He might be able to knock out badass tunes, but Bristol boy Eats Everything is, in his heart, a DJ first and foremost (or husband if his new wife is reading!). What’s more, the man born Daniel Pearce has been doing it for exactly 20 years now, having gotten his first decks for Christmas back in 1992.
For many years, it was jungle and hardcore he spun, but he seldom broke out of the Bristol postcode until he dropped the modern classic that was the appropriately entitled ‘Entrance Song’ last year.
Because of the way the modern scene works, it changed everything, and led to promoters around the world falling over themselves to get the big man to come and play at their party. Little did they know he was such an adroit DJ…
“I can scarcely believe it, to be honest. I’m just a fat idiot who wears Next jeans,” he says disarmingly. He’s in the midst of a third US tour, in a lonely NYC hotel.
“I went from being in my studio everyday to playing three or four gigs a week and it’s finally caught up with me,” he says of a year which has seen him play live on Radio 1 from Ibiza, headline Fabric, impress at the Space closing and also tick off Pacha, one of his long-term DJ goals.
As you can tell from that list, Eats Everything has a wide appeal, and much of his talent lies in genuinely reading a crowd. Sometimes he’ll play deep and 119BPM in, say, Detroit, at others he’s happy to play what people expect — namely “the bangers” — at places like Global Gathering.
“My favourite DJs were the ones that mixed up hardcore and jungle together,” he says of early influences that still impact how he does things today. “I’m still like a '90s hardcore DJ. Whatever I’m playing, I will always cut-up, drop bits in here or there. There are always two things going on, sometimes three or four, as I use up to four decks at a time. Maybe that’s why people like me, because in the house scene, not many people do that.”
It’s tough to easily assign Pearce to one scene, though, because rarely are two sets the same. At the Secret Garden Party this year, people were wowed by the diverse likes of Ron Trent and Simon & Garfunkel all in one session, whilst for Mista Jam’s show on Radio 1, he turned in a rinsing mix of classic jungle.
“I look like I’m enjoying myself I think, and that matters,” he says in tones as booming as his own basslines. “My ideal is to educate first and entertain second, but that can’t always be the case. Sometimes you see a DJ come on who people are so excited about seeing, but soon get disappointed when the DJ gets lost in his own world.”
That ability to suspend one's sense of self for the sake of the party is a rare but real skill — after all, DJs are there for the merriment of the crowd, to make them dance. And boy does Pearce do that, notably during 2012 in close association with technological innovators, Pioneer. Noticing Pearce was a technical wizard, the brand was quick to loan him their latest bit of kit, the CDJ-2000nexus.
“Maceo Plex saw me using them and USBs when we toured together and said, ‘You’re doing the same as me, but I have all these controller surfaces, Traktor keeps crashing… hook me up!’ I did, and since then, Pioneer have really been good to me. It was a great experience filming the demo video for them in London.”
With a second Essential Mix on the way following a first in 2011, personal goals like playing Amnesia yet to be achieved and a debut album in the pipeline, Eats Everything remains literally, and metaphorically, hungry. He closes off, though, in a typically humble way.
“I’m massively, massively honoured to win this. I’ve always wanted to win something that acknowledged my DJ skills. It’s the thing I care about most, so thank you!”
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