The The, the band fronted by mercurial singer-songwriter Matt Johnson, has inked a deal with Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label to release a new EP this fall. The release will be followed by a new studio album, the group's first in five years, in January 2000.Titled "NakedSelf," the new The The offering was recorded in New York City and was co-produced by Johnson and Bruce Lampcov, who shared production credits on the last few The The records, including 1995's Hank Williams tribute, "Hanky Panky." In announcing the signing to his Nothing Records label, Trent Reznor credited Johnson's work with The The as being influential to his work in Nine Inch Nails. "Matt Johnson's music was one of the main reasons I began working on Nine Inch Nails," Reznor said in a statement. "The passion, the honesty, and the nakedness of his work opened doors of possibilities in my head." For his own part, Johnson hopes the new alliance with Nothing Records will help spark some new
creative highs for the group."In a music industry of increasing corporatization, homogenization, and general awfulness," Johnson said in a statement, "it was a simple decision for me to choose Nothing Records. I feel we share many of the same beliefs and passions and already it feels like a natural home to me. I'm feeling galvanized and extremely excited about the next few years." The The plans to tour the U.S. and Europe in the fall to promote its new EP and full-length album.