Add Violence (also known as Halo 31) is the third proper EP from Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on July 21, 2017, though pre-orders through nin.com allowed for a download two days early. This EP acts as the second installment of a trilogy, following the 2016 release of Not The Actual Events, and preceding the 2018 release of Bad Witch.
Akin to the first EP, Add Violence is available as a CD, a 12" vinyl and a physical component. It had a wide digital release on July 21, 2017, under Trent Reznor's label The Null Corporation, and was followed by the release of a physical component the week of August 8 and a CD release on October 13. A 12" vinyl version followed on November 17. Physical versions were put out by Capitol Records.
Regarding the physical component, the official description reads:
PROPER USE OF THIS RECORDING REQUIRES IT TO EXIST IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD, AS REAL AS YOU ARE. CHOOSING THIS PACKAGE GETS YOU THE DIGITAL FILES AND WE WILL SHIP THE ACCOMPANYING PHYSICAL COMPONENT TO YOUR RESIDENCE WHICH MAY PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CLARITY. VERY LIMITED SUPPLIES AVAILABLE.
The EP was officially announced on July 13, 2017. Its first track, "Less Than", was released digitally on July 13, 2017, with an accompanying music video directed by Brook Linder. "This Isn't The Place" was made available on the official NIN YouTube channel on July 18, 2017.
As quoted in a press release on nin.com:
ADD VIOLENCE finds Nine Inch Nails becoming more accessible and impenetrable at the same time. The sonic palette expands significantly from Not The Actual Events, incorporating elements of beauty into the dark dissonance. The narrative arc linking the three records begins to emerge through the disassociated lyrics and the provocative and clue-filled cover artwork and accompanying physical component, available exclusively through the NIN.com store.
The official nin.com website description states (akin to Not The Actual Events): "PART TWO. THE VIEW WIDENS AND EVERYTHING IS IN QUESTION."
In 2020, a promotional CD from Capitol Records was put up for sale on eBay, containing instrumentals of all the songs on the EP. Individual promotional CD-Rs were also made for each of the five songs, containing instrumental and acapella versions. There were also data discs containing multitracks.
As with "Not The Actual Events", the title is derived from lyrics from the EP's first track. In this case, add a little violence from "Less Than".
Hidden Themes / Possible ARG
With the amount of clues hinted at and unmistakable lyrical correlations present throughout both EPs, Reznor stated the following in an interview posted online on July 26, 2017:
With the new EPs, I liked world-building, and writing music that can sit in that world. I was always the guy who desperately wanted the Dark Side of the Moon to line up with The Wizard of Oz. I wanted to believe somebody was so far out of their mind that they figured that out. Fuck, I got goose bumps just thinking about that possibility right now — the idea that someone could be thinking so hard about an album.
What the obsessives maybe don’t know is that if I were to explain everything to you, or just explicitly lay out what the new EP is about, you’d only be disappointed. You don’t really want to know. The experience of grappling with the thing is what makes it interesting, not the immediate gratification of going, "Oh, that’s what it means."
The curious "scratch marks" seen in the various iterations of the Not The Actual Events cover artwork also faintly appear in the upper right corner of the Add Violence cover, seemingly lining up to become an eventual bigger picture. It is worth noting that the digital edition cover artwork juxtaposed with the amazon.com commercial release bears subtle differences.
On July 17, 2017, Trent Reznor tweeted an image of the back cover with the accompanying text: "NINE INCH NAILS: ADD VIOLENCE - BACK COVER AVAILABLE 21 JULY REMEMBER WHEN RECORDS HAD BACK COVERS? NO? MAYBE THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT."
- Nine Inch Nails: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
- Written, arranged, produced, programmed and performed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
- Mix: Alan Moulder
- Mastering: Tom Baker at Baker Mastering
- Engineering: Jun Murakawa, Chris Richardson, Chris Holmes, Dustin Mosley, Geoff Neal
- Additional vocals on "Less Than": Sharlotte Gibson & Allison Iraheta
- Art Direction: John Crawford
- World Integration and Execution: 42 Entertainment
- Additional Concept Development: Church Lieu
- Additional Design: Corey Holms
- Legal: Zia Modabber for Katten Munchin Rosenman LLP, Ross Rosen for Ross B. Rosen & Associates, LLC
- Management: Silva Artist Management
- Booking: Marc Geiger for WME
- Business Management: William Harper and Michael Walsh for Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman
Thank you: Mariqueen Maandig Reznor, Claudia Sarne, Alex Lieu, Susan Bonds, Koji Egawa, Ruairi O'Flaherty, Ray Diaz, Steve Barnett, Michelle Jubelirer, Ashley Newton, Ambrosia Healy, Arjun Pulijal, Erin Cooney, Jim Chancellor, Ed Scott, Jim Pascoe, Corinne Schiavone, Michelle Weinberg
Published by Form and Texture (ASCAP) / Administered by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing, Songs In the Key of Mink (BMI) / Administered by Downtown DMP Songs
All songs from Add Violence have been played live except "Not Anymore".