How to Destroy Angels (named after Coil's first single) is an electronic band that serves as something of a Nine Inch Nails supergroup while also establishing a glitchy, post-industrial, and considerably poppy sound all of its own.
The group is comprised of NIN members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross alongside Reznor's vocalist wife Mariqueen Maandig, with the later addition of longtime NIN art director Rob Sheridan, whose passion for video-glitch art greatly influenced the band's promo photos and stage setup.
HFDA formed in 2009, shortly after both Reznor's announcement of NIN's second official hiatus following the release of The Slip and his marriage to Maandig.
As of 2013, their recorded output consists of two self-released EP's (a self-titled 2010 debut and 2012's An omen EP_) and 2013's full-length, Columbia-released album Welcome oblivion. The album was followed by a brief tour...and the news that Reznor would be ending NIN's hiatus and prepping for a fall tour. HFDA effectively went radio-silent for a number of years as a result, although a cryptic Instagram upload around the end of 2019 could possibly hint at a return.
This band provides examples of:
- Ambient/Electronic Music: Certainly more so that most of Nine Inch Nails' output, but still poppier than the Reznor/Ross soundtracks.
- Anonymous Band: Played with. Their band photos (especially after Sheridan joined) are usually glitched-video screen grabs, and in their first tour, they played behind translucent curtains and were obscured by various light projections.
- Auto-Tune: Employed in much the same manner that Radiohead used it: to sound entirely inhuman.
- Bizarre Instrument: Despite being heavily digital/computer-based musicians, HTDA actively seek out quirky, custom-made analog instruments/controllers to help create their music. Here's one.
- The Chanteuse
- Crapsack World: The video for "How Long?"
- Cover Version: Bryan Ferry's "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" on the soundtrack of the Americanized The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
- Drone of Dread
- The Faceless: Played with during the 2013 tour; for large chunks of the performance, the band were silhouettes.
- Kill the Ones You Love/Kill It with Fire: The video for "The Space Inbetween," which shows Trent and Mariqueen as dead newlyweds in a hotel room - except that Mariqueen's Dies Wide Open corpse is still singing, even as her body catches on fire. Serious horror...
- Let's Duet: Mariqueen and Trent share vocals on some songs, but she is still the band's primary voice.
- Looped Lyrics: A literal example in a song called (fittingly enough) "The Loop Closes."The beginning/Is the end/And it/Keeps going/Around again... (repeat ad infinitum)
- The Ophelia: Mariqueen's on-stage personna (floor-length white dress with angel sleeves, some mid-song temple dancer moments) evoke this trope.
- Trying Not to Cry: During a New Jersey stop on their tour, Mariqueen attempted this while performing "The Ice Age." She was not successful.