: I'm not sure if this answers your question or not, but... I don't really care if you can play an instrument or not. I don't think that's a mandatory skill required to make music that can connect with people. I do think computers have made it easy to make lazy music that sounds nice. I find a fair amount of what's championed today feels to me like it falls in that category - much more fashion than substance. There's also a lot of current music I think is great - and as someone pointed out below, The Knife is a good example.

Rob's vision for HTDA's art

pushingreality: Rob: I have consistently admired your art direction for NIN, and am completely enamored with the visual work you've done for HTDA thus far. The amount of detail and painstaking effort put into capturing photos processed through what looks like the craziest setup I've ever seen is inspiring; the results are fantastic. What inspired the vision for the album, and has it been a collaborative process on the visuals, or more your own direction?

[Rob]: Thanks. The visual direction of this album came about first from the concept of the record. Trying to express the anxiety of information overload, the end of mankind as both terrifying and transformative, apocalypse and evolution, etc. I was inspired by the way Trent and Atticus set up rules for themselves around the way they record music for each project, and the analog methods they were experimenting with for this record that tied into its themes. So I started looking for a visual analogy for that, and also a visual analogy for information overloading the pipeline it's being sent through - of signals unable to display coherently. It led me down the road of experimenting with analog cables and old CRT monitors and VHS decks. The result was a set of rules I came up with for creating the visuals. As much of a pain in the ass the process is sometimes, it's strangely freeing to work within constraints. Not only does it force a rigid visual consistency, it takes Photoshop out of the equation entirely (the CRT texture makes the images largely uneditable in post, besides color corrections). Sometimes there's something extremely daunting about a blank document in Photoshop, because you can go absolutely ANYWHERE with it. Setting up some limitations has proved really useful.

Touching Evil OST

ninjawpb: Atticus Ross : I really loved soundtrack for Touching Evil, any chance to leak it to us by mistake ? looks like this show is dead (even if i ripped and translated both us and french dubbed version, and also bought the only episode on dvd)

[Atticus]: That's a good idea. I'll hunt through the old drives.


sublimitlcc: Who's the best at SmashTV?

[Trent]: Of course, I am.
[Rob]: It's true. He's untouchable at the dual-stick shooters like that and Robotron.


Ciemnika: Trent and Atticus: What synths are you most using in "Welcome oblivion?" Any other cool equipment you're making use of in this LP?

[Atticus]: A wide variety. Trent got his Serge system just as we were beginning writing the record, which features heavily along with a consistently changing recipe of exotic modules, and a bedrock of the classics (ARP Odyssey, Moog Voyager, Korg MS-20, etc). Although the emphasis was on hardware, a number of soft synths were used alongside.

HTDA live footage

voidnz: Is there any plans to release some live footage online for those of us overseas and can't experience it?

[Mariqueen]: We are planning on being part of the Coachella webcast for this very reason. We have no details on this yet but check their site (or ours) for details closer to showtime.

The Fragile 5.1

Leutberg: The band: At first, thank you very much for a wonderful record, I really enjoyed it. Trent: Regarding the promised NIN The Fragile 5.1 reissue – is there any chance multitracks would be released (at least for some songs)? I know the record is heavily sonically layered, so the number of files would be pretty damn high…but that’s also the reason I’m asking – having the chance to hear that incredible mix deconstructed would be great. Thank you.

[Trent]: I see The Fragile 5.1 is the new Tapeworm... so the only appropriate answer I can give you is "soon."

Score work in HTDA live

nin3414: Trent/Atticus - are there any plans on incorporating some of the work from The Social Network/TGWTDT into HTDA's live set?

[Atticus]: No.

Musical shift towards ambient

paradox1216:Was the musical shift towards a more ambient sound on Welcome Oblivion a conscious decision or did it just happen completely naturally?

[Atticus]: It was a completely natural shift, somewhat informed by the discoveries and techniques we'd come across doing film scores.

Music Hack Day voicemails

soulsteelgray: For anyone: Did y'all ever get around to listening to some of the voicemails left on Daisy's Music Hack Day app? And if so, what was one of the more memorable voicemails that was left (hopefully memorable in a good way)? Myself, I am not ashamed to say that I'm picturing a fan breaking into sobs halfway through a voicemail, and that could be taken as good or bad...

[Rob]: Thanks for the reminder, I need to get those from Ian. I'm sure the results are horrific.


paul_guyet: Did anything originally intended for HTDA end up on one of the scores or vice versa? What, in particular?

[Atticus]: No, every project is specifically approached as its own entity. The leftovers from each project (and there are many) don't get re-used on the next.

HTDA artwork compilation?

Shnoorum: A quick question to Rob. I absolutely love the artwork. The album cover in my opinion is the best album cover ever. Sorry, enough ass kissing. I'm wondering if theres any plans on releasing a DVD with a compilation of videos, live footage, and artwork? Probably a bit early to ask but hell, no harm in asking. Thanks for your time

[Rob]: Thank you. It's too early to say, but I'd love to compile all the visual elements into something cohesive, especially when we have live tour footage to include. I'm thrilled with how many videos we've been able to pull off for this release, and hopefully there's more to come.

What does Rob do?

Ret0x: Rob: In the past you've been primarily the art and media guy on the projects. But now it seems you're performing on the album? Which instruments do you play?

[Rob]: Check our other answers for a bit more clarity on this, but my role in the collective is primarily visual, influencing the project in visual and conceptual and presentational ways. We're trying to expand the idea of what a "band" can be, make it more holistic and treat visual contributions as equally important. This will be much more clear in the live shows where I'll be running the visuals from on stage - but I'm capable of playing a synth part here and there, so I've done a bit of that as it pertains to executing the music in a performance setting (like in the Keep it together video).

Happy birthday, DBritann

DBritann:Hello. Thank you for releasing new music, especially on my birthday; which is today btw. Kudos to you all for the music and the videos. Trying my hardest to make it to the Chicago show. :) One question: Can I get a "Happy Birthday" from you all? :)

Happy birthday!

And finally...

no12345: Why did Trent announce a new NIN tour at the same time your new album is releasing if he is trying to not be a frontrunner of the band? Odd coincidence in my opinion. As millionaires, why did you sign up with a record label to promote your new album? Especially when Trent has had a history of being screwed over by said labels and managers. If it's really about the music and getting it out to as many people as possible, why not release it all for free? I understand if you want to make money. It makes sense to want money for your work. However, I don't buy the "get it to as many people as possible" excuse for signing up with a label. Again, especially when Trent conveniently places a spotlight on his former cash cow a few days before your band releases this new album. Good marketing, Gene Sim-, er, Trent Reznor. When can I get my NIN toothpaste? EDIT: Also, this one is for Trent. How did you manage to get back into the thought process of performing live when you had your farewell tour 3.5 years ago? Must have been hard to get back into the groove.

[Trent]: Sorry, the wifi on our yacht is having issues, we can't get your full question to load. Try sending me an email at

External Links

This page was last modified on 8 March 2013, at 23:15. This page has been accessed 104,836 times.