In 1982 Douglas McCarthy founded Nitzer Ebb with Bon Harris. They combined a variety of genres to build their own unique sound within the then still young EBM genre. Over the years they evolved, took breaks, collaborated with other artists, and solidified themselves as a pillar in the industrial community. Thirty years have passed and McCarthy has only just released his first solo album, Kill Your Friends. It’s a morose and melodic collection of songs that have only minor similarities to his work in Nitzer Ebb, bringing something new to his legacy. We met up with McCarthy at LA’s new venue Complex for an interview and later that week elsewhere in LA for an exclusive photoshoot.
interview by : Diamond Bodine-Fischer
photographer : Saryn Christina
How did the idea of doing your first solo album after all these years come about?
Douglas McCarthy : It sounds trite, but being in a band for thirty years where we had a group identity, there’s a sense of frustration, though frustration is a strong word. My first knowledge of pop and rock music growing up was the 70s. There was glam, and then it went into punk and disco at the same time, and all of it, brilliant. Then there was go-go and New York b-boys, I just loved it all. I wanted to take that same journey I made as a kid, and include all of that in Kill Your Friends.
Where does the album name Kill Your Friends come from?
DM : Well, you know us, we talk absolute nonsense all the time. I collaborate with Hazel [Hill McCarthy III] quite a lot and our general approach to creating things is this rambling conversation that never really ends. So one time we were talking about some friends of ours that are not very nice. We talked about the old adage, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We switched that around a bit and said love your enemies, kill your friends. We thought it was really funny. When Depeche Mode posted about it on Facebook it was great, the only thing the Depeche Mode fans took offense with was the album name. People were saying it was negative, and insensitive to today’s violence, particularly school shootings.
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[ additional images not seen in the April/May 2013 Issue ]
read the full interview in the April/May 2013 Issue