Recipe For Success: Eats Everything Interview
We catch up with Dan Pearce, aka Eats Everything, to chat about his Fabric mix, inspirations and his busy 2017 touring schedule
Ask Dan Pearce, aka Eats Everything, to describe the best DJ set he’s ever seen – Thomas Bangalter, on the Space Terrace in 1998 – and the enthusiasm in his response is palpable. “He was just a wizard on the decks,” Pearce recounts. “He had three decks and was doing all these tricks with reversing the record and stuff, then he dropped this massive 909 kick drum à la Daft Punk, then after four bars of high hat; after another four bars, a clap, and so on.
“After about a minute of this drum track evolving into life, he took the mixer out of the console, pulled the phono leads out the back of the mixer and started to use the feedback from the leads to play a bassline on his hand. I stood there open-mouthed along with the rest of the crowd – then everyone in unison went absolutely fucking mental.”
The passion with which Pearce speaks about Bangalter’s set reflects the vivacity he applies to his own craft. Since his beginnings as a DJ in Bristol, to his ‘breakthrough moment’ in 2011 with the single Entrance Song on Pets Recordings, Pearce’s career has deservedly gained steady momentum. He launched his own label, Edible, with fellow Bristolian Nick Harris in 2015, an imprint with the ethos of “good music, good sound and a lot of fun!” he exclaims. His skill in the booth – Pearce is renowned for the spontaneity of his sets – has also cemented his reputation as a certified party-starter.
Last year may have been the biggest yet for Eats Everything, with a string of international tour dates, the release of his Big Discs EP, plus an accolade many in the industry would describe as a career watershed moment – a Fabric mix series release (in his case, the highly regarded fabric 86). Pearce agrees, stating that if he had to pick a highlight from the past year, “I would definitely have to say the Fabric mix. It’s such an honour to be asked to create a Fabric mix,” he continues. “All of my heroes have produced one and it was an amazing achievement.”
A busy touring itinerary likewise saw Eats Everything reach even bigger audiences than before, with shows in South America and the USA, several major festivals across Europe, a residency at Elrow Ibiza and dates at Paradise DC10 – plus an appearance at Carl Cox’s now legendary final residency at Space. Of that historic moment, he reflects: “It was such an honour but such a bittersweet event – so sad to see it close down, but the atmosphere was incredible, the best I’ve ever witnessed. The island won’t be the same without it.”
This year sees no signs of Eats Everything slowing down his touring schedule, with upcoming dates at a diverse range of festivals including Snowbombing in Austria, Nassau Festival in The Netherlands and Croatia’s Hideout. When asked how his approach to a festival set differs to that of a more intimate club setting, Pearce is frank: “I don’t think the setting matters. When you’re playing a set the music you play reflects the mood of the crowd and the overall feel. As a DJ you bounce off the crowd," he continues. "I don’t really like to plan my sets but I always make sure that I have new music for each one I play, so my sets are consistently fresh and exciting.”
That said, he does let us in on one go-to track: “It has to be Life’s Too Short by Hole In One – I’ve been playing this for 21 years now but it has played a massive part in some of my favourite gigs over the past few years.”
Going back to new music, Pearce’s advice is to keep an ear out for Elliot Adamson, a young up-and-coming DJ from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. “He has released a track on my label as well as (producing) that sick remix of The Streets that Seth (Troxler) played as the last track at the Printworks opening (in London). I think he’ll have an exciting year, I hope he does! There will be more from him on the label this year.”
Collaborative projects are also a passion for Pearce, reflecting his easy-going, personable nature. Having released a collaborative single with Green Velvet last year, we ask him what he enjoys most about working with others in the industry. “The best thing about collaborating is that you get to work with your mates!,” he responds. “You get to bounce ideas off each other and each person will have a different set of experiences to bring to the table. It is a lot more fun than sitting in the studio on your own staring at a blank wall.
“My dream collaboration would be with The Chemical Brothers,” he adds, “but I doubt that’ll ever happen. I don’t know who I would like to work with most, these collaborations just happen naturally – so I’m excited to see who it will be next.”
Pearce is also a vocal presence on social media, taking to his cheekily-named ‘TwEats Everything’ Twitter account to share his thoughts on everything from new music and favourite tunes, to politics and most recently, to back up Jackmaster's Twitter comments about sexism in the dance music industry. Of this inequality, he states: “There are so many men behind the scenes with big egos and lots of power and they’re the problem. They don’t share the same views as the artists and they have the power over the bookings and signings.
"We need to get rid of them or make them change their views in order to improve. It helps when you have so many artists and collectives coming together and calling out all these arseholes and putting a stop to it themselves.”
With that same admirable frankness, Pearce leaves us with a reflection on the highs, and occasional lows, of a career in the music industry. “Being away from my family is probably the hardest part of my career and the unsociable working hours,” he admits, “but the best things are incredible perks, like making a crowd of people feel really happy and just dance the night away, and being able to play with all these incredible people. It honestly is a dream come true.”