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Nice is an American band with a very British sound. The alternative pop/rock unit comes from Orange County, CA, which is just south of Los Angeles, but the members of Nice are so heavily influenced by Brit-pop that they might as well be from London, Liverpool, or Manchester. Orange County's Nice should not be confused with a late '60s psychedelic rock/progressive rock band from England called the Nice, whose keyboardist Keith Emerson went on to join the famous Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Nor should the Orange County band be confused with a band that recorded a self-titled CD for the Feel Good All Over label in 1994. Orange County's Nice (whose name rhymes with piece or fleece, not ice or rice) brings a long list of Brit-pop influences to the table, including Oasis, Suede, and Duran Duran, as well as Coldplay, Travis, and the Lightning Seeds. Their melodic, tuneful material has also been influenced by the Beatles, which is something Nice has in common with all of those bands. Nice, however, is not devoid of American influences; one of its influences is Georgia's R.E.M., but then, R.E.M. is an American band that has been greatly influenced by British Invasion rock. Nice formed in October 2000 when the Anderson brothers -- John Anderson on lead vocals, Mike Anderson on drums and background vocals, and Ricky Anderson on lead guitar and background vocals -- decided to join forces. Subsequently, bassist Dave Des Armier and keyboardist/rhythm guitarist John "JP" Peil were added, which made Nice a quintet. The band named itself after Nice, CA, a small town in the northern part of state that the Anderson brothers used to visit when they were growing up in Orange County. Nice is also the name of a town on the French Riviera, but the Anderson brothers were definitely thinking of the Northern California town -- not Nice, France -- when they came up with a name for their band. Before Nice, John Anderson (not to be confused with Yes singer Jon Anderson) had played sax in a ska-rock band that toured extensively. But he wasn't happy with that band's direction and so he left to start a band of his own, one that would reflect his love of Brit-pop past and present. Once Nice's lineup was in place, the band started performing live around Southern California. In 2001, Nice recorded its debut album, My Planet, which was released on the Anderson brothers' own Tank Farm label. Their company turned out to be more than just a vanity label and the Anderson brothers have signed two other Orange County bands to Tank Farm: John Wilkes Kissing Booth and Scarlet Crush. ~ Alex Henderson

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