This website does readability filtering of other pages. All styles, scripts, forms and ads are stripped. If you want your website excluded or have other feedback, use this form.

Rolling Stone Rock and Roll Daily » Blog Archive » “Year Zero” Project = Way Cooler Than “Lost”

success fail Mar APR May 08 2006 2007 2008 131 captures 24 Feb 2007 - 15 Jan 2019 About this capture COLLECTED BY Organization: Alexa Crawls Starting in 1996, Alexa Internet has been donating their crawl data to the Internet Archive. Flowing in every day, these data are added to the Wayback Machine after an embargo period. Collection: 42_crawl this data is currently not publicly accessible. TIMESTAMPS Rolling Stone


Login New User

Latest Next

2/22/07, 5:28 pm EST

“Year Zero” Project = Way Cooler Than “Lost”

It is no longer 2007. According to Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero mania sweeping the internation, we’re almost three months into -15 BA (Born Again). In the semi-terrifying world of Trent Reznor’s new future-based concept album, the year 2022 is Year Zero, the year we were “Born Again.” Every 12 months prior to Year Zero is denoted by negatives, thus 2007 is -15 BA. If this confuses you, give up now.

In what has to be the most innovative promotion scheme since the leaked sex tape, NIN have treated their fans to a sort of Where’s Waldo game that includes tour merchandising, a dizzying network of websites and, umm, bathrooms in European concert halls. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t checking echoingthesound, the main fan checkpoint, every hour to see what the latest update is.

In case you’ve been living under a rock (without internet), let us catch you up:

It all started with a NIN tour T-shirt. An overeager fan realized that the bolded letters on the back formed a phrase: iamtryingtobelieve, which if you add a .com to the end of it, takes us to the first piece of the puzzle. Here, we learn about the drug Parepin, which has been added to the water supplies of Orlando as protection against similar acts of bio-terrorism against Los Angeles and Anaheim in 2009 (or -13 BA…try to keep up). This site speculates whether Parepin is a medium for the government to control the minds of its citizens. When you email the site owner, who has stopped using the drug because of his conspiracy beliefs, you get this email back:

Auto-reply from [email protected] wrote:

Thank you for your interest. It is now clear to me that Parepin is a completely safe and effective agent developed to protect us from bio-terrorism. The Administration is acting purely in the best interests of its citizens; to suggest otherwise was irresponsible and I deeply regret it.

I’m drinking the water. So should you.

OK, seems pretty clear we should avoid the water. The next site to emerge was The site seems innocent enough, until you click and drag the main page pictures, revealing another, more disturbing, picture underneath. When the under-picture is totally revealed, a link takes you to a message board. We can tell you what is discussed on the message board (a new drug called Opal, the introduction of the Angry Sniper character, and disturbing pictures of “The Presence”), but you should really check it out yourself. It’s complex.

Here, we should introduce you to “The Presence,” an ongoing motif in the game and the subject of Year Zero’s cover (above). “The Presence” is literally a giant fucking four-fingered hand that, supposedly, came out of the sky. It’s speculated that “The Presence” is everything from a giant tornado to the impending rapture to a government ploy used to scare its citizens. Whatever it is, it looks foreboding.

How are these sites found? Well, that’s where European rest rooms come in. Throughout NIN’s European tour, members of whatever all-star marketing squad is behind all this have been leaving USB drives in random concert venues. The drives are filled with new NIN songs (”My Violent Heart” and “Me, I’m Not”), cryptic mp3s and pictures visible only via spectrographs. These files if deciphered correctly also provide us playing the game with the next clue/website.

Want to know if your bathroom is going to be raided? Those ingenious posters at echoingthesound have discovered that every time a pixel blob appears next to one of the songs listed here, you should hit the toilets early for a chance of grabbing one of these drives.

There are several other sites that are pieces to the puzzles. All the sites provide subtle details into this whole game. This is a summary of what they contain: discusses “The Presence” and introduces us to a Year Zero-era religion. The Church of Plano discusses donating land to the 105th Airborne Crusaders, which led someone to find this site… The “Angry Sniper” mentions he served under this unit of “Soldiers of God Under the US Flag.” The Angry Sniper might be the main narrator in Reznor’s scheme. He is the most reoccurring character in this story and after serving time in the military, finds himself entrenched in the “Resistance.” His experiences from both fringes of society make him an ideal candidate to tell Reznor’s complex story. is apparently a resistance site maintained by the Angry Sniper. Here, you’ll find numerous stories showing how America has gone even further downhill in a post-George W. Bush era. This site talks about the drug Opal, a black liquid which, when injected into the eye, makes the white of the eyes turn black and produces euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. Notice that cool drawing of “The Presence” buried under the text. This site contains a transcript between two law enforcement agents. Hidden somewhere on this site is text from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five (another of these pages contains excerpts from Tolkein’s The Hobbit.) US Wiretap also provides us with the phone number (216) 333-1810, which when dialed, plays a tapped conversation that sounds like a girl witnessing a massacre at a concert. We think. This is a Cleveland phone number (Trent’s hometown). You know that fact has to be significant, right? How it fits in scheme of things remains to be seen. The newest site to reveal itself (as of 1:30 p.m., 2/22, -15BA). Want to resist? Make art. This site provides resisters (and fans) with desktop backgrounds, AIM icons, stickers, posters, etc etc…ingredients of bringing this story into our current, physical world. So if you see a bunch of posters bearing these symbols stapled to telephone poles, well, then you live near a NIN fan.

