Year Zero (album)

Year Zero
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero.png
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 17, 2007 (2007-04-17)
RecordedSeptember–December 2006
Nine Inch Nails chronology
With Teeth
Year Zero
Year Zero Remixed
Halo numbers chronology
Halo 23
Halo 24
Halo 25
Singles from Year Zero
  1. "Survivalism"
    Released: March 13, 2007
  2. "Capital G"
    Released: June 11, 2007

Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.

In contrast to the introspective style of songwriting featured on the band's previous work, the record is a concept album that criticizes contemporary policies of the United States government by presenting a dystopian vision of the year 2022. It was part of a larger Year Zero project, which included a remix album, an alternate reality game of the same name, as well a conceived television or film adaptation. The game expanded upon the album's storyline, using websites, pre-recorded phone messages, murals, among other media in promotion of the project. The album was promoted by two singles: "Survivalism" and "Capital G".

Year Zero received positive reviews from critics, who complimented its concept and production, as well as the accompanying alternate reality game. The album reached number two in the US, number six in the UK, and the top 10 in various other countries.


"This record began as an experiment with noise on a laptop in a bus on tour somewhere. That sound led to a daydream about the end of the world. That daydream stuck with me and over time revealed itself to be much takes place about fifteen years in the future. Things are not good. If you imagine a world where greed and power continue to run their likely course, you'll have an idea of the backdrop. The world has reached the breaking point – politically, spiritually and ecologically. Written from various perspectives of people in this world, Year Zero examines various viewpoints set against an impending moment of truth."[1]

—Trent Reznor on Year Zero, 2007

In a 2005 interview with Kerrang!, Trent Reznor expressed his intentions to write material for a new release while on tour promoting With Teeth. He reportedly began work on the new album by September 2006.[2] Reznor devised much of the album's musical direction on his laptop.[3] Reznor told Kerrang! in a later interview, "When I was on the Live: With Teeth tour, to keep myself busy I just really hunkered down and was working on music the whole time, so this kept me in a creative mode and when I finished the tour I felt like I wasn't tired and wanted to keep at it."[4]

The limitations of devising the album's musical direction on a tour bus forced Reznor to work differently from usual. Reznor said, "I didn't have guitars around because it was too much hassle ... It was another creative limitation ... If I were in my studio, I would have done things the way I normally do them. But not having the ability to do that forced me into trying some things that were fun to do."[5]

By the end of the tour, Reznor began work on the album's lyrical concepts, attempting to break away from his typically introspective approach. Reznor drew inspiration from his concern at the state of affairs in the United States and at what he envisioned as the country's political, spiritual, and social direction.[6] Year Zero was mixed in January 2007,[7] and Reznor stated on his blog that the album was finished as of February 5.[8] The album's budget was a reported US$2 million, but since Reznor composed most of the album himself on his laptop and in his home-studio, much of the budget instead went toward the extensive accompanying promotional campaign.[5]

A song cut from the album included vocal work by Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. The same year, Reznor contributed vocals to their song "Era Vulgaris", which was also cut from the album of the same name.[9]

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українська: Year Zero