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Thread: halo twenty eight. hesitation marks. 09.03.2013

  1. #7171
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    Hesitation Marks was never intended to be a direct sequel to The Downward Spiral. Its origin was Trent looking back with 2013 eyes at that album, reflecting on it and the person he was then. It's a follow-up of sorts... just not a 'part two'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninwiki
    "I felt very aware that it's 20 years later, and I'm still that guy. I know that guy, and I feel for him. I don't resent him, I don't miss him. But how would things feel on the other side of that now, in a much more stable life place, mentally and physically, and with a new family? The incentive has changed. It's not about, 'I'm going to kill myself if I don't get this out of my head.' But the excavation and the architecture behind it, the motivation behind it, is similar."
    "For some reason, when I started working more on Hesitation Marks, I started thinking back romantically about who I was when I was writing The Downward Spiral. I was looking back on who I was then and who I am now and how things have turned out, for better or worse. That was the air the new record was born in. I was looking at the other side of how I was not always honest about who I was in the '90s — and I knew I wasn't being honest — and if you sprinkle those negative feelings with some drugs and alcohol, it's usually not a recipe for success."

    In the self-interview included with the iTunes Deluxe Edition of Hesitation Marks, Reznor spoke of the intentional link that was made between the artwork of the two albums:


    "Now in terms of making that connection more literal to Downward Spiral, the choice of reaching out to Russell Mills, later in the process, to actually provide the artwork was certainly a conscious trail of breadcrumbs. The choice of using the same font — we were making the connection here."

  2. #7172
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    Follow-up/ redux/ second act - whatever. I don't feel a connection to the TDS at all.

    AND, I will preface that I had been on a NIN hiatus - so I wasn't rabidly consuming info about the album. I gave it a listen in 2014-2015 because I knew a new album had been released. I listened to it with mixed reviews...decided there were some songs I liked, some I didn't. And it certainly didn't feel cohesive to me.

    It wasn't until 2019 that I read those interviews about HM and TDS being referenced in some capacity, and I just thought WTF? I had experienced HM independently, and I thought it was a stand-alone, albeit weaker album like WT and YZ.

    I guess that's why I scrunch up my face a bit about HM. I don't get the association of TDS with it. Just my opinion. \_(ツ)_/
    Last edited by Magnetic; 08-29-2020 at 09:24 AM. Reason: grammer

  3. #7173
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    I think some people take the association with Downward Spiral too literally. I know at the time there were a few people who thought it was going to be a return to that kind of sound, and were very disappointed when it turned out not to be. To me, the album is an inversion of The Downward Spiral, not a continuation. It's a reflection of that world through the lens of time and distance. It's like looking at old photos of yourself and thinking "Wow. Is that what I was like? Where was my head at during that time? Am I still that person in some ways?". I think Russell Mills' artwork also enhances that feeling. It makes me think of something that has been left behind in the elements for a while that you rediscover.

    Unfortunately, once you attach anything to a classic album, there's always going to be disappointment. Is Hesitation Marks as good as The Downward Spiral? I don't think so, but it's interesting in its own way and deserves another look.

  4. #7174
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    Is Scary Monsters a sequel to Space Oddity? No, but there are definite connections.

  5. #7175
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    There definitely are connections. Starting with the name Hesitation Marks which alludes to scars from wrist cuts that were just not deep enough to 'get it done'. If I remember it right the album could be seen as a tale from the Downward Spiral's character at a later age. He somehow made it through and is now at a different stage in life where things seem to work out fine. But his older self is still in the back and he is reminded of this constantly by his scars. At his core he is still not happy, but everything is more subdued and he has become emotionless.

    At least that is my interpretation of the album. Hence it is not as raw and has a cleaner feel to it. Tbe artwork by Russell Mills is of course tbe most obvious nod to the original album. And that too is not as ugly, but still very bland and even darker in tone.

  6. #7176
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    Considering the lyrics and Trent's statements for Year Zero and Hesitation Marks, I really see the order of NIN's story going as PHM, Broken, TDS/HM, TF, WT, TS, The Trilogy then YZ.
    It just works out the best that way to me and makes the most sense when it comes to the flow of the story order (each album is basically it's own chapter).

