I just got back from a Nine Inch Nails concert in Stockholm. While it was great, I was also intrigued by marketing hype surrounding this tour.

It all started with hidden letters in tour t-shirts spelling out a domain name: iamtryingtobelieve.com. A visit to this odd site introduces the mystical substance “parepin”, a fictional additive supposedly added to the water in the future (2022). An email to the site owner results in a reply adding further information to the mystery of parepin.

There are clues leading to several sites, continuing the foreboding tale with “The Presence”, some sort of hand coming from the sky.

The second of information was a USB stick deliberately left in a toilet booth at a NIN concert in Portugal, which contained a few new NIN songs and more. One of the new songs, My Violent Heart, ends with a small burst of noise. Running the sound through a spectrograph analysis revealed this image, resembling the “Presence” hand. Eerie.

Trent Reznor Trent Reznor Almighty in Stockholm yesterday.

All this is supposedly building momentum for NIN’s upcoming album “Year Zero”, and I would say that the intended interest has been achieved. The forum thread on the Year Zero project has passed 400 pages. Well done Rob Sheridan and 42 Entertainment.

This idea is not unique in the music world. Even The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd hid messages in album covers and song material. But I think this is one of the largest and most thorough plots I’ve ever seen. A nice example of “alternate reality games” (ARG).

And no, I didn’t find any USB drive after the concert, unfortunately.

Update: If you buy the new record, you will find that the CD print is black. Once it is heated, the black will turn white and reveal more cryptic messages.


No comments yet.

Leave a reply