The members of How To Destroy Angels, a collective featuring Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, his wife and singer Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the brilliant composer Atticus Ross, have an unambiguously grim view of where civilization is headed. In a new video for the song “How Long,” from the band’s upcoming album Welcome Oblivion, man hunts man in (surprise) a terrifying, dystopian future.
Credit: Courtesy of the artist
The video was created and directed by the London-based visual arts collective Shynola. While there are only three characters in the short film, it speaks volumes about our reptilian instincts for survival. In a joint email, the members of Shynola say they “had a great conversation where the band articulated their ideas about modern identity, the effect of technology on culture and our inability to connect with others. We’re fascinated by anthropology and coincidentally we had been toying with ideas for a feature film about a post-technology civilization, in which humans have reverted to primitive behavior. Sometimes things just fit together.”
Reznor and the rest of the band didn’t offer much about the song itself when asked, but the group dropped us a note saying they’d been fans of Shynola’s work for years: “Their work is visually striking and consistently stands out. When we started talking about possible directors to work with for ‘How long,’ their name came up right away. It’s been an honor to finally work with them, and to get their wholly unique interpretation of the themes we’ve been exploring with this record and this song.”
How To Destroy Angels, which formed and dropped a self-titled EP in 2010, isn’t the only project Reznor’s done with members of the group. He and Atticus Ross co-wrote the brilliant, icy soundtracks to The Social Network and The Girl With Dragon Tattoo, while How To Destroy Angels art director Rob Sheridan collaborated with Reznor on a number of Nine Inch Nails albums.
Welcome Oblivion, the debut full-length from How To Destroy Angels, is out Mar. 5.