Of course, no maze is complete without a few wrong turns. The site drew something close to death threats when it was unmasked as a hoax. And then there’s the poor fellow who runs — the name of a Year Zero song. This site drew so much digging into the domain owner’s private life, he posted on a NIN message board begging everyone to leave him alone.

So what’s the next clue? This shit is more confusing than Lost, so tell us what you think its all about. Stay tuned…

-- Rolling Stone

More Project Zero

Add to DiggThis EMAIL

Latest Next


yer ma is a cabbage | 4/6/2007, 12:20 am EST

interesting stuff

trent is god

AT | 4/5/2007, 12:01 pm EST

Do you know how much this “campaign” would cost if the band was actually paying for it? I think it’s utterly fantastic idea and the creator ought to get a free trip to the moon!! All the uproar gets their record/band thousands/millions of dollars worth of “free” advertising. Sure they might loose a few sales but the net result will be some folk won’t get all the tracks and will then go out and buy the CD. This story is being picked up by all the wire services and I can’t think of a better way to promote the CD. Quodos for the originator…. It costs a bunch to promote a new CD and now everyone knows about it….

wastedtime | 4/1/2007, 10:02 pm EST


EtJ | 3/26/2007, 7:10 pm EST

Word of advice from his sites. Do not drink tap water… Wise words. Pay attention, this is more than meets the eye.

inzpektor | 3/20/2007, 11:04 pm EST

Upset that I won’t be able to make it to the listening party @ House of Blues in Cleveland (have to work that night)…
…OH-not another hippie, you come off as intellectual as a freshwater trout. Some don’t get it, and never will. All so bitter… The same ones who called everybody “figgots and Quirs” in high school, still working shitty jobs, still drinking cheap beer, still hating all that they don’t comprehend.

matmar | 3/19/2007, 4:19 am EST

mojito speaks the truth…
society is collectively at a time when we must make a decision, red pill or blue pill. trent is simply showing us a fictional, future mirror-image of the dystopian world forming and growing around us like a bacteria, and the fact that most of you are either unknowingly, or much worse WILLINGLY ignorant of it annoys the “neos” of the world, like myself and trent. a wise man once said “there are none so blind as those who choose not to see.” where do you fit in? which pill would you take? wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to, or see how deep the rabbit-hole goes?
google search: terrorstorm

Finding the truth | 3/16/2007, 11:09 am EST

Many of you are missing the point of this “ride”. Trent is not necessarily pushing the idea that any of these things will happen over the next 15 years, but rather making a statement on what our world has become. Look at the websites - An evangelical church in TEXAS and an Airborne Division that does GOD’S WORK. He is asking for us as American’s to look at what we have become, and he has been for a while now. The whole fucking world is laughing there asses off at our expense… These are not new theme’s from NIN, just done in a different, very creative way! And I fail to believe this “viral marketing” campaign will sell that many more CD’s, just get more media attention. I already knew I was buying this album when I first heard Survivalism on one of the best terrestrial stations in the country (WFNX) in January, well before any of this hit the mainstream, and I’m sure any other real fans had made the same decision. I was just happy to see more being added to the NIN library in such short order, and that they started touring again in the last couple years - Seen them twice on the last couple NA passes, my wife saw them 3 times all within two hours of Boston. Fucking Awesome Tour!!! - How many other bands play that many shows, The Rolling Stones? I choose to support artist that truly deserve it. Anything else is just a free download Kudos to NIN - Keep it coming Trent!

Green Child | 3/12/2007, 6:19 pm EST

This is a very smart way to sell more merchandise to kids and collectors. I don’t think anyone with a fully operational brain will allow oneself to digest all this conspiracy bullshit. Just another wave of postmodern buy-me-I-offer-more-than-other s brainwash, mysticism based on nothing but media powers.

Elvis Lennon | 3/11/2007, 11:03 pm EST

This is marketing of the highest order congratulation NIN - btw your music is crap - spend more moneys on marketing.

HAVAML | 3/9/2007, 3:03 pm EST

Sounds like Trent and the boys were reading a little too much David Icke during downtime on last summer’s tour… )

501 | 3/4/2007, 6:50 pm EST

Does anyone else remember the “Publius enigma” from Pink Floyd back in the early 90s when they released “The Division Bell?” Very similar to this, but on a much smaller scale, as the internet was nothing but a few bulletin boards back then. Look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, the whole “viral ad campaign” thing has been done before, but this definitely elevates it to a new level.

Kirsten | 3/3/2007, 6:00 am EST

Well, personally i don’t believe this to be a marketing ploy - considering most bands keep their new album under very tight security before the release date. Here, NIN are leaking them on purpose.

