Eats Everything, the DJ formerly known as Daniel Pearce, has blown up over the past couple of years, getting signed to the dirtybird label and releasing track after track of dance-floor hits (including a brand-new US mix). In advance of his show at Beta this Saturday night, we caught up with Pearce to talk about his name, his history and growing up as a DJ in Bristol.
Westword: You started off your career pretty young -- residencies as a teenager and that kind of thing. What was it like being that age and up on stage, and how do you think it's influenced you since then?
Eats Everything: To be honest, when I was a kid, I was always pretty high on something or other. There was always something, and so it never fazed me. But it's definitely helped me gain confidence because I played to big crowds very young, and now it's not a hindrance in any way, shape or form. It's given me a bit of a springboard. I've always been an eccentric DJ, one who looks like he's enjoyed himself, and playing to crowds that early has definitely given me confidence instead.
I think you play a really interesting mix of house with more bass-driven music than you typically would hear in a house set. Can you talk about how that sound was shaped?
The whole Bristol bass thing has gotten a little bit out of hand, really. The Beatport sub-genre -- on Beatport today, there's a sub-genre, the Bristol bass, and I haven't got any records on there, which I was a bit surprised about. I've always been into house music and old-school hardcore and drum-and-bass and jungle and that kind of thing when I was younger, so I've grown up with a mixture of types of music that I'm into. The whole bass music kind of thing, there are so many people jumping on it, the heavier end of the bass-house spectrum. I'm kind of moving away from it and going in a slightly different direction. I'm playing a lot more house and techno than I would have a year and a half ago.
Is that because your tastes have changed or because you're trying to differentiate yourself?
My tastes haven't changed. I've always been into the same stuff I've been playing, but when this bass-driven house-y music was around, we were kind of the start of it, and now...I don't want to sound like a wanker, but it's been quite overdone now, whereas before there was one record label making that kind of music, and that was dirtybird.
Now there's fucking twenty of them. It's just a natural progression: If you want to stay a popular artist then you need to evolve quicker than the scene is evolving to survive. I'm not putting anyone down, but there's a lot of music that sounds a lot like everyone else, so we try to distinguish ourselves by making music that sounds different.
What led up to the emergence of the Eats Everything moniker, and how did you land on that name?
I eat a lot and I play everything. It's a stupid name. I don't eat everything. I've been asked a million times and I'm just now realizing how much I don't eat -- I'm quite picky. It's bollocks, it's a load of crap...but I do eat a lot of certain things. There's a modicum of truth in it. It's stupid and it stands out. I'd been playing under my name for ages, and I think a name that stands out is really important.
Dan Pearce is my name, I've been deejaying under Dan Pearce since I was twelve years old, and I never got anywhere. Within two years of becoming Eats Everything, I've taken off. A name that's cool, like Justin Martin, even though it's a name, it's a cool name. Daniel Pearce sounds like a run-of-the-mill name. Seth Troxler, that's a cool name. Claude VonStroke, that's a great name. If I was still Dan Pearce, I don't know that I'd be where I am.
You've really blown up over the past couple of years despite being around for a while and have released tracks on some big labels. What are some dreams or goals that you haven't achieved yet that you'd like to nail in the future?
This sounds really, really bad, but once I play Carl Cox's Space in Ibiza next Tuesday, that'll meet every goal I have. So I'm kind of content, I can give up. After Tuesday, that's it; I'll be done! I'll just sit and eat food all day. I always wanted to play at Space, and I've done that. I always wanted to play for Richie Hawtin, and I've done that twice. I always wanted to get a record on dirtybird, done a few of them. The main one was playing Carl Cox's Space.
They were my DJ dreams, my DJ goals, and I've reached them all. There's obviously other things I want to do -- I want to write a really good album, but that was never a goal for me, just something I'd want to do. This is like dreams-come-true kind of shit, and every dream I've had has come true. Maybe I could be saying I want a number one hit, but I'm not really fussed about that. I'm a DJ before I'm a producer.
What's your philosophy behind putting together a live set versus creating a track in the studio? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
I much prefer deejaying. I love writing music, I absolutely love it, but to be honest, I've been deejaying for 21 years, I've been making music for ten, and if I didn't have to make music -- now that I know what I know about making music, then I would. But if it hadn't become a necessity, I wouldn't make music. I enjoy deejyaing a lot more, and I consider myself a better DJ than a producer.