Fixmer/McCarthy Media: Interview - Terence Fixmer


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Fixmer & McCarthy are back with the their second album Into the Night. Terence Fixmer tells us here about his involvement in the Nitzer Ebb reunion and the difficulties recording an album living two continents apart.

The interview was made by Stefan Albinsson (Nitzer Ebb Network New Jersey)


What can you tell us about the new Fixmer/McCarthy album "Into the Night"

I usually prepare many tracks, or sequences. Then Douglas comes to my home where my studio is. He listen what tracks he likes and then he work on the lyrics and the lyrics Melody.

Then for this album we have been in a studio to record his voice.

Regarding the music, it s done at my studio and mainly arrange at home, then we separates all files and mixed them in Berlin.

With our first album, I wanted to make a kind a raw album, where we can hear Douglas voice singing in a hard way, a kind of That Total age updated.

As well we recognize that many people like the track Freefall. So for this second album I wanted to show another direction, more melodic. I know Douglas has a great voice when he sings on proper songs. So without thinking of the music I created, it made Douglas singing more like a melody.

With Fixmer/McCarthy, we don't think on being an ebm band, or this or that. We just do the music we feel like without thinking on how it will be defined.

For us the main thing is to be satisfied and to be honest with ourselves when we are listening at the album.

Can we look forward to any single release from “Into the Night” and any guest remixes?

Yes some artists will do some remixes for some of the tracks. I already had "Look to me”, by Xenia Belyeva It will probably get released in September. Some other tracks will get remixed as well; we haven’t decided yet which ones.

What equipment was used?

I use a mixture of analogue and digital equipment. I work mainly with the Evolver from Dave Smith Instruments, a Nord Modular from Clavia, Mono machine from Electron, and Kong ms20. I also use lots of different software such as the Moog modular and mini Moog from Arturia.

As a sound card I use a motu MK2.

Rumors say that Douglas laptop got stolen with all layouts for the new CD, and therefore it got delayed?

Yes the laptop was stolen, but was not the main reason for the delay of the album. The reason had many points. First Douglas moved to LA, and Nitzer Ebb started to reactivate. Me as a solo artist had to play as well, quite often. So it was not easy for Douglas and me to find some time to record the tracks. When he had some free time, I did not. The distance between Lille and LA, are longer then you think sometimes. Then we had the same problem, mixing it in Berlin. And with all that delay, we even got more delay in terms of the contract we had with SPV and find new deals.

We wanted to separate the deal because we wanted to be signed on a techno label as well, and also in countries such as France were we are signed with Citizen Records

How did the Nitzer Ebb reunion affect the Fixmer/McCarthy project?

As said before it probably affects FM in the delay to finish the album. Also some people probably take F/M as a “under” Nitzer Ebb, which is not the case. With F/M we try to have our own identity. True that we are both electronic bands with the same singer, but with F/M we are more into the dance culture. In all tracks we use a 4/4 kick drum, like techno. Nitzer Ebb its more a electronic rock oriented band with real drummers. With F/M we are just trying to be different. But its true with the reunion of Nitzer Ebb, it created an auto conflict in some fans minds probably.

Will people be more aware of Fixmer/McCarthy after the Ebb reunion?

We are so different, Nitzer Ebb is a classic institution, F/M is just a new project with a second album coming up.

But I think we complete each other well. The fans who like Nitzer Ebb , will most likely like F/M as well. With the two projects, we can reach all the range direction of Douglas voice.

Will Fixmer/McCarthy continue to play Nitzer Ebb songs live?

Now as we have many so song and classics as well such as Free Fall, Destroy, Splitter and some of the 2 ND album songs, we don’t need to play so many Nitzer ebb songs live any more.

Maybe we will do "Control I' m Here". Our version is more dance orientated, F/M style, so it’s kind of different from what Nitzer Ebb is doing.

What was your role in the reunion of Nitzer Ebb, I read that Daniel Miller was very pleased with your job?

I think I have a little part in the reunion of Nitzer Ebb; I just “reactivated Douglas”.