I must admit, i am totally absorbed by this. I was drwn right in when i discovered and been hooked ever since.

My respect for Trent Reznor grows more and more. He is not just such an influential (and essential) artist for our generation and the generations after us, he has some really revolutionary ideas…

He’s talking about terrorism, a seeming dytopian future. I totally agree, its not a new idea - but its the way he’s putting this across in such detail is brilliant.
Following this unraveling tale, its became clear that this future is not as far fetched as we would like to believe.

Lets rewind 15 years. No one would of imagined the destruction cause by terrorists on the scale of 9/11 or on a much smaller scale the London bombing. Think of the advancements in warfare in the past 15 years.

So think about the next 15 years.
Maybe its isn;t as absurd as it first seems.

I believe this will solidify Trent Reznor’s status as a genius.
And well deservedly too.

jonny13 | 3/2/2007, 11:03 pm EST


mpf | 3/2/2007, 12:55 am EST

“The term “marketing” sure is a frustrating one for me at the moment. What you are now starting to experience IS “year zero”. It’s not some kind of gimmick to get you to buy a record - it IS the art form… and we’re just getting started. Hope you enjoy the ride.”

Trent Reznor
2-16 -15BA

ohigetit | 3/1/2007, 4:02 pm EST

Will they make a shit-ton of money? Sure, they’re a rock band, that makes perfect sense; doesn’t it? But, that’s not the point. This is inspirational shit, a new avenue for art, story and music to walk down. This is like when MTV first started with music videos only a thousand times better.

Anonymous | 3/1/2007, 11:33 am EST

and that is what? make a shit ton of money? this is nothing new.

Justin | 3/1/2007, 2:02 am EST

I have to admit this whole Year Zero project sucked me in. Yes its marketing, but the project as a whole is very much an art form. I spent most of the night getting caught up on everything, and am enjoying the experiance.

ohigetit | 2/28/2007, 5:55 pm EST

You’re all missing the point of this. Music such as cd’s, records and tapes are quickly becoming obsolete. Opinions aside on the ‘marketing’ of the cd, TR set out to do something different. Music has gone from a-track to tapes to cds to broadcasts and now mp3’s. This site-to-site collaboration is merely an extension of what mp3’s have to offer. Whothefuck cares if AFmotherfuckingI has done something NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SIMILAR to this. I think other bands should catch onto this new art form (which is really a collaboration of sound, imagery, and literature) and see just what their music can evolve into, then we’ll see what bands are creative, and what bands are bullshit little fucking kids that will suck dick and bend over for a label from a record company that will fall into obsoletion in the next ten years just like the compact disk!

LouisCifer | 2/28/2007, 4:39 pm EST

It is plain to see what this is about…. Listen to the song Burn from the natural born killers soundtrack,that is what he has set out to do from the beginning

Plumedserpent | 2/27/2007, 3:07 pm EST

Most brilliant marketing scheme I have ever encountered. It isn’t insulting because it plays out like an art form, like some sort of participatory conspiracy theory in which “you” help uncover the clues to the bigger picture. Combine that with the obvious political statement and you have something very special. This will be studied by viral marketers the world over. It truly is like something out of a William Gibson novel and I for one am extremely impressed.

Pandora | 2/27/2007, 1:06 am EST

Sunshine and flowers what fucking world do you live in.It’s only going to get worse this is just the beginning of what’s really coming.Trent’s more visionary than you know.There is a brilliant plan..Nothing is as it seems..Why is it so hard for you Earthlings to realize that death is life and your true beginning…Hope is beyond this planet…There’s no real hope for this planet..Everybody leaves…You can’t change that you wouldn’t want to.

Stitch | 2/26/2007, 5:56 pm EST

You people are morons, if you can’t let an artist have his say with what he believes to be a bleak future then how can you believe in sunshine and flowers? Surely speaking your mind is all about Freedom? And isn’t freedom supposed to be the “American Way”? I think Trent is doing a fantastic job of leading his fans through a journey of websites, visions and sound, with a brilliant look into what the world could end up like.

Sunshine and Flowers won’t make people stand up and notice, the world isn’t as prettier place as we would all like it to be and to be honest I don’t think Trent or Nine Inch Nails as a whole has the power to make people notice, but if it makes one youthful person understand a little better, good on him. Trent is just playing around with a Sci-fi that could well become a reality and I for one will be buying his next album to hear his story in full.

Person | 2/26/2007, 4:30 pm EST

Every artist have a niche and a theme, and Reznor, to me has grown. This album is political and not that personal. That’s growth to me, he’s acknowledging the outside world.
Give people sunshine and flowers? What the fuck?
Even though the themes are a bit extreme, but the world is not as good as you think. Global warming, the war in Iraq, the fact that Bush got elected (again)gives you some doubt about what’s going on. Reznor just taking what’s happening now and adding it to his own imagination. Like some science fiction, even if you know it’s not real, it makes you think.

And god, so many haters.

