Jerome Dillon, best known for his work over the past six years as drummer and occasional guitarist with NINE INCH NAILS, will release "Reminder", the first album from his band NEARLY on April 11 via Kufala Recordings/La Cosa Nostra. "Reminder" was recorded in Los Angeles and features Dillon as the primary writer, producer, performer and arranger, accompanied by former 12 ROUNDS vocalist Claudia Sarne, AFGHAN WHIGS/TWILIGHT SINGERS' Greg Dulli, former NIN programmer Keith Hillebrandt, violinist Petra Haden, and engineer/co-producer Brett Pierce.
With one media outlet describing the album's sound as being "reminiscent of artists such as PINK FLOYD, THE CURE, and DEAD CAN DANCE," "Reminder" is an intoxicating and hypnotic collection of 12 songs that merge baroque strings and acoustic instrumentation with aggressive, bombastic drums and bass. "Reminder" is also a concept album that attempts to musically document a recurring dream Dillon had over a six-year period. "I kept getting a bit further along the path every time I had the dream, so I thought that it must be trying to tell me something," he explained. "And for about the last year of it, the dream ended with me accepting an invitation to drown myself in a very serene and calm body of water. Without sounding too bleak or depressing, the name 'NEARLY' just seemed to represent where we're ALL heading: to the end of our time here."
"Reminder" began in 1999 while Dillon was on a break from NIN's "Fragility" tour. He had cut demos on a digital four-track in various hotel rooms throughout Europe on that tour, and the project then evolved over the next two years as Dillon and Pierce experimented in the studio with different musical textures and tones.
These miscellaneous recordings were compiled and Dillon and Pierce began to sift through them while beginning the search for a vocalist. "The only things I knew for sure were that I didn't want to make a "rock" record, I wanted to be honest, and I didn't want to sing," Dillon said. "I had written some vocal melodies and lyrics but I wanted someone else to come in and take them to another level. Claudia was a perfect fit for this record — we began with her learning the chord progressions on piano and singing along as she played. This made the writing process feel much more natural and organic, as opposed to approaching the vocals as just another overdub. She understood where I was coming from, musically and emotionally, so we began to collaborate and finished the songs together."
The result is a record that ties together many themes to one unified concept with various musical and lyrical threads. Songtitles include "One Day I Was Gone", "Straight to Nowhere", "Mary Vincent", "Up in the Trees", "Tributary", and "Release".
"I always hoped that in the end, it would all come together like pieces to a puzzle," added Dillon. "If I stayed on track, musically and otherwise, it would work itself out and everything contained within would all relate back to the same place. No matter how f**ked up things seem, the one dim light that always shines is complete honesty with yourself. Where you¹re going, where we're all going, someday."
Prior to the "Reminder" album, Dillon worked on various projects with WEEZER, Dave Navarro, Gary Numan, John Waters and many others. Dillon joined the NINE INCH NAILS lineup in 1999, playing drums on the band's first tour in five years in support of "The Fragile" album. He appears on four NIN albums — "The Fragile", "And All That Could Have Been: NIN Live", "Still" and "With Teeth" — and 2002's "And All That Could Have Been" live DVD. He also played on various NIN B-sides, remixes and outtakes that have been made available in a variety of ways. Towards the beginning of the third leg of the 2005 With Teeth tour, Dillon needed time to address the health issues that were occurring while he was on the road. This indirectly led to his departure from the band, and his last concert with NIN was at the Hollywood Bowl on October 1, 2005.