I wanted to start to create the project F/M and Nitzer Ebb was on a split since 10 years back.

Douglas was not involved in music at all at this point. I wanted to use Douglas voice for a track that later become as Destroy. We had lots of fun and later we finished a complete album, followed by a small tour. Douglas enjoyed the touring and being back on stage, so after 4 years of touring, he finally contacted Bon again. It took a little while for them to agree on the reunion and put a tour together.

So indirectly, I probably gave the motivation to Douglas by being in a band and touring again. And as well for the fans to see Douglas on stage again, this gave the fans hope and motivation to see Nitzer Ebb together again.

I met Daniel Miller in Berlin, I was supporting Nitzer Ebb as a solo artist. Daniel Miller told me that the reunion of Nitzer Ebb its part thanks to me. So for sure I t was really proud and I take it as a big compliment. As an old Fan of Nitzer Ebb, I would never imagine that one day, Daniel Miller would tell me those words.

What are the biggest differences from your own project and F/M?

As solo artist, I will define me more techno, electro , when I work with my own songs, I usually know if it will be a track for me or one for F/M… I can hear if it will be possible for Douglas to sing on the music I create or not.

As solo, I can do a track in one day because I don’t have to wait for Douglas voice, and to see if his voice will change the structure of the arrangement.

The main thing in my solo project is the sound, I use and the sequence bring the atmosphere I want In F/M the voice is more important and the music behind, is the support.

How much is live during your live performances and how much can you change during the show?

In fact, I use ableton for live arrangements which is great for live shows

What I do, is I separate 8 loops for a song , I send the 8 loop separately to 8 different channels on the mixing table , and then I construct the song live. Also I use external effects that I send live to the channel I want.

Douglas listened to me when I send the drums, effects or the sequence and then he adapts his lyrics.

So in a way there are lots of interaction with us and the audience. If we want to do a bigger break in a track, we can do it straight with feelings.

As well, the order of the song we do on stage is not prepared, its just how we feel…If we feel that the audience wants lots of energy or not we adapt to this.

Sometimes after a song, Douglas and I are talking and we decide on the next track Also Douglas can tell me to prepare the next track.

In Nitzer Ebb, its different, the structure of the song is respected in terms of measure and bars. But they do the rhythmic live.

How are your shows different from F/M?

There is no singer. But I do the live show the same way as with F/M , I construct my song live through the Imac, but its just more techno, electro oriented.

By any chance you will work with Kourtney Klein in future?

Why not, she is good friend, and maybe I will ask her some drums rhythm on some sole track as for an experience.

Do you have a different audience as a solo artist after your involvement and touring with Nitzer Ebb?

Yes, of course with Nitzer ebb, we can see a more alternative audience and ebm.maybe as well a little bit older. As solo artist I have a younger audience, but I have EBM fans as well.

What are the future plans for F/M and Terence Fixmer solo?

For F/M, now we have the new album coming. So in plans will be some remix for some track. For me solo, I just have released a new single, I prepare a new one for September, and probably a new album for 2009.

What happened on stage at the Arvika gig a couple of years ago with F/M, why did you have stopped the gig?

Ok let's say that a totally drunk woman with a guy came up on stage, totally naked when we played and start to do a Nazi signs. I didn’t stop the music, but the sound engineer who manages the whole sound stopped it, after they were forced off the stage, the music started again.

Was quite funny experience.

5 quick questions:

Ibiza club scene vs. Mera Luna Festival?

It depends of the mood, more colored Ibiza, more dark mood mera luna

Front 242 vs Nitzer Ebb?

Both, I love the 242 atmosphere, and the energy of 242. Both band did my electronic education and have big influences on my music.

Nova Mute vs. MUTE?

Mute, the catalogue mute is the best, nova mute is just more techno oriented but in a way nothing as special as Mute catalogue.

Vinyl vs. CD?

Vinyl for the object, I like it because of the cover, the indication, and the warmness you get when you play it. CD for the technological possibilities when you mix it.

EBM vs. TBM?