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nitzerebb promo2022 01Interview with

David Gooday (sounds), Simon Granger (sounds), Bon Harris (sounds) and Douglas McCarthy (vocals) from Nitzer Ebb

“Back On The Road Again” - An exclusive interview with NITZER EBB
After repeatedly postponing tour dates, NITZER EBB returns to the concert stages of Europe in April. Before the band starts the tour, Douglas, Bon, David and Simon briefly answered Janos Janurik’s interview questions. They talked about the pandemic times, about the US tour from the end of last year that went a bit funny and also about their upcoming concerts (also with NINE INCH NAILS).


David Gooday

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: It’s been more than two years since we last met in Barcelona. You gave a fine club concert at Sala Apolo as a quartet (Douglas, Bon, Simon and you). And then in late autumn and early winter last year the band went on tour again in the USA, but without Simon. Right at the beginning of the tour Douglas unfortunately had health problems and Bon had to take over the frontman’s role in order not to have to cancel all the shows. What memories do you have of these strange concerts?
David: The last American leg was very strange without Douglas. Just the two of us on stage made for a very different show. I will say I had fun as we always do but it’s not the show we like to do. Bon was amazing, stepping up to do the vocals and he did a sterling job.

RoD: And on top of that, you were not allowed to accompany Bon to Canada. What was the background to this regulation?
David: The Canadian show I didn’t do was a pain, I ended up stuck in Newark airport and then had to find my way to Detroit to catch up with the crew the next day. All over a ten-year-old conviction, but then the Canadians are always a bit fussy about your past.

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RoD: The European tour has been postponed again, but in spring the band will hit the road again, at least as a trio. There are cities where you haven’t performed yet, for example Prague, Vienna, Warsaw or Budapest. Have you ever been to one of these East-Central European cities as a tourist?
David: The only place I have been before was Vienna many years ago on the first EBB tour.

RoD: Those who follow you on social media already know that you are working on some new material. Could you please tell us a few words about it?
David: During the last few years not being able to get together with Simon owing to Covid has been very odd. But I ventured on writing new material. I couldn’t really call it STARK as it was just my good self, so I decided to do a project under my DTG moniker. Everything I have been doing is live: no computers, no edits, recording straight to hard drive. What you hear is what you get. There will be some live streams in the future and there is a new Bandcamp: https://starkdtg.bandcamp.com/


Simon Granger

RoD: It has been more than two years since we last met. You accompanied NITZER EBB on their current tour, where the setlist was heavily revised compared to the previous shows. It was more electronic and dance-oriented. Did that have anything to do with your musical fling with David Gooday, STARK?
Simon: Yes, it did. In 2017 / 2018 we were talking to Bon and he asked us to interpret some NITZER EBB tracks more in the style of a STARK live set. We stripped out some elements and focused more on the bass and percussion. David put together an example in around four weeks one cold miserable January and we worked on it on and off. Bon and Douglas liked the concept and it ended up becoming the new structure of the live set. Bon and David are always refining it and the tracks can vary from show to show. Two years has gone by very quickly.

RoD: Do you still do design work alongside your musician and DJ activities?
Simon: I do yes, but not in the high-pressure way that it can be sometimes. It’s usually just things for friends, I’m doing some work for Bon on his “Songs From The Lemon Tree” project at the moment. It’s nice to do, very relaxed. I’m not actually a DJ, the STARK live shows are pretty much more of a controlled accident. The format does have some parallels with DJing though, thinking about it.

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RoD: Your girlfriend is a talented photographer who also works in the pop biz. Are you both the biggest critics or fans of each other’s work?
Simon: I’m definitely a fan of her work, we first got talking over a picture of OCTAVE ONE that she took. She manages to bring something out of each and every picture that she takes. She enjoys the process of graphic design too - so we learn a lot from each other really. Always something new to learn.

RoD: What did you spend your time doing during the pandemic? Did you do anything creative?
Simon: I was lucky that I could still do my full-time day job from home. It was nice to go for a walk each day and to avoid crowds of people for obvious reasons. I really enjoyed it, and I prefer a less hectic environment. With David’s help I put together a very small modular eurorack system that I am now using. It really helps that it is lightweight too. Creativity wise, I tend to design things in my mind all the time - sometimes they become something, sometimes not.

RoD: The European tour starts - after a long-forced break - in mid-April. Which concerts will you also take part in?
Simon: I am only doing a few shows this time as I do have work commitments. I will be in London this month on the 26th, Cornwall with NIN on June 17th, M’era Luna on August 5th and possibly one other yet to be confirmed.


