Douglas McCarthy does not need much of introduction. In the electronic music scene he i s a legend and his band Nitzer Ebb has been cult declared. Douglas is know for his energetic music and live performances, in this interview he gives away his secret to stay in shape and his hidden spots in LA. Douglas is currently on tour in Europe with Fixmer/McCarthy who recently release the new EP "Chemicals"
1. Tell us a bit whats going on with your different music projects at the moment? You were over in Europe for some F/M shows, and have recently released a new EP, more to come? I did see a short clip from Terence Fixmer playing "get clean" was it preformed?
Are you writing any material for your solo project at the moment or DJMRex? Other projects you would like to share?
Yeah, spent 2 months being based out of Berlin from the end of august through into october. it was a mixed bag of reasons: playing live with Terence; assisting hazel, my wife, with screenings of her film BIGHT OF THE TWIN in london and tel aviv; doing some studio time with DRUMCELL and LUIS FLORES in their berlin studio; oh and turning 50 years old!!
DJM/REX has morphed into BLACK LINE to produce a more song structured project. there have been a variety of collaborators but mostly myself and CYRUSREX with BON HARRIS when he’s available.
2. Did question never gets old, whats going on with Nitzer Ebb? Are you and Bon working on new material?
Seems to be a fave ;) no NE but working on music for BL. NE is probably at least a year away, if even that soon, and much more of a limited touring schedule. basically, i can’t make any promises. sorry.
3. What can you tell us about Hazels documentary? How were you involved?
Hazel met GENESIS BRYER P-ORRIDGE whilst working on THEE PSYCHICK BIBLE in 2009. BIGHT OF THE TWIN tells the story of genesis breyer p-orridge journey to ouidah in benin (west africa) to explore the origins of the vodoun (voodoo) religion with hazel. there, p-orridge engaged in a "twin fetish" voodoo tradition, which serves the purpose of reuniting the dead and living, to reconnect with her late partner LADY JAYE BREYER P-ORRIDGE, with whom she pursued forming a pandrogynous couple, a unity of two people as one. this spiritual journey was utterly dramatic - the artist called it “a path both brutal and loving”.
I also traveled to Ouidah, filming and recording sound. **********
4. Youre now living in LA, a huge difference from Chelmsford. Do you still stay in touch with your home ground? How do you like LA (big question) and how did you end in LA? Do you follow whats going on in the White House right now?
Yeah,probably the 2 cities Ive spent the longest in are LA and LONDON. i’ve flipped between the 2 a couple of times. we started touring seriously by the time i was 20 or so. it meant i was fairly disconnected with Chelmsford from then on. after a while i moved to cambridge then LA. initially to LA to write and record. i still keep in touch with Simon Granger and Dave Gooday via email and phone but i rarely have time in the UK to do Essex as my kids are in London and Bristol and my mum lives in the Cotswolds. last time i was in Essex was on my way back to my mum’s after visiting my dad’s grave in Suffolk.
LA can be an odd place for people to fathom because it is so spread out and there are various “centers”, which i think is actually very similar to London. i live close to downtown, where i work and mostly go out for dinner, art events and rarely bands even though i'm very close to SILVERLAKE, ECHO PARK, EAGLE ROCK etc we kind of stay local or go to people’s homes. boring basically, but then we do travel and go to great clubs and venues so i feel like we get our fill hated this election. like many people, i felt pretty sure that after BREXIT trump would get in. we’ll see how it all pans out. i was around for the thatcher and reagan years and actually they got people angry and riled up enough to make a lot of creative responses.
5. Talking about LA, I understand that you enjoy running and hiking as exercise. Is it hard to find good places in LA. Whats you're favorite hike/run in LA? Do you have any secret spots in LA/CA you wanna share?
As with most people, the exercise keeps me a little fitter and a lot more sane. i am in “FROGTOWN” by the LA river so actually have some lovely places to run and hike on my doorstep. i run the LA river path a lot as it is literally at the end of my street, but it’s not that far to run the SILVERLAKE RESERVOIR and i like to go for shorter hikes in ELYSIAN PARK with our small hound, ADOLFO GUZMAN LOPEZ. GRIFFITH PARK is super close too for biking and hiking. for more adventurous hikes we normally travel a half hour to an hour up the ANGELES CREST HIGHWAY into the SAN GABRIEL mountains or drive a couple of hours east into YUCCA VALLEY and JOSHUA TREE where the desert is incredible but you have to choose your time of year and time of day wisely - it’s very hot in summer and very cold in winter.
6. How do you stay in shape during tours and at home. Do you explore new routes in the cities you visit.Is hotel treadmill an option? Is it hard to find time for runs/hikes/exercise during tours, or studio sessions? Do you take your dog often on hikes?
It’s hit and miss depending on the schedule. in the studio i will either go for a run in the morning then head into Downtown LA where Cyrus’ studio is, or i meet Cyrus earlier and we go to the gym for treadmill and a workout (the summers of late have been brutal so if i miss the morning or don’t have time at night the gym is my preference). touring is hard and as i do a pretty hefty workout on stage i am sometimes having to save my energy for the performance. having said that, i do love to get out in cities that i am familiar with such as Berlin, hamburg and condone where i have a good array of routes to run. if i don’t know the city so well i will do a “there-and-back” route so as not to get lost or distracted as another issue (especially when you’re as old as me) is picking up an injury that impedes the show.
Adolfo is good at hiking but a right pain in the ass for running. it’s ok if it’s myself and hazel as he gets kind of worked up by us both being there but if I'm on my own he’s constantly looking for his “mum”.
What kind of shoes do you prefer for hiking/ running? You have tried Salming D4, they have a "natural running" approach, what do you think? What is “natural
running" for you?
Ive been running for over 40 years, initially cross country then street running. over the years i began to suffer bad knee pains and aches that i remedied with straps but until i found the natural running approach i did not fully ease those ailments. i found the SALMING D4 quite recently and am a huge fan. great structural support on the outside and inside of my feet but still with enough space for the full spread of my toes. they fit completely with my running approach after trying at least three other manufacturers.