Lojak78 | 2/26/2007, 3:40 pm EST

Two things…first…machina…was utter trash…it was the final nail in corgans coffin…I really dont think anyone gives a shit about the pumpkins getting back together…or whatever the fuck it is…also…along these same lines…why would anyone ever mention afi…in the same sentence with nin?? Afi is nothing more than garbage…I cant respect grown men shoveling their shit to the twelve year olds…lastly…the guy below me…robert…can suck a fat dick…and roast in hell…actually that was three things…oh well…year zero is upon us…

Boner | 2/26/2007, 11:58 am EST

Trent Reznor enjoys young black wang.

Robert | 2/26/2007, 9:19 am EST

Trent is not a genius. But I will say this. For all of you paranoid freaks maybe America is not whats messed up, maybe its you. Trent still is on drugs with his bleak nihilistic crap, get a life, learn to play some variety and if you want to show you’re a genius offer people something with sunshine and flowers. Till then you’re just another moaning, whining self important twit living a cliche.

Oregon | 2/26/2007, 3:01 am EST

assigns?interdisciplinary avows purest Normandy:tailed!roamed Biggs,

Mr. Self Destruct | 2/25/2007, 7:21 pm EST

First off: sorry kiddies, but bands like MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE aren’t fit to lick Trent’s boots…

Secondly, yes ~ the company that was responisble for was hired for the “marketing” of Year Zero… They’re called 42 Entertainment

Moving right along, any self-respecting NIN fan that’s whining about all the mp3 leaks & websites & what not… Who’d forcing you to participate in any of it? I believe that’s why computers have an on/off switch

And what’s up with all these people who are all clamoring for another Downward Spiral? What ~ were you not into them BEFORE you heard “Closer”? If that’s the case, I totally understand why you don’t “get” the concept of Year Zero

~ Just like all the poseurs who think “Closer” is about fucking JUST because he says the word fuck in it. As with most of Trent’s work, there’s always a deeper meaning behind it - as proven in Details magazine back in 1995, when he went on record to state how it annoyed him to see strippers taking their clothes off to songs like “Closer” and (especially) “Hurt”.

I don’t remember the EXACT quote about “Closer”, but the description of its’ meaning went something along the lines of “I’m a piece of shit, and if you think you want me - here I am.”

Keep that in mind next time you’re grinding some sorority chick at the club ; )

M3chanical | 2/25/2007, 6:44 pm EST

Well considering they are only leaving the usb samples at nine inch nails, its not as if people who dont like nails are being forced with “in your face” advertisements. Its not even telling you to buy the album, its giving you inspiration to buy it by giving you a few songs.A lot better than the usual , hit people with one single off the album and expect them to run out and get it. As a fan it feels more like a gift than a marketing tool. I know i would buy the album regardless, so anything i get given in the mean time is nothing but a gift. I think this is a really great campaign.

cool as balls | 2/25/2007, 6:35 pm EST

Can´t say I´ve listen to all that much of their music, justparts of The Downward Spiral…but shit, this sounds awesome.

I´m definitely going to check it out…THIS is what music of the technology generation should be doing. Praise.

MALfio | 2/25/2007, 6:32 pm EST

well, is it just marketing???? is mr. reznor only making money????
hell, i really even hope so! i’d rather see him as one of the richest men than any others. and especially because music is about money-making nowadays, probably because the main part of our society is full of bitter failed musicians!
bring it on mr. reznor, bring it on!

txasbranco | 2/25/2007, 6:31 pm EST

remember a time when musicians or corporations would place an ad in the newspaper or TV telling you to buy an album, trusting the consumer enough to believe the artist had enough merit to be able to advertise without you hearing the release?
I miss those days. This viral marketing stuff is for the birds. Next thing you know they will be placing USB drives in my cereal replaying some clip from Shaffer.

M3chanical | 2/25/2007, 6:03 pm EST

notanotherhippy : Funny stuff but i dont think your going to convert any existing fans to your cause. Whether you admit it or not Trent has talent ,and he might not be your cup of tea but there are plenty of people out there who do enjoy his music. Different strokes for different folks.

Because I said so.... | 2/25/2007, 2:29 pm EST

LESTER, the single greatest post ever placed on these boards. Thank you. END OF THREAD FOLKS.

NINFOmaNIaC | 2/25/2007, 7:20 am EST

This is the best thing in music since led zeppelin. The music is starting to grow on me. It is great for the fans to be able to get on the internet and have something interesting to look at rather than just waiting for the new album to drop. Just when I thought nails was going to become irrelevant.

Pandora | 2/25/2007, 6:23 am EST

Fuck smashing pumpkins they mean nother to the Universe.Trent is their voice.All this is a diversion.The real message lies within.Earth is Hell.You are dead on Earth.When you leave this planet that is when your true life begins.Religion is not real.Everyone is inbetween….everyone goes…don’t say I never told you…Believe in Trent believe in us…Theresa

btaylor2404 | 2/25/2007, 4:12 am EST

HoustonZero. I thought I was alone. I’m 32 in Sales/Marketing and only listen to NIN, and nothing else. There is always build up to a new NIN record, but this is insane, and very fun. The 3 songs released so far are great, and the whole idea of an album comes out on X day and enjoy, may be over. And that’s a great thing.