    Order of release for each album and their sounds shouldn't be taken so literally for considering the order of the whole story (although this order "sounds" like it flows too, at least to my ears). It doesn't have to be that way anyways, it's not like that's a rule or something for each album that comes out after another to have to sound like it "flows" into one another to continue or add on to the story, even though Trent sort of does this anyways just like all the other greats like Pink Floyd and such. The order of the albums for the "story" could be just as much of a mystery as the song lyrics and story itself, especially considering Year Zero and Hesitation Marks. I'm not saying it should be listened to in this order, just saying HM could be looked at or seen as a sort of flash back album in a sense while YZ is a flash forward album. And I see Trent further experimenting with this in The Trilogy. NTAE was Trent flirting with that "past" path, AV flirting with the "present" path and BW flirting with the "future" path that they could take NIN with. Anyways just my opinion.
    Last edited by zeegrizzle; 08-30-2020 at 04:12 PM.

  7. #7177
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    While Hesitation Marks was never meant to be a direct sequel TDS but rather an introspection about its era, I still think that you can intepret it that way if you so desire and it works rather well.

    Quote Originally Posted by SchwarzerAbt View Post
    There definitely are connections. Starting with the name Hesitation Marks which alludes to scars from wrist cuts that were just not deep enough to 'get it done'. If I remember it right the album could be seen as a tale from the Downward Spiral's character at a later age. He somehow made it through and is now at a different stage in life where things seem to work out fine. But his older self is still in the back and he is reminded of this constantly by his scars. At his core he is still not happy, but everything is more subdued and he has become emotionless.

    At least that is my interpretation of the album. Hence it is not as raw and has a cleaner feel to it. Tbe artwork by Russell Mills is of course tbe most obvious nod to the original album. And that too is not as ugly, but still very bland and even darker in tone.
    This theory in particular is really cool, pretty cool reason for the music to be sounding the way t does.

  8. #7178
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    Hesitation Marks fits (story-wise) in-between TDS and TF (with Hurt going into The Eater Of Dreams and Black Noise going into Somewhat Damaged), but you can look at it in either way really. You can have it sit in-between TDS and TF and act as a "flash forward" album (like YZ) or you can just look at HM's place in the discography and see it as a "flash back" album. Both ways work.

  9. #7179
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    I think this NIN album has the strongest synths/drum machines work, a lot of people say that they sound all the same, yet there are so many varieties of them throughout this record, I don't think real life drums can do this justice, real drums are nice but they don't fit to me to this very Electronic record (Even though it has a lot of use of guitars).

  10. #7180
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWB View Post
    I think this NIN album has the strongest synths/drum machines work, a lot of people say that they sound all the same, yet there are so many varieties of them throughout this record, I don't think real life drums can do this justice, real drums are nice but they don't fit to me to this very Electronic record (Even though it has a lot of use of guitars).
    I agree especially as I much prefer the ‘festival’ version of Copy of a rather than the drum based one on the Tension tour

  11. #7181
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    After the TDS, NIN’s lyrical and conceptual content became saturated with duality, doubles and echoes. You see it in TR’s narrative imagination but also it seemed like in real life he was losing himself to fragmented versions/identities. I think this really comes to life in WT, partly as a very real way of therapeutically reclaiming a real identity outside of NIN, but this also became an opportunity to approach NIN and TR’s fictional imaginative identity inside of NIN as some kind of split from reality but still a real living breathing thing. TR often refers to his past self as “that guy” or when performing saying he teleports back into that person who wrote that song.
    I think he has allowed himself to explore this and take it as far as he wants to go with it. It seems like some of what becomes NIN starts with TR in real life have thought experiments or soul searching about his real self and NIN as a musical act. Those explorations then seem to manifest into the imaginary flesh of NIN and TR as concepts within a narrative world. So, we end up with TR’s doubles or echoes or identities and references to NIN within NIN.
    Hesitation Marks and the Trilogy took this to a whole new level. Since we are talking about HM in relation to TDS I will focus on that. I think HM is something like Lynch’s Lost Highway. In Lost Highway, you have the idea of psychic transference manifest into flesh and blood reality. Something has happened and now a person so desperately imagines or longs for something different that the person becomes something different, only to end up being haunted by your true self and never being able to escape the momentum of that true self.
    HM to me, seems to be about real-life TR thinking about what if that version of himself had taken a different path creatively and a different path within the concept of TDS. This is huge speculation, but, based on what he has said, it seems maybe be feels that the metaphysical thing that compelled him to create the artwork that became TDS was sort of always supposed to be that way. And the fallout of that was in real life TR losing his identity, becoming a version of himself he didn’t like and struggling with addiction. Hesitation Marks is created then out of an idea that collapses in on itself because it is not what was supposed to be. So like in Lost Highway, and I think especially in the two opening and closing tracks, the character in HM and the setting of the album is not meant to be. The world of HM is sort of a plea that whatever the imputes of creation that turned into TDS could instead have been something else. And, maybe to, in real life, TR would not have to have lost himself the way he did.
    And I think this is sort of a literal thought experiment for TR the person and for NIN as expression. The person within HM is a copy and does not have much time. A sort of split from the version of TR trapped in the creation of TDS. And, in real life TR is always sort of questioning his place in the world. Am I always going to be a part of the guy who made the TDS or can I be an adult with a family and be that guy too? Those things existing at the same time and the insecurities and questions of who we really are. I think HM ends up telling us that the thing, the muse, the conduit of art, that made real life TR create TDS was sort of destine to create the artwork and the finale version of real life TR. HM splits off or looks back and gives us an alternative, but it devours itself because it was not supposed to be that way.
    We are always haunted by echoes or ghosts of our past. We can think of how things might have been, but they were not that way. And whatever it was that created the momentum for the way things were then expressed in a way that they had to. This idea or thought experiment revealed itself through HM in many different real-life ways and narrative creative ways. I even think maybe things as simple as what type of music TR thought he could or should make based on the success and sound of TDS.
    For further links to Lost Highway, there is Lynch’s video for CBH, which is very reminiscent of and even looks like the character in Lost Highway during his transfer from or back into his true self.
    Sorry this is so long; I will finish this with more movie references. I have never thought TDS was very literal in its narrative or concept. I have always thought TDS was way more Cronenberg’s Videodrome than Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. So, for me, both TDS and HM are not just literal stories of a guy self-destructing or a guy RUNNING from that self-destruction guy.

