Since his Entrance Song blew up on the resurgent house music scene in 2011, Bristol’s Dan Pearce AKA Eats Everything has been a consistent force at the forefront of the underground dance music scene.
Excitement only continues to rise around the incredibly hardworking DJ and producer, whose Eats Everything moniker describes his passion and aptitude across a number of sounds, from techno, to acid house, jungle, disco and plenty more.
With summer-long Ibiza residencies, increasing sit ins on BBC Radio 1’s Friday night show, and placing an impressive number 42 in DJ Mag Alternative Top 100 DJs for 2019, Eats Everything is easily one of Bristol’s most successful musical exports.
Eats Everything is easily one of Bristol’s most successful musical exports
Following the close of his Come Rave with Me UK tour – which sold out Fabric the weekend before – we meet Dan at his Bristol studio on a very rare Friday off.
Looking at Eats Everything’s tour schedule takes some calculation to work out how he fits it all in, which sometimes sees him hop from one event to an extended set elsewhere in the globe, in the same evening.
Though the reason behind a particularly prolific couple of years in terms of releases, he tells us, is due to cutting down on shows. However, his version of scaling back is very different from ours – working his way down from 140 gigs in 2016, toward this year’s still-massive 105 shows.
Before the last two of years, I just DJ’d the whole time
‘Before the last two of years, I just DJ’d the whole time’ he says. ‘I’ve stopped doing as many gigs so I could physically come here more and do work, so I can keep DJing. If you don’t make music, eventually people are going to say “fuck off, we’re not interested.”
‘I’m not really one of these people who gets inspired. For me, inspiration comes when I’ve been in the studio for a few days. If I get one day in the studio, I don’t do anything. I procrastinate and I try and get out of making music, then go home early and, while my wife’s out, sit and watch telly.
‘But if I know I’ve got three or four days here, then after day one, I become inspired. By the end of day two, I’ve made two tracks. And in the next few days, I’ll make three or four other records. But I need a period of time to get into it.’
This year alone has seen big releases including his excellent, acid rave-tinged Lickal Rolla EP on Loco Dice’s Desolat, Green Velvet collaboration Complex, and techno rumbler Comatose for Dense & Pika’s Kneaded Pains. On top of that, he’s launched new label EI8HT Records with longtime friend Andres Campo – already on its fifth release – and has continued pushing his Edible Records.
‘I am quite hard working’ he admits. ‘I don’t think I could work any harder at DJing. I could probably work a little bit harder at producing.’
Another factor adding to our astonishment at the sheer volume of Dan’s DJ sets is the amount of work he puts into each one, with his infamous ‘Rebeefs’ setting his shows apart from any other DJ in the scene. Creating his own edits of tracks, Dan makes sure that people coming to his shows are rewarded with an experience they won’t get elsewhere.
his infamous ‘Rebeefs’ setting his shows apart from any other DJ in the scene
During our conversation, Dan opens up his current Rebeefs folder on his computer, showing 1,677 edits – almost eight straight days of music played all the way through.
‘When I was a kid and when I started DJing, even until early to mid-2000s, record shop culture was still a massive thing’ he begins to explain. ‘I would go to this shop called Bang Bang three or four times a week. When you become friends with the record shop owners, they’ll get like five promos in and if they think you’ll like it, they hold it back for you, so you get these secret special tunes.
record shop culture was still a massive thing
‘In those days, there were only so many tracks pressed, so if you were lucky enough to get this tune, you would stand out. Whereas now, everyone can have access to anything.
‘I do the Rebeefs to set myself apart and so that, when I play, only I’ve got these tunes. Then I’m unique and it’s my way of getting record culture in my daily life.’
Working within a scene that can lend itself to solitude, over the years, Dan has shown himself to be quite a collaborative artist, in his label set ups and in the studio, as well as at parties.
‘Being in the studio with someone doesn’t always work out. You get together and think, this is going to be a fucking long day. But, for example, I had Fatboy Slim in here recently and it’s the first time he’s been in a studio for ten years.
‘We’ve become really good friends, me and Norman, and we had fucking such a wicked time in here. We made a tune, which we’re going to put out next year, and we’re going to try and get in the studio again. It was very much I was doing everything and he was going, do this and do that.’
We made a tune, which we’re going to put out next year
At this point, Dan picks up a broom handle from the corner of the room and starts pointing at different corners of the giant studio screen, which he has photo evidence of Fatboy Slim enacting.
‘Having someone like that, even though he didn’t do anything technical at all – he didn’t impart any wisdom on me – just being in the studio with somebody that’s made all those records… Whether you like Fatboy Slim or not, you can’t deny how fucking unbelievably talented he is and how groundbreaking and how different he is and what a fucking maverick he is.