Hacbarton | 2/25/2007, 1:03 am EST

(I have too much time)

A note to Jessica (scroll down):

Of course. Why aren’t we paying attention to a train-wrecked mother who is intensely desperate for attention while a true artiste is trying to make a grand statement about the direction of the world? And of course put MCR on the cover! Nevermind the idea that nearly every Halo released tops anything MCR did….personally, I haven’t seen enough of Gerard Way’s cancerous face!

Hacbarton | 2/25/2007, 12:59 am EST


Any music you hear is another business, so relax. Are you saying this idea is no better than late-night commercials for Hawthorne Heights CD’s? You are desperately mistaken. It is a piece of gold for Reznor’s fans. It is making him no money (all the people paying attention to the fake little world would probably buy his new CD anyway), so it only benefits the consumer (not to mention, it is strictly genius).

Oh yeah. There is that thing about NIN being one of the best acts of the past 2 decades. Who would you suggest? Hinder?

notanotherhippy | 2/25/2007, 12:28 am EST

well… let s all hear it for Reznor’s marketing team…

The music is so crap that they had to make up for it some how.

i am so sick of this “communist” barstud, Reznor.

Why don’t people just see through all the nin losers?
Why don’t people realise that NIN is just another business, generating millions of dollars to stick up the profiteers noses?

The sad thing is too many kids take them seriously and that they believe these guys acutally want to affect the world in a positive way.

C mon dudes. Grow up. Trent would probably spit on you if he saw you in the street…

Houston Zero | 2/24/2007, 11:15 pm EST

I’ve been a fan since 1989. I honestly do not listen to anything else besides NIN. No radio. No MTV. None of that crap. It’s NIN or nothing. And believe it or not, I’m a marketing executive. The promo that he is doing now extends marketing. It’s an awakening for some. A death for others. However… the rebirth of Trent in which we are all witnessing is only the beginning. Most only see the surface; he knows that. But in the end, we will all see that he knew it all from the beginning. My biggest worry is that I do not think that the world is ready to see what they are about to be shown. Trent will forever go down in history for what he is about to do. Mark my words. Rock on man. Rock on. We’re ready.

Elliot | 2/24/2007, 9:03 pm EST



Kurt | 2/24/2007, 8:31 pm EST

Trent Reznor isn’t like the rest of us.

Pretentious Indie Music Fan | 2/24/2007, 6:06 pm EST

It’s worth noting that AFI has done a virtually identical promotional campaign - fake phone numbers, fake myspaces, fake websites, fake newspaper personals, fake craigslist entries, etc - for both of their past two releases.

That said, I guess it remains to be seen whether or not this is anything more than clever advertising, as Trent seems to suggest.

Me | 2/24/2007, 3:42 pm EST

The Smashing Pumpkins did it 7 years ago.

Brian | 2/24/2007, 11:56 am EST


Pandora | 2/24/2007, 4:06 am EST

Earthlings you are inbetween.Welcome death it is your doorway home.Earth is inbetween as well it’s destuction would not be a bad thing but I thinks there’s still time.Embrace Trent he is your saviour……………nothing is as it seems.It comes from the inside you can’t stop it resistance is futile.The Universe wants you to believe you have control but it is just an illusion…..Not Earth’s Universe The greater Universe that can only be reached through Death.Lose your religion it is so much better than that..

Johnny Bravo aka Greg Brady | 2/24/2007, 12:27 am EST

NIN is WAY COOL!… That stuff like Radiodurk really chews… almost like gum! I can’t wait to see Trent work with Cris Martin on his own Mello-Yello album…. Trent is up there with Davy Jones! Even Marcia thinks he’s a “Groovy Dude”! Tom Yerk needs some bubble gum… then maby Radiodurk won’t be so depressed….

Rahsaan Roland Kirk | 2/23/2007, 11:37 pm EST

Uh huh!
You woudlnt’ forget him either if you had met him where I met him.

Talkin’ about desolation!
Desolation is a railway station ‘roun’ about 2:00 am on a weeknight.

When you walk into desolation like that and suddenly, from out of NOWHERE, comes a warm song, you aren’t about to forget it….

UnCoolDug | 2/23/2007, 9:35 pm EST

it’s completely original. the highlighted letters on the t-shirts which lead to websites which in turn drop further clues/hints, and so on.

TR is taking science fiction to another level by exploring and exploiting every form of media available. hype for a new album? maybe. but i think it’s all part of the total package. the question seems to be: are we ready for this?

Benigan | 2/23/2007, 9:13 pm EST

All the love in the world to Reznor… but if you think a concept like this is new… like the morons over at Rolling Stone… you’re wrong!

The Smashing Pumpkins’ MACHINA had a similar online experience and this was seven years ago!

