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Terrence Fixmer's Fixmer/ McCarthy- I Don't Want To Sound Like Nitzer Ebb

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, September 8, 2004
"Sometimes I think life is really strange, especially when I find myself standing on stage playing an old Nitzer Ebb track with the singer of Nitzer Ebb. I find myself thinking 'what is this-' Because I remember once going to a Depeche Mode concert where Nitzer Ebb were supporting when I was really young and I never thought that one day I would be on stage with him."

Almost 20 years after he first saw EBM pioneers Nitzer Ebb in concert, and ten years after he launched his techno career, French producer Terrence Fixmer is one of the biggest names in the thriving European (new) EBM scene Equally acclaimed as a DJ his profile looks set to rise even further with the imminent release of his latest project Between The Devil, an album released under the band name Fixmer/ McCarthy. The McCarthy in the band is one Douglas McCarthy, singer of legendary EBM pioneers Nizter Ebb, a band Terence admits had a profound impact on his life and career.

"I always listened to lots of Nitzer Ebb and really loved Douglas' voice, I used to think which voice would fit the best on my music and I always thought Douglas had the perfect voice," he says.

"I liked his energy and thought it would fit with the energy in my music so when I met him it was like meeting a legend for me. Some people are big fans of someone like Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode, for example, well for me it was Douglas McCarthy."

The two met in London where Douglas had started a new career, working as a director and assistant director in advertising and rapidly agreed to collaborate, Terrence handling the music and Douglas the music. Two years later, the resulting album 'Between the Devil' is about to come out on S.P.V., prompting Terrence to speak to Skrufff from his hometown of Lilles, Northern France.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): When did you finish the new album-

Terrence Fixmer: "We started making it 18 months ago, then first finished in January though we added a couple of extra tracks in March. When we started I was living in Berlin and playing a lot of live solo shows and Douglas was in London, where he also works, so it was difficult for us to meet, to work on the album. We needed to find time when we were both free which is why it took quite a long time."

Skrufff: Douglas does the lyrics, you do the music, is that split strict-

Terrence Fixmer: "Yes because at the moment I consider myself to be a musician, an analogue creator so I take care of all the music and the sequences and how I think it's good because I also know a little bit about the techno scene so I like to make the music for the dance floor. Then Douglas comes in and listens to the sequences he likes then after that he writesthe process works well because we've clicked together well; he really understands my music and I immediately like his melodies and lyrics."

Skrufff: Douglas has a great past and legacy as one half of Nitzer Ebb, how are you affected by that musical legacy-

Terrence Fixmer: "I make the tracks like Terrence Fixmer. Because I live in Northern France my first musical education came from EBM (electronic body music) in 1984/ 85 when I was a teenager. At the time I only used to listen to bands like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242 and these bands belong to my electronic education. Then came Nu beat and techno and when Nu beat came along I saw it as something completely new so I completely quit EBM music and stopped listening to it altogether. I then started making music and techno though from the start my music always had EBM influences. I really loved the energy and tension that early Nitzer Ebb music had and I tried to put that into my music, but in a modern way. So when I make something now with Douglas I don't want to sound like Nitzer Ebb, because their music can't be bettered, so I just tried to make Terrence Fixmer style music with Douglas tied together."

Skrufff: You're performing Nitzer Ebb songs when you play live though-

Terrence Fixmer: "Yeah, we play our album<