NIN Team Up With Llamasoft for First Video From New Add Violence EP

The 80s were a strange era that exerts an ever-stronger influence on the present the farther we get from it.  Nine Inch Nails and Llamasoft both got their start back then and have had their ups and downs in the intervening years, but their paths never intersected due to each moving in very different circles.  Trent Reznor is a fan of gaming, though, as evidenced by the Quake soundtrack and his Robotron Twitter avatar, and when he needed just the right game for the new Nine Inch Nails song Less Than he reached out to Jeff Minter through Twitter, setting up a crossover that sounds more like fanfic than something that actually happened.  Llamasoft’s Polybius sets the tone for the video, with the player zoning out in front of the CRT screen while the lyrics incriminate her for whatever it was she did, the game’s action streaming around her head and reflected in her eyes as she barely twitches in a gamer-trance.  Polybius switches from low-res to HD and back again as the lyrics are incorporated into the game, and it all goes more than a bit Videodrome by the end.

The collaboration, as explained by Jeff Minter to Ars Technica, came about by Trent Reznor messaging him on Twitter out of the blue.  While Polybius is PS4-only at the moment it was only ever going to remain like that for the six month exclusivity window, and the PC version is already being worked on to be ready for its (hoped for) November release.  Llamasoft threw together a specially-modified PC version over the course of a few days and sent it to Nine Inch Nails, who then used the built-in text and effects editors to make it fit perfectly with Less Than.  While Trent Reznor hasn’t mentioned anything on the collaboration yet, Jeff Minter says it “was one of the most unexpected but most fun bits of work I’ve had…”  The result is a video that, were it still the 80s, would have fit in perfectly on MTV sandwiched between Take On Me and You Might Think.

Disclaimer- that last bit is a romanticization of MTV, which was really more about hanging on for one more song until something you like finally showed up.  It was a mental game you’d play with yourself until either falling asleep in front of the tv at 3AM or a video worth seeing would finally come on and you could go to bed at least a bit satisfied.  Less Than would have let you finally turn off the tv, unless you made the mistake of thinking “Well, maybe just one more…”