Alexandra | 2/23/2007, 7:53 pm EST

Thanks again, Trent. Always cool, always fun. You are so loved and appreciated…

Goddess | 2/23/2007, 7:18 pm EST

Now we know what Trent was doing on tour while working on this new album: reading books like 1984, Slaughterhouse Five, Brave New World, The Hobbit, watching news channels, getting pissed off, and working out. Much better than partying and drugs, but further proof that he is, in fact, a genius.

J. | 2/23/2007, 5:29 pm EST

Judging from the tracks I have heard so far, Year Zero will be by far the best album released this year. And there are a hell of a lot of great bands releasing this year…

Alex | 2/23/2007, 5:11 pm EST

In case anyone’s wondering, the guys who promoted this whole thing were also the guys behind

And this is one of the few albums I’m VERY psyched about.

= ) R | 2/23/2007, 5:10 pm EST

Carter is an idiot. This is probably the best thing Trent has ever done since the TDS. The fragile was Trent trying to remake TDS( still a perfect album though). With teeth was a come back album which was very successful( Great album but stripped down for accessibility). NIN as

FYI | 2/23/2007, 4:51 pm EST

FYI: Trent Reznor’s home town is Mercer, PA not Cleveland. He dropped out of Allegehny College (in Meadville, PA) and went to Cleveland. So if the number isn’t from his home town.

Carter1000 | 2/23/2007, 4:35 pm EST

This is ridiculous. The music is SH** now, the whole idea of this is cheesy and lame. Please go back and make more Fragile/TDS,not this lame crap with lame marketing!

Brian | 2/23/2007, 3:55 pm EST

Wow… this promo is almost as amazing as they are live… almost, and Jessica v is a dumbass and listens to crap music. Plus she can’t spell relevant.

Jonny Greenwood | 2/23/2007, 3:54 pm EST

shut up thom you lazy eyed mofo

Thom YorKe | 2/23/2007, 3:34 pm EST

Trent is pretty cool, but not as cool as me!

Jim - | 2/23/2007, 3:19 pm EST

At its core, this is a cheesy stunt…and I say this as I call that Cleveland number - - -

Jessica | 2/23/2007, 1:53 pm EST

RS, stop putting articles on bands that are not as relevent as FOB or JT ” the visionary pop star” your new readers never heard of Nine Inch Nails, I care more about how Britney is doing than some lame album from a band I never heard of. Also next month could you pleaseeeeeeee put MCR on the cover I love them.


Zachra | 2/23/2007, 1:39 pm EST

This is pretty intensely awesome shit to be sure.

But one begs the question, “Is the album any good?”

Don’t forget the importance of the tunes.

misaello | 2/23/2007, 1:10 pm EST

what a better way to promote an album than employing viral marketing it’s very clever if you ask me. no matter if it’s good or bad … it’s making noise that’s what counts… that’s the whole point behind all this paranoia… and it’s great! no matter wath NIN does, fans will embrace it, that’s the way it always has been… want to buy it now!

Killa | 2/23/2007, 12:43 pm EST

I hope that ‘Year Zero’ is better than ‘With Teeth’ cause that shit sucked except for maybe two songs-way too commercial.

Nathan_hc | 2/23/2007, 12:08 pm EST

This is truly unbelievable. Now that Lost has, for another word dug itself in a hole, the whole “Year Zero” conspiracy is just what I need. The entire concept of fusing art through different mediums is truly genius.
We love ya Trent keep it coming!

J | 2/23/2007, 12:02 pm EST

All this advertising/mystery/intrigue frankly annoys me. I’m just waiting to hear clips from the full album, I want more TDS/Fragile.

exoticbird | 2/23/2007, 11:26 am EST

I was at the first show he played @ the phantsy night club in Lakewood OH. Richard Patrick was on guitar.Used to go to some of the after party’s in Ohio city.This new project is Trent’s mind off drug’s.Welcome back my Friend

Charlie Miller | 2/23/2007, 10:44 am EST

Honestly, this is one of the few truly original and great ideas I’ve heard out of anyone in music in a long time. It doesn’t hurt that the two (looking for a third as I type) tracks I’ve heard are absolutely kick-my-ass awesome.

I dig it Trent!

iamtryingtobelieve | 2/23/2007, 10:20 am EST

first off:

My violent heart = really cool
Survuvalism = really really cool
Me, I’m Not = maybe my new favorite nin song, and I’ve been a fan for a long time.

The entire concept behind this album is quite cool. Ok, so maybe some people think its over the top advertising, but thats a hell of a lot cooler than anything fall out boy or dashboard confessionals is doing. Trent’s got an idea, he wants this album to make more of an impact, in a world of downloads where music releases only count so you can steal the music, what better way to release music than to pretty much give it to people as a free download. And the story trent and the gang have created is pretty f*cking cool, too.

I would have been buying this album anyway, for sure, but now im getting more excited for it than i possibly have for any other album. So good job trent, this is really cool and i cant wait to hear/discover more.

teig | 2/23/2007, 10:18 am EST

whoever said this is like I LOVE BEES… apparently this is designed by the same alternate-entertainment company.

