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New Releases: Danny Elfman + Trent Reznor | True

Insanity and Hurt are In This Together!

True just like me to think

You need my energy

I just can’t help myself

Why do I live in hell?

Following a string of singles — “Happy,” “Sorry,” “Love in the Time of Covid,” and “Kick Me.” — in 2020, Danny Elfman, mastermind behind Oingo Boingo, has returned with his first solo record in 37 years, before diving again into scoring projects for film and other media. Big Mess, the double album, recorded during the Covid pandemic, also features a reworking of “Insects,” originally recorded by Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo in 1982.

One of the highlights is the new collaboration with Reznor, an artist who has followed a similar path creating darkly beautiful recordings before finding success in the film scoring world. The musicians collide as many would hope in a melange of industrial percussion, furious feedback and intimate and cinematic piano bits.

Reznor adds industrial flourishes and distortion to the original “Mess,” as well as vocals throughout the remix. (In addition to Reznor, Nine Inch Nails vets like guitarist Robin Finck and drummer Josh Freese contributed to the recording of Big Mess, including the original version of “True.”)

“This is the first duet/collaboration I’ve ever done in my life, so to do it with Trent was a real surprise and a treat,” Elfman said of the remix in a statement. “He’s always been a big inspiration to me, not to mention he has one of my all-time favorite singing voices.”

As for the video, Elfman called upon Aron Johnson to direct an industrial update of the original “True” video, released in April, that combines archived footage from the original Sarah Sitkin-helmed video along with brand new 3D modeling.

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