Since his track “Entrance Song” appeared prominently in Maya Jane Coles’ Essential Mix last summer, Eats Everything (real name Dan Pearce) has taken the dance music world by storm. In that same year, Pearce saw his very own entry onto the shortlist for Essential Mix of the year, followed by numerous releases on a list of labels which reads much the same as a list of our favorites might: Dirtybird, Pets, Defected, Get Physical, Nurvous, Hypercolour, Futureboogie, and most recently on Jaymo & Andy George’s fledgling imprint, Moda Black. 2011 was a good year for a man who is as down to earth and amiable as his music is smashing, and 2012 is looking even better, with the release of his subtle, Dr. Dre-inspired track “Jagged Edge” still topping charts two months after its release. We had a chance to sit down with Eats Everything this past March following an appearance at the legendary Get Lost in Miami to discuss everything from an upcoming collaboration with Disclosure, to mixing at 118 beats per minute, and male ejaculation.
So to start things off, I know you played U Street Music Hall about a week ago. How did you enjoy our hometown club of choice?
It was fucking brilliant, really good. And I got to play early so I got to play stuff that I wouldn’t normally play, do you know what I mean? It was really good, I really enjoyed it. Kind of like tonight [editor’s note: 8:30-10:00 AM] I played a little deeper; I played my softer records. I didn’t play any of my heavier records – but I like that, cause sometimes I get fucking fed up with playing “Entrance Song” and “[The] Size”; it gets boring. But obviously they’ve got me where I am so I’ve got to play them [laughs].
Basically all of us have been infatuated with your sound since –
And infatuated with my body as well?
[Laughs] Well, of course. Actually that’s how it started..
You saw a picture of me and you were like, ‘Who’s that guy?’ And then 10 minutes later you were listening to my music and were jizzing everywhere…
Icing on the cake [laughs]…That’s going on the record. So when we heard entrance song in Maya Jane Coles’ Essential Mix last summer, that was basically the moment where I was like this guys insane – it was like, I’d never heard pitched toms before in my life, it was completely new to me.
That’s good, really good.
If you could just tell us about the whirlwind of a journey you’ve been on since then…
Well it’s been fucking ridiculous mate. Obviously I’ve been DJing for 20 years and I’ve been making music for 10. But then, to sort of suddenly get recognized when you’re getting on to 32 years old– it’s good in a way, because if I was 21 I’d probably be a cunt right now and wouldn’t even be talking to you guys [laughs]. But really it’s just been crazy like touring in America, doing all these crazy gigs. Last night I played in this place called the Setai Hotel, which is like – basically I stood out like a sore thumb, everyone else was – they weren’t even going to let me in because I had shorts on,
Ah, the cardinal rule: never wear the shorts.
Yeah, that’s the kind of place it was, and I was DJing! Anyways it’s just ridiculous – I’m a very, very lucky boy to be doing what I’m doing and to be where I am now.
You know, that seems like kind of the deal for the whole Bristol scene altogether.
Yeah, definitely. It’s been a speedy, speedy uprising basically.
It’s weird mate, really weird. But Jaymo I consider to be a really good friend now; I speak to Jaymo quite regularly. I haven’t actually heard it yet, but I did an interview on Friday with Pete Tong and they played Adam F rework on the radio for the first time, Jaymo played the B-Traits thing [note: Fever (Eats Everything Remix)], Andy played my remix of TEED, and the amount of tweets I got about my TEED [Tapes & Money] remix was unreal.
That’s coming out on the new TEED EP next week right?
Yeah yeah it’s the new Tapes & Money record, my remix of it. It’s completely different to the original; it’s a fucking banger. But it’s just been really amazing being supported by all these people basically.
On the subject of Radio 1 – making the short list for Essential Mix of the Year must have been exhilarating, but how intimidating was the very idea of doing an Essential mix?
Very intimidating. Especially as it was live – if it was like just done in your bedroom it’s like a piece of piss just stick it in Ableton and just make it perfect, but because I played it live in a club –
…In Bristol, no less.
Yeah, so I prepared for like a month. And as you know all the tracks are like edits and remixes and everything was my own stuff or edits of other peoples’. Any track that I played I did something to, so it took me fucking AGES to prepare for it. I was nearly sick, before I played. I was literally… I’ve never had that before, from nerves – just about to throw up. But then I got up there, and as soon as I did the first mix it was like [shrugs and smiles]. I was using CDs at the time so I didn’t have the safety net – now I use USB – I didn’t have the safety net of USB with Rekordbox. It was really quite cool.
When I heard that one mix in particular, what was it… Waifs & Strays into Shadow Child ?
That blew my mind. I was so, so confused by that Shadow Child song.
[Laughs] It’s a bad boy isn’t it.
Yeah, it is so good. It’s nice to have records like that, to be given those records and no one’s ever got it – and it’s an absolute fucking bomb. By now of course Shadow Child’s signed to dirtybird, and Dave Spoon, who made it – he’s obviously a massive electro house producer, but his first love is the same as me; jungle, drum n bass, old school hardcore. Now he’s doing what he wants to do, rather than what he has to do to make money. So although he’s a big star already, it’s good to be able to break him into something different, do you know what I mean? I just like to help people out at the end of the day [laughs].