Pin Head | 2/23/2007, 9:41 am EST

Trent is a musical genius and I am a huge fan and I am looking forward to the new album. With that said, I don’t really care about the Year Zero promotion and don’t really have the time to get into it if I did. Just let me hear the album and I will be fine. The other thing that could be annoying is the politics of the album. I go to concerts and listen to music to escape politics and other frustrations of life and don’t want to have it shoved down my throat ala U2. I am concerned that Trent is headed in that direction…

Kaze | 2/23/2007, 9:13 am EST

Trent Reznor unleashed - look out!

gregmac666 | 2/23/2007, 9:02 am EST

I’m not going to find any USB drives at the London shows, cos I’m going to be in the pub drinking.

However, I think this is a superb way of marketing the album & absorbing the audience into a concept that makes them all a part of something quite special.

‘Concept’ albums need to take a step into the future, and Trent is taking us there.


mojito | 2/23/2007, 8:09 am EST

This is actually more based on reality than we know. Part of the Homeland Security Act gives the government the legal right to detain and inject ANY AND ALL Americans with ANY untested vaccine they see fit, really, go look it up. These vaccines don’t even have to be tested and the drgu companies have been granted blanket immunity if the vaccines don’t work. PAY ATTENTION, WE ARE BEING F(&#$( IN THE A**.

VERY COOL!!! | 2/23/2007, 7:08 am EST


Pandora | 2/23/2007, 6:29 am EST

Wake up Earthlings this is bigger than just pre album hype.Something is coming and you can’t stop it.You wouldn’t want to……
This is Hell,You are in Hell now…

presence | 2/23/2007, 6:12 am EST

I think it’s admirable to make the fans/audience/customers an interactive-element rather than the usual marketing-tactics surrounding a new album.

From what i’ve listened to (3 tracks so far), I’d say the album will be quite conceptual and very layered. In this regard, I would say that this unusual approach of generating buzz (alternate reality game) is warranted. I predict that this album will be one of the most innovative in recent time. Very conceptual.

Danne | 2/23/2007, 5:01 am EST

We need to be aware that Trent has dismissed the term marketing when speaking about this whole concept. He means that the record is just a small part of the project, and all this combined IS the art itself. Not some fucking viral marketing plan!

Fall down real far | 2/23/2007, 4:31 am EST

Genius. End of.

trentreznormakesmedroolzz64 | 2/23/2007, 3:58 am EST

I think its kinda sad that people will be caught up in this?

Lots of respect for Trent musically but you gotta ask yourself… Is “Zero Year” an album good enough for this kinda promotion/interest?

But heck… if the media wants to sell me something with depth for a change count me in:)

Trent | 2/23/2007, 2:46 am EST

See what happens with all this time on my hands? God it’s great being rich. Man, this was fun when I cooked it up, but reading the writeup bores even me.

Buy my albums, suckas! I love the Good Life.

butlerbear | 2/23/2007, 1:59 am EST

Can I just go to the local record store and buy the album and listen to it.

KryptikRealmz | 2/23/2007, 1:48 am EST

::::::Materialization of Sonic/Digital Enigmas Setting the Path for A Future, More-Kryptik Realm::::::

thepresence | 2/23/2007, 1:46 am EST

Amazing. Period.

For OhioNails | 2/23/2007, 1:36 am EST

In case you haven’t found out by now, Jerome Dillon left NIN in fall/winter of 2005, originally blaming his health, and then admitting he basically wasn’t happy drumming for NIN anymore. Josh Freese, recently of A Perfect Circle has taken over the responsibilities and has done an amazing job (in my humble opinion).

Everything that has been done for Year Zero so far has been amazing and ridiculously impressive. (Also, don’t forget the new live DVD of the band comes out Tuesday.)

Tamara quoting TR | 2/23/2007, 1:35 am EST

“The term “marketing” sure is a frustrating one for me at the moment. What you are now starting to experience IS “year zero”. It’s not some kind of gimmick to get you to buy a record - it IS the art form… and we’re just getting started.”
TR’s own words, his blog on @/.
Everyone who has the word MARKETING should spend about an hour on ETS or join the @/, THEN let me hear you say marketing, pfft

matt | 2/23/2007, 12:12 am EST

I have to say, this is a very clever and original marketing scheme. Trent Reznor has always been an original voice, and it seems that Year Zero is going to be something special.

flypaper | 2/22/2007, 11:47 pm EST

Art…ever hear of it? Think about it instead of dismissing it as something that can be accepted in this fucking world.

Drink up pigs…..

WHY27 | 2/22/2007, 11:08 pm EST

This is Very interesting. = New Respect For Trent.

