Not The Actual Events
Not The Actual Events (also known as Halo 29) is the second proper EP from Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on December 23, 2016, though pre-orders through nin.com allowed for a download one day early. This EP acts as the first installment of a trilogy, preceding the 2017 release of Add Violence and the 2018 release of Bad Witch. This is the first release to include Atticus Ross as an official member of NIN.
In addition to a wide digital release, the EP was offered through nin.com in two other formats. One was a single-sided vinyl, and the other was a digital + "physical component for you to deal with" version. The physical component includes thick card stock papers containing song lyrics, various images and soot that will cover your hands upon opening. Many different unique variants have been reported. The EP was released on CD on November 17, 2017.
The warning sticker on the physical component's outer packaging reads:
To be read IN ITS ENTIRETY before opening. Actions have consequences! N.T.A.E. may contain subversive elements that produce feelings of euphoria and may be harmful and unsettling to the consumer. Likewise, this physical package may lead to unrealized expectations or unexpected results upon opening. Caution should be exercised with both. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT... This will make a mess. By opening this envelope in any way, you assume all risks to your person and/or property, and waive any claim against The Null Corporation, any of its subsidiaries or affiliated entities from any and all damages or harm you may incur.
Side B of the vinyl version features 3 additional, unlisted tracks from The Downward Spiral in reverse: "Hurt", "The Downward Spiral" and "Reptile". The vinyl also had a small amount of the black dust in its package, with smudges and fingerprints already on the sleeve and the record. There are also two variants of the lyric sheet, with one in blue and one in red. The vinyl comes with a digital download card.
A Wordpress website was discovered, seemingly originating from 2011, which shares lines and lyrical themes from the EP/LP trilogy; most notably the line "cocksucking chicken wing," which can be found amongst the extra, layered lyrics of "Branches/Bones" printed on the physical vinyl version release. It remains unclear how the two are connected, though it is generally agreed that the correlations are far too vast to be deemed coincidental.
The EP was first acknowledged by Trent Reznor on December 17, 2016 in a post on nin.com:
It's an unfriendly, fairly impenetrable record that we needed to make. It's an EP because that ended up being the proper length to tell that story.
In June 2017, it was announced that Not The Actual Events is the first in a trilogy of related EPs to be released 6-8 months apart. The second EP, Add Violence, was announced the following month. The third release, the now album-length Bad Witch, was announced in May 2018.
The official nin.com website description states:
PART ONE OF A THREE EP TRILOGY OF RECORDS. UNAPOLOGETIC, UNFRIENDLY, DENSE, LYRICALLY COMPLEX, SO-FAR-BEHIND-THE-TIMES-IT’S-AHEAD-OF-ITS-TIME, HIPSTER-REPELLING UNCOMPROMISING MUSIC SMART PEOPLE CAN FUCK TO. IT MAY NOT BE FOR YOU.
The EP's title, Not The Actual Events, is derived from the descrambled lyrics found within "Branches/Bones": Allowing myself to feel a sense of comfort in the past. Not the actual events but the way I choose to remember them and you.
The cover artwork is a direct reference to that of And All That Could Have Been and Still. The "scratch marks" that appear on the main cover are also present in the upper right hand corner of the Add Violence front cover and the Bad Witch back cover. There are seven known variants of the digital art, including the final version.
- Nine Inch Nails: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
- Mix: Alan Moulder and Atticus Ross
- Track 3 + Mariqueen Maandig
- Track 4 + Dave Grohl
- Track 5 + Dave Navarro
- Mastering: Tom Baker at Baker Mastering
- Engineering: Dustin Mosely, Jun Murakawa, Chris Richardson, Chris Holmes
- Art Direction: John Crawford
- Additional Design: Corey Holms
- Special Packaging: Jeff Anderson (Artist In Residence)
- Management: Silva Artist Management
All songs written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Published by Form And Texture (ASCAP)/Administered by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing
Published by Songs In The Key of Mink (BMI) Administered by Downtown DMP Songs (BMI)
All songs from Not The Actual Events have been played live except "The Idea Of You".