Trent Reznor recently credited the King Crimson frontman with inspiring him to revisit the band he’d put on hiatus in 2009.
But Belew has tendered his resignation the day after NIN’s first new track, Came Back Haunted, was released – and just weeks after bassist Eric Avery bowed out as well.
The guitarist comments: “Before this goes too far let me say this: I greatly respect Trent and the music he makes. No one is at fault. We both agreed it just was not working.
“I’m sorry to disappoint anyone – that really hurts. But NIN will do an amazing show. I am back where I belong: creating Flux.”
Reznor started work on new material a year ago after collaborating with Belew. Announcing NIN’s return in February, he said: “I was working with Adrian on some musical ideas, which led to some discussion on performing, which led to some beard-scratching, which (many steps later) led to the decision to re-think the idea of what Nine Inch Nails could be.”
Belew recently said he’d been thinking about his Flux project since he thought it up in 1978. He was inspired after hearing two radios clashing with each other because they were tuned to different stations, merged with the ambient sounds around him.
He explained: “I remember closing my eyes and listening to this beautiful cacophony; the sound of life. I thought: ‘This is how I want my music to sound someday – music being interrupted by life being interrupted by music.’ From that moment on I began working out how that could ever be possible.”
Former Jane’s Addiction bassist Avery left NIN after saying he’d been “overwhelmed” by the amount of shows on their schedule – leading to an outburst of scorn from JA guitarist Dave Navarro.
Reznor’s band will release their album Hesitation Marks in September, after playing the Leeds and Reading festivals the previous month. They’ve also announced a North American arena tour which they say will be “the full-on live experience realised as we never could before.”
They’ve just released a career-spanning Soundcloud playlist of all 27 singles from 1989′s Down In It to yesterday’s Came Back Haunted.