The Good Soldier | 2/22/2007, 11:04 pm EST

Matt, its funny you say that…

The single Survivalism actually has Saul Williams on it, so there’s the collaboration you’re looking for…

matt | 2/22/2007, 11:03 pm EST

sure it’s creative and it’s pretty cool
but has anyone heard the new single survivalism
it sounds muddled and not that great
i’ll listen to the album and i dig the promotional style for this, but maybe it’s hiding the fact that reznor needs someone to work with!!!
i mean think about it, reznor working with another genius like dave sitek or the guys from tv on the radio?
now, then he wouldn’t need this promotion
we’d know, something’s up

farwell to warmth | 2/22/2007, 10:58 pm EST

Trent knows what he is doing and it has always been this way. Like I said before, this is Trent at his strongest, at his best…ever! He is the most abstract person of our time. Year Zero! | 2/22/2007, 10:56 pm EST

i like nin but i hate nin fans.

clifford | 2/22/2007, 10:55 pm EST

my name is clifford and i love trent with all of my heart and my pee-pee.

leaddontfollow | 2/22/2007, 10:34 pm EST

You idiots . . . it’s not marketing. All this is the Year Zero concept. Go drink some more tap water while your at it.

martinez | 2/22/2007, 10:31 pm EST

Been a fan since 90′…year zero is the shit, so much fun, such a great concept, i hope the movie comes out soon it will wake people up!! don’t drink the H20

DaniCast | 2/22/2007, 10:31 pm EST

I am very proud to be a NIN fan for the latest 16 years =)
Trent is a genious, one of the most creatives and talented minds of our time. Cheers!
send to him best regards from Brazil´s fans

Brian | 2/22/2007, 10:09 pm EST

maybe Trent Reznor will get the cover..after all this emo bullshit we deserve a person with creativity and talent on the cover..though the guitar gods was a nice start, you’ve sunk low with the new fall out boy cover…NIN fucking rocks give more bands with talent the cover….think about the music not the money. Oh and Nine Inch Nails are amazing.

restlessdreamer | 2/22/2007, 9:12 pm EST

RS paying attention to trent reznor…wow!

Lys | 2/22/2007, 8:45 pm EST

Um, actually… Mercer, Pennsylvania is his hometown, not Cleveland.

FartKnocker | 2/22/2007, 8:24 pm EST

Trent Reznor is the innovator of our times.

M3chanical | 2/22/2007, 8:09 pm EST

I found something stuck to the wall in the toilets but after poking through it , there wernt any presents

cat | 2/22/2007, 8:03 pm EST

this whole experience is wildy entertaining… if you listen to the three tracks that have leaked and investigate the crazy world trent has set up for us it is very surreal. the music and the sites and the clues all compliment the art form.. ive never heard of anyone doing something like this on such a grand scale. truely amazing.

Viol8 | 2/22/2007, 7:59 pm EST

This reminds me of the I LOVE BEES marketing blitz for the HALO 2 launch…

OShag! | 2/22/2007, 7:50 pm EST

I wonder if these are the same guys responsible for Halo’s (the XBox game) I’d assume so, since ilovebees had emails like this, also telephone calls and communications from characters in the alternate reality (i.e “Cortana”) Check it out, it’s really cool.

Bmw | 2/22/2007, 7:25 pm EST

This is great, very creative marketing company. The fact that three songs were distributed by the band and possibly building up more excitement for this album is a big f you to music industry’s standards when it comes to that.

vemrion | 2/22/2007, 6:55 pm EST


HIAB-X | 2/22/2007, 6:51 pm EST

At last! A musician making music that belongs in the 21st century. Although these alternative reality games are not a new concept, I applaud the fact that Trent Reznor has the balls and imagination to create an album that thinks outside the packaging and creates a brilliant new experience.
I’m pleased as ever to be a NIN fan.

Bradley | 2/22/2007, 6:37 pm EST

This is the most creative form of advertising I’ve ever seen. EVER!

OhioNails | 2/22/2007, 6:34 pm EST

Wow!!this is insane. Reznor is like a mad scientist.

What ever happened to Jerome Dillon?

NIN for another 20 yrs.

Tanner | 2/22/2007, 6:29 pm EST


Guy Incognito | 2/22/2007, 5:59 pm EST

There’s a teaser video for the new album up at [] and it freaked me the fuck out! Put the volume up on your computer before you watch it!

iamtryingtobelieve | 2/22/2007, 5:48 pm EST

This is awesome and creative. I cannot wait for new NIN!!!!

DGG | 2/22/2007, 5:40 pm EST

I was at the Barcelona show this past Monday and sure enough I made a gratuitous trip to the bathroom during the opening band’s dismal show, but alas no luck was to be found in my particular porta-potty.

Latest Next






Blog Archives

Get Our Headlines

Sign up to have this sent to you (via RSS)

Home : Rock & Roll Daily

Subscribe to Rolling Stone Rock & Roll Blog feed

See all available RSS feeds / learn more

Special Offers

premium partners



RS Music Store: Top 10 songs for 49¢

  1. "It's Not Over"



  2. "This Is Why I'm Hot"



  3. "Dashboard"

    Modest Mouse


  4. "Intervention"

    Arcade Fire


  5. "Girlfriend"

    Avril Lavigne


See the full top 10

©RealNetworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

©Copyright 2006 Rolling Stone

Portions of album and DVD content provided by ® © 1948-2006, Muze Inc