Closer to CoD: Trent Reznor Composes Black Ops II Main Theme
There’s news and then there’s news that gives me a sexless, excitement-spurned rager. Unluckily for the people around me, this news falls in the later category. Nine Inch Nails’ frontman (and, often, only man), Trent Reznor, has been tapped by Treyarch to compose Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s main theme song. Don’t expect a patriotic call to arms, though, according to Reznor. Spanning the duration of the very real Cold War and its fictional re-ignition in the future of 2025, Reznor hopes the aggressive, guitar-driven sound of the theme will fit comfortably with the game’s somber tone.
“There is a lot of reservation and angst and sense of loss and regret and anger bubbling under the surface. So it didn’t make sense to have a gung-ho patriotic feeling kind of theme song. It has to feel weighty.” Sounds like familiar territory for the musician whose first breakout album, Pretty Hate Machine, covered those subjects with electronic despair and pulsing, rhythmic beats.
Composing duties are nothing new to Reznor, either, having won an Academy Award for his work on the Social Network soundtrack with longtime compatriot Atticus Ross, as well as earning a Golden Globe nomination for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s score. The gaming scene also hasn’t eluded Reznor who not only identifies as a gamer himself but has also contributed music and sound design for both id Software’s Quake and Doom 3 (although his work on Doom 3 was eventually scrapped, his music is featured prominently in Quake and ammo crates in the game are marked as “NIN” in homage to Trent’s band). He’s even got a soft spot for Call of Duty, “I have always looked to that franchise as the cutting edge of what seemingly unlimited budgets and full-on not cutting any corners can do in the current day and age.”
The rest of Black Ops II will be scored by video game veteran Jack Wall (you may be acquainted with his brilliant Mass Effect 2 score). As for Reznor, 2012 will see him press forward with a new How to Destroy Angels album (a collaboration with his fellow musically inclined wife, Mariqueen, and Atticus Ross) and, while early in its “gestation period,” the better part of the year will be focused on creating new music for Nine Inch Nails, which will be the first full helping of anything from the outfit since 2008.