Interview 2006 Julian Beeston

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ZERO talked things out with Julian Beeston! Many Thanks to Stefan from the swedish Zero Magazine in Göteborg.

Zero Music Magazine
Box 2002
40311 Göteborg
Sweden
Phone: +4631-195 777 (Office) Cell: +46709-269 734


http://www.zeromagazine.nu


 

ZERO:
Tell us about your time with Nitzer Ebb.

Julian:
My time with Nitzer Ebb was good, definetly a few ups and downs, but all my memories are good ones.

ZERO:
I saw your first show with Nitzer Ebb at the Swedish music festival Hultsfred. What are your memories from that show?

Julian:
That was great. I had just turned 20 years old and it was my first big show with the Ebb. I remember it was Bon’s birthday so it was definitely somewhat of a celebration. The show itself was really great, packed. Bon and Doug found me an hour after the show with a bottle of vodka in one hand and a chick in the other, after that they said I was definitely their new drummer !

ZERO:
How importatant do you think Nitzer Ebb has been for the electronic scene?

Julian:
Pretty immense really. In my various travels over the years and with encountering various people from all walks of life, it never ceases to amaze me how many people were into the band. Countless times I have had people say to me how awesome the band was and that they saw this show or that show. It has always been a source of great pride to be associated with them in many ways. I was at a wedding a few months ago and it was at a swanky house in the Hollywood Hills and it was owned by a pretty important plastic surgeon guy. Anyway, long story short, he ended up producing all; of these Ebb records that he still had on vinyl and I was his new best friend ! In musical terms, I think the Ebb were totally ahead of their time, you only have to look at the rise of dance music over the last decade or so to see why.

ZERO:
How did you become a member of Nitzer Ebb?

Julian:
Being a fellow Essex boy myself, I knew of Nitzer Ebb, Bon Doug, Dave and Simon from their early days and was into them as I was into the same things, synths and drums and stuff. I even skated for about 5 minutes. I met them when I was about 17. I worked as a bartender in a small bar we all used to go to where everyone seemed to magically get free drinks, don’t now how they made any money.Anyway, I went to their shows, and they came to a couple of mine. I guess Dave left the band and they got Nhan in for a little while, but it didn’t work out, so they asked me.

ZERO:
What are your best memories from the band?

Julian:
Probably too many to mention here, some of the best things are the simplest. I learn t and saw a lot. Perhaps one of my fondest is the 1990 Violater tour with Depeche. I still have friends from that time, one of which was the girl’s wedding I told you about earlier.

ZERO:
Have you been asked to join the upcoming tour? Are you going to join Nitzer Ebb on the upcoming reunion tour?

Julian:
At this point I haven’t been asked. If I’m asked, it is certainly something I would consider and be happy to do if my schedule allowed, as much for the Spinal Tap jokes as anything, but it’s ultimately up to them, it’s their band. Perhaps Dave should be the one that does it, as he started the band with them, but I guess we’ll see.

ZERO:
What are your thoughts of the Nitzer Ebb reunion tour?

Julian:
Pretty cool. Bound to happen sooner or later. I quite admire them for holding out for so long. I think they should have waited another 30 years or so though. Then they could have legitametly wheeled themselves out in cool wheelchairs, far more industrial.

ZERO:
Why did you quit the band?

Julian:
Well, to save face at the time, I told everyone I quit. That’s what you do. In actuality, we were in pre-production for “Big Hit” and it just wasn’t working out with me and them. They didn’t like my ideas much and were obviously going through a lot themselves, so basically they wanted to move on. In retrospect it’s all fair enough. That’s how it goes sometimes. Besides, I was a crap drummer !!

ZERO:
What are your thoughts of the music that Nitzer Ebb produced after you left the band?

Julian:
I could totally appreciate what they were trying to do, but I’m not sure it succeeded on all levels. Some of it I thought was really great, some of it I felt didn’t work as well as it could have done. But it’s just music at the end of the day, as long as the person creating it is happy, that’s all that matters at the end of the day. If you sell a boat load of units that’s a plus, but that ain’t what it’s all about sometimes.


ZERO:
What are your favorite album and song with Nitzer Ebb?

Julian:
Tricky, there were certainly a lot that were cool to play. I always kind of liked “Control” and “Captivate” from Belief. Also “Come Alive” from the As Is Ep. For me perhaps the most fun to play was “Godhead” though.

ZERO:
Do you have any contact with Bon and Douglas these days?

Julian:
Nope. Haven’t seen them for 10 years. I’ve been living in LA for 5 years and I know Bon lives here, but we never seem to run into each other, big city though. So who knows ? I think Doug still lives in England.

ZERO:
Have you heard Bon and Douglas’ new projects?

Julian:
Nope. Sure they are cool though.

ZERO:
What do you think about the electronic scene today?

Julian:
I don’t really think about it. I just do what I do, use what I use, if sounds ok to me and the people I care about, that’s enough for me.

ZERO:
What have you done since you left Nitzer Ebb?

Bit of this, bit of that. When I left the Ebb, I worked with my buddy Steve from Pig quite a lot on a few things. The queen of goth herself, Patricia Morrison did an album so I worked on that for a while. I did a bunch of stuff with Marc from Cubanate including some of the C-Tec stuff along with working with Jürgen from Die Krupps, couple of tours, mixes, etc…. even wrote a Krupps song with him. We developed that and then wrote the first DKay.com album in Texas along with my good friend Adam from Skrew and Ministry. That looked like it was quite promising for a while, but then , I guess record company pressure and such like things kind of didn’t work out in Germany. In the end, Adam and I got fired for not being German and living in America. Guess it was more palatable to have an all German band at the time. Oh well, that’s how it goes. Jürgen is a good guy though. After that I moved to LA and concentrated on production and engineering more than anything. Got to work on a lot of stuff. Made a few trips to Chicago to work with Martin Atkins on some of the Invisble material he was working on, in fact that’s where we did the Gravity Kills album. Over the last couple of years I have been writing and recording with a few Chinese artists, which I have enjoyed immensely. I’m learning the language and all that and it’s interesting. It’s mainly pop stuff. I am doing an increasing amount of music for movie trailers and quite a lot of commercial and TV work. Recently I did trailers for 2 for the Money , Batman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Transporter2 amongst others. Also getting a lot of sound design work for full length features which is pretty fun.

ZERO:
Tell us about Magnetic Music Productions.

Julian:
Magnetic is one of my production companies. It’s just a name to tag on to some of my work, be it music, production or movie stuff.

ZERO:
You have been producing lots of big artists, tell us more about that.

Julian:
I wouldn’t say that. I’ve worked with people like Billy Idol and Giorgio Moroder amongst others on remixes and programming and stuff. I’ve engineered on some great records with some shit hot players. In terms of producing I’ve done the last Gravity Kills and the new Godhead album along with countless remixes of stuff. Some good, some…… not so good. I’ve also done my fare share of pretty dodgy stuff though, all in the name of money I’m afraid. Guys’ gotta’ make a living.

ZERO:
Are you involved in any bands now?

Julian:
I’ve just finished producing the new Godhead album. Should be coming out in April or May on Universal. Along with that I’m working with a couple of Chinese artists. Mainly pop stuff, but it’s cool though. Other than that, I’m not going out of my way to work on anything unless I want to. Few personal projects up my sleeve, mainly a chilled out dancey thing with various girl singers ( and languages ) called Karma Café. It’ll be a little bit like the Buddah Bar cds, only a bit more dancey and Asian sounding. Very background coffee bar music ! Sad , I know, not very tough and industrial, but it’s fun!


End

 

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