‘It can be very, very fruitful and beneficial. There’s a guy on my label called Lord Leopard, who shares my studio, because I’m hardly ever here; he will help me and I will help him finish tunes. Sometimes you’ve made the tune, but you’re not sure about it, and it’s good to have him come in and check it out and say, get rid of this or do that – just having that second pair of ears sometimes, even just for an hour, can make you finish tunes or write music differently. So, for me, having a collaborative experience is really beneficial and really important.’
With joint live shows and releases spanning back years, another huge collaborative venture for Eats is the recent launch of EI8HT Records with Andres Campo – a vehicle to ‘put out techno music that we love’, Dan explains.
the techno that’s popular isn’t the techno I really like
‘Obviously techno is super popular nowadays, but the techno that’s popular isn’t the techno I really like. I don’t dislike it – I enjoy it, I really do – credit to all the DJs that are doing it, some of them are good friends and they’re smashing it. But Me and Andres like the more groovy stuff. The techno we put out is kind of a hark back to the 90s techno we grew up with, that’s got a bit of soul, a bit of groove and a bit of funk to it.
The idea was to put out records by people like Truncate, never thinking we’d get someone like Truncate
‘The idea was to put out records by people like Truncate, never thinking we’d get someone like Truncate – who was the fourth release! Having him on the label has propelled it to somewhere, at this early stage, we never thought we would get to. I’m a big-room kind of DJ and known for being a DJ that plays everything, but Truncate is probably one of, if not the most, respected producers within the techno scene.’
Though his sound has certainly always incorporated many styles within a certain umbrella, he has at times been labelled a house DJ, techno DJ or otherwise. Now, Eats Everything’s sound has become recognisable in itself.
Eats Everything’s sound has become recognisable in itself
When you trace through Eats Everything’s music career, his unique sound begins to distinguish itself all the more clearly. His recent Green Velvet collaboration sounds like some of his earliest stuff, and Lickal Rolla’s title track manages to somehow land slap bang in the middle of his house and techno delectations.
‘I want my legacy to be is someone like Green Velvet. If you look back through history at Green Velvet, you don’t really think of him as techno or house – you think of Green Velvet. And that’s what I want. I don’t want people to think of me as a techno guy, or a house guy or a jungle guy or a whatever guy.
‘I want people, when they think of me, to think of me and that’s it. Where the music all comes together and it will fit, no matter what era I’ve been making it in. I wouldn’t say it’s ever really been en vogue, what I’m making – I just make what I’m making and it’s kind of worked with the time.
I want people, when they think of me, to think of me and that’s it
‘I grew up playing acid techno nights through to hard house nights; jungle, hardcore, everything – I’ve played them all. It’s worked out in my favour that I have this plethora background. I’m an everyman DJ – I’ll play anything I can fit.’
If you needed any more proof, Dan lets us in on an event in the works for next year that will see this put to the test. ‘I can’t say any more than we’re going to do this party somewhere next year, and it’s going to have loads of different arenas with every type of music you can imagine, and I’m going to play a set in every room. That’s 100% already guaranteed. I’m going to play a jungle set, techno set, house set, rave set. I’m going to be DJing all night, running from room to room – and I cannot wait.’
I’m going to be DJing all night, running from room to room – and I cannot wait
From ultra-long sets, to intimate chicken shop gigs or his recent Come Rave with Me expedition that saw him connecting with fans on a one-on-one basis at every stop of the tour, it’s glaringly obviously that Eats Everything hasn’t lost a drop of passion for what he does. While he prepares for major sets at Elrow NYC and Warehouse Project this month, Eats Everything will also host his annual Christmas party at Stokes Croft’s more modest Pipe & Slippers on 6 December.
If I wasn’t on this side of the DJ booth, I would be on the other side
‘Come Rave with Me was a way of connecting with the fans – because I am one of them’ he explains. ‘If I wasn’t on this side of the DJ booth, I would be on the other side. I’m no different from anyone else, I just happen to be fortunate enough to be the one playing the tunes.
‘I get paid to DJ for a living – it’s not hard to be motivated! I’ve got the best job in the world. I get paid a fairly substantial amount of money to do the thing I love the most in the world.
Even after nine years, I’m still pinching myself
‘I still mix every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. It’s my hobby, but it’s my job. I can’t believe I get paid to do this. Even after nine years, I’m still pinching myself. The day that I start being complacent and taking it for granted is probably the day that my career takes a nose dive.
‘I choose to do a free party at the Pipe, because I fucking love it. I’m in town anyway, so we do it every year as a free party. It’s tradition. It’ll be me, Lord Leopard, Ammo and just loads of mates.’
Photos by Liam Dunkley // Artefact Studios