Eats Everything Interview: Hometown Glory

Becca Frankland quizzed Eats Everything on his beloved Bristol and his formative clubbing experiences there before he represents his hometown at elrowCity over in Ibiza.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 5th Jul 2016

Dan Pearce, better known as DJ and producer Eats Everything, is a raver through and through. His interest in dance music was fuelled by his thirst for knowledge and stemmed from listening to jungle and digging for hardcore, all the while going out and, well, smashing its head in.

His ability to level with those on the dancefloor has earned him a reputation as one of the best DJs around. High energy and full of personality, his genuine dedication and interest reflects in his infectious sets, where his wholehearted love for the scene transcends into his performances and productions. 

After years of working dead end jobs, Dan gave his bid for a musical career one last try back in 2011, a feat which resulted in the conquering 'Entrance Song' on Catz N Dogz's Pets label -  then followed by bass heavy productions on Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird imprint. Naturally, everything changed for him after that.

Now he's used to visiting some of the best parties both in the UK and internationally. From intimate basement spaces to huge festival arenas, Eats Everything can match it all. His various gigs at Glastonbury this year was another testament to his diversity; a disco set there, a hardcore set with Ellis Dee here, then back to house.

Before Dan represents his hometown of Bristol on Space Ibiza's Terrace as part of the elrowCity concept, which sees a selection of seven DJs champion the city close to their heart, we asked him all about growing up in Bristol, what it was like to rave there and why no other place compares. 

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You've made your lifelong love affair with Bristol clear over the years, from your Boiler Room in the chippy (above) to the consistent championing of the likes of local filmmakers or restaurants on Twitter. How would you sum up what makes the city so special to you?

It’s down to the atmosphere, the way people are - it’s the most friendly place you can go, and it’s hard not to be inspired by a place with such a rich musical history.

For someone who had grown up in a small town 20 miles outside of Bristol, can you explain the allure and then the satisfaction when you did finally move to the city and were able to experience everything it had to offer? 

We’d been setting up raves as teenagers in our hometown, but going out in Bristol was on another level. All of the top guys from house, techno and drum n bass were al playing there, it blew my mind at the time.

There used to be a group of up to 50 of us that would make the trip up to Bristol to go out on the weekend, all dressed up with bright orange hair and t shirts! 

Can you tell us about an ultimate stand out clubbing experience you had in Bristol? Talk us through it…

There are so many that it’s hard to pinpoint just one. There have been a lot of standout moments, and there’s also a lot that I don’t remember for obvious reasons.

One would be Carl Cox playing at Lakota on a Friday night in 1997, it was the busiest I have ever seen the club. He was meant to be on at 4am, 4am came and he was not there, 5am and 6am came and he was not there. Each hour the club got a little less busy. The club was scheduled to close at 7am, but at 6:45am Carl arrived and he played until about 11am to about 300 people on the balcony.

Legend has it he didn’t take a fee for it - it's one of the many reasons he is a hero. 

How have you seen the clubbing scene develop in Bristol over the years?

When I started raving it was one of the best cities in the world for the clubbing scene, and Lakota was one of the best clubs in the world. Like everything it comes in ebbs and flows. In 2004-2007 it took a real dip, but now it is in the best shape it has been since the mid 90s. It has not evolved much as a city, but within dance music it has - much like the genre of music has. 

Bristol has birthed some brilliant artists, from yourself, to Roni Size, Massive Attack, Julio Bashmore, the list goes on. What elements do you believe could have impacted their style which are completely unique to Bristol? 

The long tradition of music in Bristol means there’s a really great creative community. It’s small enough that everyone knows each other, and there’s a really nice atmosphere of supporting and sharing. 

There was a big gap between your last gig at Lakota in 1999 to your return performance there earlier this year, was there any reason you didn't play in that window? What was it like going back?

Well unfortunately a lot of that was due to the big gap in my DJ career - before getting my big break with ‘Entrance Song’ in 2011, I was mostly trying out various ‘real’ jobs, on building sites and in recruitment. I also wanted to go back, but really it was a case of waiting for the right moment; it felt right to do it earlier this year after the release of my fabric compilation.

Seeing as it was a pivotal moment in my career, it felt right to go back and celebrate in somewhere that has been so important in this actually becoming my career. It did feel quite surreal going back to headline, but mainly it was just a really good party!

You've said previously that there's nowhere else in the world you'd rather live than Bristol, but if you had to pick, what other city has a special place in your heart?

Well, a lot of my friends in the music scene live in London, so I wouldn’t mind going there if I had to - it’s also very easy to get back to Bristol from there! It’s not really a city, but Ibiza is like a second home to me during the summer - I definitely have a special place in my heart for the island!

How will you be representing Bristol at elrowCity? Have you got ideas for the production side of things?

I have got loads of ideas, but sadly none can be revealed here… you will just have to come for a dance in Ibiza. 

You said recently that you didn't get into this scene to take things too seriously, it's always been about having fun - and that's definitely an ethos which is highlighted by elrow.

Do you think there's been a shift at all in the scene between the serious music/brands/venues which can almost class having fun as a taboo, to something like elrow which is very heavy on silliness? 

I’m not sure if there’s been a shift necessarily, but the growing global success of elrow shows there’s clearly a demand for something like that. The team behind it are like a family, they never sacrifice their values but really care about and know their music too.

It’s such a great party to play, because you can tell everyone out there is genuinely having a great time. When I first got into going out raving, it wasn’t to stand around thinking about the DJ’s technique and selections, it was just about going out to forget everything with a good group of people and great tunes, and I’m pretty sure that’s the same for most people.

You'll be playing all night long for elrow, what do you enjoy most about extended sets?

Well I always say i don’t get paid to DJ, I get paid to do the travelling. DJing is the most fun thing, so the longer I get to play for, the better! It means I really get to dig through my records without the pressure of just playing the more well-known hits.

I read that your long term goal is to own a studio complex in Bristol, does that still stand? 

I have loads of long term goals, that is one of them and it will definitely happen - hopefully in the not-too-distant future. 

Is there anything else you'd like to fill us in on in regards to plans for the near or distant future?

This summer’s touring schedule is crazy and Ibiza is obviously going to be amazing, but once that calms down I’m really looking forward to developing things more with Edible. There’s lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline, and I’m really happy with how things are going at the moment. 

Tickets for elrow at Space Ibiza on Saturday 9th July are available from the box below.

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