Douglas McCarthy

RoD: Douglas, you’ve been the frontman - apart from a couple of Bon’s vocals - of NITZER EBB for almost 40 years. Do you still enjoy that role?
Douglas: I love it. It’s as fulfilling as it ever was. I also enjoy Bon singing too.

RoD: Your long-time friend and fellow musician, Bon posted cover songs - recorded under a lemon tree in his LA garden - on YouTube during the quarantine. And what did you keep yourself busy with during the long “Corona time”?
Douglas: Bon, myself and another LA based musician started a new project called DRAG. I also wrote on a couple of other projects as a guest.

RoD: When the US tour started at the end of last year, you had to miss the stage due to health reasons after the tour started. How do you think Bon handled the challenge of replacing you at the concerts?
Douglas: As I was recouping, I didn’t actually witness his performance first hand but from what I hear he did an excellent job and I was grateful he was able to step up to the role.

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RoD: Are you in good shape again now? The fans were worried about you and your health. Are you already waiting to return to the stage and to meet with the fans?
Douglas: I am very much better, thank you. I am excited to get back out on this European run and obviously beyond. Our rehearsals have been stellar and I anticipate a great reaction as always from our fans.

RoD: Not only with NITZER EBB, but also with your other project FIXMER/MCCARTHY you are going to be active again. Does that also mean recording new tracks or just live shows with the old material?
Douglas: There will be possible new tracks with FM. NE will be based around the reworked versions of classic songs that we started with Dave Gooday.

RoD: Are there any favourite songs of yours from your back catalogue that you particularly like to perform live? Will you also fascinate your fans with any surprises in spring and summer?
Douglas: I honestly enjoy all the songs in the set but certain ones are just on fire some nights depending on the audience participation.


Bon Harris

RoD: What’s the current status of your Lemon Tree project, Bon? Have you recorded any other cover songs?
Bon: I have prepared two sets of new songs. I did intend to record the next episode before I left LA, but time ran out. I will debut the songs live now at the Superbooth show in Berlin, and the Hotbox show in Chelmsford on June 30th - a show I am really looking forward to!

RoD: The US tour at the end of last year will definitely be unforgettable for you. You had to master the stage alone for almost the whole tour and sing or shout all the songs. How do you remember those evenings now, a few months later? Did you enjoy this sudden frontman role?
Bon: I always love singing - but I did not enjoy the circumstances that made it necessary. It was an emergency measure, but we all prefer to see Doug in good health upfront for NITZER EBB. I did my best to put on an enjoyable show for the fans, of course there is some satisfaction in that. I am very grateful that the fans found it a satisfactory temporary solution. Now we are back to normal, Doug is stronger than ever - and I am very happy about that.

RoD: How are the preparations for the upcoming tour going? Is there already a fixed setlist or are you still working on the final version?
Bon: We mostly have a set list in place, but I’m sure we’ll try different variations along the way.

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RoD: There are also going to be joint concerts with NINE INCH NAILS. Whose idea was it to support Trent Reznor & Co? I think you influenced them a lot with the musical genre you created in the late 80s / early 90s. Was that a coincidence? Was it just something to do with the fact that both bands had worked with Flood, or did you just feel the winds of change in underground electro music at the right time?
Bon: Flood is always a big influence, so that is a common thread. The possibility of opening for NIN in Cleveland came up through our booking agent in the US. I think once we agreed to that, the folks who book NIN liked the idea of us appearing at a few other shows.

RoD: It’s been almost 40 years since you - young, rebellious skaters with musician aspirations from Chelmsford - stepped on stage. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you look back on those days now?
Bon: I enjoy the fact that I still recognize the spirit and energy that I see in us now as middle age men that I see looking back at us teenagers. The spirit is still very much there.

RoD: How do you see the future of NITZER EBB? Do you want to continue only as a nostalgia band with live shows or are there still chances for new material from you?
Bon: Anything is possible. I think right now, both Doug and I have new musical ideas that are more suitable for new projects. We continue to develop the NE live show, make changes to how it sounds so even the live show is in constant evolution and not just a static nostalgia act. I think any new product from NE would be more along the lines of updates version of older songs. There are a few new ideas that we have in the library that may be suitable for NE, so who knows? As I say - anything is possible.

Below you can find the summary of the concert dates and venues once more. Stay Ebb-ed!
http://www.nitzer-ebb-produkt.com/#shows 



Promo picture by Mute Records / Hazel Hill McCarthy III / live pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)


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