Nine Inch Nails have released the artwork for their upcoming album Hesitation Marks, ahead of the September 3 release date on Columbia Records. The album, to be offered digitally, on standard CD, deluxe CD and vinyl, will be displayed with four different covers, one per format.
The artist responsible for the mixed media forms replicated for the covers is Russell Mills, who also created the artwork for NIN’s The Downward Spiral, released in 1994. Along with the covers, Nine Inch Nails released an artist statement from Mills via their website. The statement dives into the meaning of the artwork and gives a glimpse into what the listener may expect from the musical content of the album as well. Read Mills’ statement below.
The artworks, (30 mixed media pieces) that I eventually produced towards uses in the Hesitation Marks releases, evolved out of lengthy exchanges between myself and Trent and in response to the conceptual ideas that thread through the tracks and to the sonic territory that the album explores. I’ve tried to lock into the album’s prevailing mood and echo the album’s essence. The ideas are not communicated in a literal or easily digested form, as this would be boring for me and would insult the intelligence of a potential audience. I’ve tried to make works that obliquely allude to the essence of the subject matter, to its emotional core.As with my self-initiated works – the paintings, assemblages, collages and multimedia installations – personal ideas and obsessions seep into these works. The organic, the natural, prevailing over or feeding into the industrial, the man made, is a common theme in my work generally and in this instance was particularly apt for the art required.The works explore ideas of catharsis, of being into dissolution into being, both on a personal and sociological level. They allude to ideas about chaos and order. They deal with ways of suggesting presence in absence. They are a cross between the forensic and a pathology of the personal in which only fragments remain, in which minimal clues can suggest events that may have occurred. They attempt to harness the chaos of a situation, of now, of the personal trauma, of the human condition, into a form that is coherent, a form that accommodates the mess without disguising it as something else. It attempts to capture the essence of these ideas by implication and exclusion. Beneath the form lies the uncertainty and ceaseless flux of the mess, of the chaos.An amalgam of the contextually-anchored and the process-driven, they are hopefully powerful, arresting, seductive, suggestive and resonant. I hope that they will invite multiple readings.