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Ntzer Ebb

international news _ 1st May, 2006

Nitzer Ebb Star's American Dream

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Bon Harris from seminal EBM/ techno/ electro pioneers Nitzer Ebb chatted to Skrufff this week about the band's upcoming reformation and revealed that he has no regrets about quitting England for LA when the duo split in 1995.

"With Nitzer Ebb we'd been touring a lot and I could see that life didn't have to be as difficult as it was in England," said Bon.

"In America, there was much more encouragement for people to be creative and to take a chance on being creative so I viewed America as a more fertile environment to try and do stuff and I think by and large I've been vindicated by what's happened. I don't think I'd be doing what I'm doing now if I'd stayed in Europe, to the same degree of satisfaction."

Since moving to LA he's gone on to produce albums for massive US rock bands including Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson and admitted that when he returned to Essex this March felt like an alien.

"Whenever I go back I get together with a lot of people I went to school with and they still say to me 'aren't you worried about the gangs in LA?'," said Bon, "And I'm like 'compared to Chelmsford High Street after closing time, it's a piece of cake'. In LA, you pretty much need to go to a bad area to find trouble, other than that people are unbelievably polite. It's much more peaceful.

"When I look back on England in the early 80s it was a very threatening place, especially because when we were first getting involved in music we used to wear make-up and fishnet tights and you'd walk round the corner sometimes and there'd be 20 skinheads," he added.

"It was always a threatening society. In some ways I'm glad because it taught me a hyper awareness of my environment and people in general; you have to suss out situations pretty quickly."

His views struck a chord with fellow Anglo-in-LA Paul Oakenfold who yet again criticised British music media this week, for failing to celebrate (his?) success.

"A dance magazine put on its cover that dance music was dead and that the records weren't selling any more. It just started the whole ball rolling. You couldn't sell your tracks to record companies anymore because they said, 'Your own scene is saying dance is dead'," he told the Daily Telegraph. "My world - the dance world -imploded."

"What I love about America is the work ethic," he added, "I love the idea that you can have one pound in your pocket and make a thousand pounds. I left England at the top of my career to go and start again at the bottom. I am willing to scrap everything I've done and start again."

Nitzer Ebb's "best of' album 'Body Of Work: 1984-1997' is out shortly on Mute Records, Paul Oakenfold's new artist album 'A Lively Mind' is released on June 5 (UK).

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