NIN Sends Fans an Ominous Package in the Mail. What Does It All Mean, Trent?

If you were one of the many people who opted for some kind of physical product associated with the Nine Inch Nails EP Not the Actual Events, you might want to watch your mailbox for something very strange and mysterious.

When the EP was released digitally December 23, fans had the option of going online to order something more. The assumption was we’d get a CD version or something similar. But with Trent Reznor, things are often never what they seem.

Instead of a piece of vinyl or a CD, black sleeves are being delivered. Each comes with this warning:

To be read IN ITS ENTIRETY before opening. Actions have consequences! N.T.A.E. may contain subversive elements that produce feelings of euphoria and may be harmful and unsettling to the consumer. Likewise, this physical package may lead to unrealized expectations or unexpected results upon opening. Caution should be exercised with both. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT… This will make a mess. By opening this envelope in any way, you assume all risks to your person and/or property, and waive any claim against The Null Corporation, any of its subsidiaries or affiliated entities from any and all damages or harm you incur.

Those who have dared proceed found a series of picture cards inside as well as a mysterious black powder, something akin to toner ink.


Why? What’s the point? What’s the powder? Vinyl dust?

One theory is that the powder–which sticks to everything–seems to customize the other items in the package in an individual way. Or maybe it’s going to lead to something else. We all remember what happened with Year Zero, right? Are there Easter eggs within? And Trent has foretold of two “major NIN projects” coming later this year. Could this be connected? There’s a subreddit dedicated the whole thing. Fascinating…

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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