That’s like all of us; we started out big into electro, blog house, all that stuff… Then all of the sudden we got “sophisticated” and you don’t know what’s happened because you find yourself dancing in a dark room at seven in the morning…
[Laughs] At 118 beats per minute…
And then you throw some bass into the equation…
You know that’s the thing – this music didn’t have bass before, really. I’m not saying I’m a pioneer but ..
“I’m not saying I did EVERYTHING but..”
[Laughs] I’m actually saying I’m the best producer that god has ever created, and I created dance music BUT… No, I’m joking obviously.
So we were talking about the dirtybird crew a bit earlier and I know you have a couple releases through dirtybird. How’d you get hooked up with them originally?
Through my release with Pets basically, and obviously Catz n Dogz. It’s all kind of interlinked; it’s all a bit incestuous. But not in a sexual way [laughs]. They’re just wicked people, they’re like salt of the earth – I’m not trying to sound arrogant or whatever, but if they like you they’re fucking just super sound people basically. Really, really amazing, lovely people all of them.
We already talked about dirtybird, and sort of Pets, but you’ve had notable releases on those two labels, Hypercolour, most recently Futureboogie, what is it like to work with you know, these leaders in the underground scene?
It’s amazing really, and those are the only labels I’m going to release originals on from now on. Only Futureboogie, Pets, dirtybird, and Hypercolour. I’m doing a mix album for Hypercolour in autumn – like a two CD compilation for Hypercolour it’s going to be literally anything I want to put on there I
can. So one will be really deep and weird and the other one will be fucking nails. Nails.
My main man, Julio.
Of course… I think the blogs are calling it UK Funky nowadays?
No, no… “bouse music.”
That sounds kind of terrifying actually – I like that.
Bouse music: a mixture of bass and house. I’m hoping that won’t get coined but I’m sure it will be eventually.
It just got coined. It has officially been coined on the internet.
It’s going viral baby! [laughs]
Can you tell us just sort of about the revolution that’s going on over there [in Bristol]?
I’ve got no idea mate to be honest. Once something comes from somewhere, it becomes very easy for other people who are involved to be dragged along. Like, ‘Oh hey he’s from Bristol! This guys from Bristol he must be good too!’ But I’m sure if I was from Duncaster or some shit hole in the north of England – sorry, northerners – then I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m sure that the Bristol thing has a major influence, but I’m also sure it’s almost like a placebo do you know what I mean? When in reality maybe we all just make good music at the end of the day. I’m not going to blow my own trumpet, but my music is alright and it’s different from a lot of other peoples.
Yeah; it’s not fair to pigeonhole.
No, no its not. My music’s different from Bashmore’s, Bashmore’s is different from Waifs & Strays‘, Waifs & Strays is different from Lukas & Christophe. We’re all different but we’re all from the same place and we’re all helping each other out.
On that note though, your productions display a lot of maturity and a certain degree of restraint, but most importantly your tracks have a lot of depth to them… what kind of gadgets do you use and maybe sort of take us through your artistic process?
Well gadgets I just have Ableton, my iMac, I have an MPK midi keyboard – AKAI midi keyboard, I have a soundcard, Mackie HR824 monitors and that’s about it. I use Ableton and I use mainly sub-boom bass – Rob Papen Subboom Bass. I use a lot of the waves stuff [referring to the waves VSTI’s] but to be honest I use a sampler quite a lot. A lot of my bass, the bass in “Entrance Song” is an 808 drum kit in a sampler with like a distortion unit on it, basically.
So would you say you don’t use a lot of analog at all?
I don’t use any analog equipment. I don’t have any analog – I don’t even have any room for any analog. I’d love to, but I personally … don’t get me wrong, analog is fucking cool and I’d love to use it, but I think the analog revival is almost a bit like “oh I use analog,” do you know what I mean? I don’t think there’s much – yes, there is a difference ..
But a lot of the VSTs are almost the same though…
Exactly! Like the difference is so minimal, it’s only the purists – or it’s like the Allen & Heath vs Pioneer argument. But only people that don’t know how to use a Pioneer mixer wanna use an Allen & Heath basically, because they say it sounds better… Not anymore: they have the same processor in them. So there’s no way they can sound different. Yes, in the past they did. But not now. They’re the same so it’s just a bit wanky.
For the record, when you played the Disclosure remix of “Running” at Spybar (in Chicago) last week, I went absolutely batshit.
Yeah, I love that record. It’s very good. A few places in America haven’t gotten it at all though – like San Francisco didn’t get it at all, they were like ‘What’s all this gay singing? [laughs]… They don’t like singing so much in San Francisco. It’s amazing, absolutely lovely. And now I know those guys, they’re like 18 and 16…
They’re brothers, right?
They’re like little nippers, yeah. I’m going in the studio with them after I get back actually.
Wow, that’s really exciting. Why don’t you tell our readers a bit about Coat of Arms, your other project.
Unfortunately Coat of Arms is kind of having to take the back seat at the moment, because I just don’t have the time. I literally do not have the time to do it. It’s just like, there’s no time for me to do it – cause I’m touring and I don’t even have enough time to make Eats Everything music really. So to have time to make that music as well, it’s just impossible for me. But it’s not done, it’s not finished, it’s just like taking a brief hiatus while I get things done.
Alright man, well that’s all we have for you. Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us.
Oh absolutely. Thanks guys.
Coat of Arms