  12. #7182
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    I think the biggest hint that HM is a parallel version of TDS is the track-list similarities.

    And the same thing happening within The Trilogy. The three different track-lists within The Trilogy are parallel as well and work as different paths or versions of NIN during that era. I always saw Over And Out as sort of the credits track to the whole Trilogy, being that 6th track and sticking out compared to the other two EP's. Sounds like it would work as a great credits song too.

  13. #7183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha 60 View Post
    So, for me, both TDS and HM are not just literal stories of a guy self-destructing or a guy RUNNING from that self-destruction guy.
    I still stand by my interpretation of TDS in which a dude buys a bunch of pigs so he can have sex with them, then moves on to iguanas later.

  14. #7184
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    Quote Originally Posted by katara View Post
    I still stand by my interpretation of TDS in which a dude buys a bunch of pigs so he can have sex with them, then moves on to iguanas later.

  15. #7185
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    Album grew on me.

    Still can't get over the lyrics for ATL and CBH, still don't care for Everything, Black Noise and The Eater...

    But I also love the production, I love the guitar contributions of Belew & Co. and I love those instrumental demos from that "In Conversation with.." Interview.

  16. #7186
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    This was the album that got me into NIN again. I wasn't a huge fan of The Slip and I didn't like Ghost I - IV at all, but when I heard Came Back Haunted and Copy of A, they just hit me in the gut. I was like fuck yes! And I loved the rest of the album too. I also like the connection it has to TDS. I have to admit, Everything threw me for a loop, but I dig it. It's one of those songs I have to be in the mood for. HM isn't the best NIN release, but it's still a really solid album.

  17. #7187
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    Everytime I hear "Copy of a" I am amazed around 3:30 how it calms down, I probably mentioned this before, it's not just fade down of tracks. Reminds me of "Field of dreams" movie characters disappearing into cornfield - almost real but not completely, wait something was not normal there, what exactly happened?


  18. #7188
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    Love the Tension live version of In Two with the band and back up vocalists

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    All this talk about HM reminded me that I was looking for many years to get the elusive remix of Disappointed by Future Funk Squad. Finally, I’m glad to announce that we can finally listen to it with an option to download in lossless format at this address: https://futurefunksquad.bandcamp.com...rmx-nin-rmx-s4 . If you feel cheap you can also get it for free, but that’s up to you… Enjoy!

  20. #7190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neon View Post
    All this talk about HM reminded me that I was looking for many years to get the elusive remix of Disappointed by Future Funk Squad. Finally, I’m glad to announce that we can finally listen to it with an option to download in lossless format at this address: https://futurefunksquad.bandcamp.com...rmx-nin-rmx-s4 . If you feel cheap you can also get it for free, but that’s up to you… Enjoy!
    Thanks! I updated the NINwiki page as well to reflect this. https://www.nin.wiki/Disappointed

  21. #7191
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    Is this 'official' or fan made? What's the story behind it?

  22. #7192
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    Quote Originally Posted by r_z View Post
    Is this 'official' or fan made? What's the story behind it?
    Sounds like it was officially commissioned, but unused.

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