EDMTunes Interview: Pierce Fulton

This past saturday, Webster Hall played host to their weekly Brite Nites party. This week the stage was to be controlled by the one and only Pierce Fulton. The crowd semi patiently waited for the top floor to open outside of the top 40 Marlin Room , which was full of people unaware that the real party was about to begin upstairs. I was greeted by the spinning stylings of Jess Marquis as I made my way into the Grand Ballroom. About 20 minutes into his wonderful opening set, I was escorted into the greenroom where in front of me sat Pierce along with several of his friends. We sat down to chat for a bit before his performance about his musical career, the other artists involved, and his view on the electronic music industry.

Its a huge honor to be here. I’ve loved your music for a while. Glad to be back in the city I presume?

Yeah, I live in Brooklyn now which is great. It’s pretty nice being close to the city and having a few shows here and there in the city; it makes things easy.

With your residencies here in NY, how does it feel playing shows so close to home so often lately?

It’s really cool! My crowd has always been New York based and there’s really a sense of home pride here. I’m originally from Vermont, but I never really play there so I guess I always considered New York my home base in terms of music. It’s just really nice to be able to play here all the time.

There’s quite a bit of emphasis nowadays put on artists even younger than yourself (Madeon, Martin Garrix, etc). Do you feel like it’s a burden or a blessing that you’re still so young in the game? Is there a sense of being overlooked for being the age you are? Or are there positive aspects of that?

There’s definitely two sides to it. Obviously people look at you in a different light when you’re younger, but theres also a condescending nature to it as well. I think some of these older guys are kinda bitter about how these young guys are coming out of nowhere, and I get that. It’s the natural way of looking at things. It’s the only way it can happen. Theres always going to be an evolution of sound, and the young guys are always going to have a contribution to where it’s going, but what’s underrated is the impact the older guys have on shaping our career. We came up inspired by their music, we’re just trying to find our own unique direction.

With your latest track ‘Where We Were’ with Polina being such a huge success, are there any other vocalists you would like to work with in the future?

Right now I’m trying to find vocalists who aren’t really associated with dance music too much. I just worked with this guy named Coyle, who’s the lead singer of this band called The Chevin. They’re a British based alternative indie rock band. He’s got an incredible voice and I’m trying to seek out these really unique styles because I think it can bring a new light to whats going on right now in electronic music.

Now that touring has picked up a bit more, you’re on the road more than you are at home or in the studio. Has this transition had any effect on your production?

Obviously it’s tough to sit down on the road and write music so I don’t do it that often, but weirdly that helps me. When I get home to my studio, I’m more fired up to make music. I also take a lot of mental notes when I’m playing about what style stuff works better than others. There’s a lot that you can bring in from being on the road, but there’s also the excitement of not being able to write for three days straight; it builds up and then you finally get home and can’t wait to start working.

As the year comes to a close, are there any additional collaborations that your fans should be looking forward to?

At the moment the only collaborations I’m working on are ones with vocalists. Collabs always pop up out of nowhere though so I’m sure there will be a few in 2014!

You have put your own electronic spin on songs from indie rock greats such as MuteMath, Atlas Genius and even The Killers. How do you decide which songs from outside of the EDM realm to remix and why the fascination with that particular genre?

I’m pretty picky when it comes to remixes and put a lot of thought into what I’m actually going to commit to remixing. A lot of people will take remixes as an attempt to make a song sound cool, but to me it’s gotta be something really special so I like to take my time and be really strategic when I’m remixing something. Regarding those indie rock remixes, I came from a rock and roll background so it’s always nice to touch back on those roots.

With this background in rock music, what made you start learning how to use production software instead of picking up a guitar or sitting behind a drum set?

I actually grew up playing in bands. I’ve played guitar since I was 4 years old. I’ve been in so many groups playing so many different styles. I was actually in a reggae band when I started making electronic music. A friend at the time showed me Carl Cox’s set from Ultra 2007. It was 2009 at this point and I was actually making hip hop then because I was super interested in electronic production. It was just so different from anything else I grew up with as a child and it really fascinated me.

Who are your favorite artists right now in and outside of the electronic music scene? 

I’m really into both the Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep crew, Mat Zo has been killing it lately. I love Eric Prydz, Fehrplay and that whole crew. In terms of non-electronic, I’ve been listening to the new Vampire Weekend album a lot lately. I didn’t like it at first, but now I really do. I’m kinda all over the place really.

So whats the next big thing we can expect to hear from you?

All summer I’ve been working on so many things, it’s actually sickening to think about how many. I’m at a point where I’m not going to just pump out what ever I can make. I take time to sit down and think ‘is this worth finishing and putting out?’ and that’s been such a rewarding process because I’ve weeded out the not-so-strong tracks. Like tonight, I’ll be opening with a track I finished about 3 hours ago. I’m pretty excited because I’ve never heard it on a live system; we’ll see how it turns out!

After another 10 minutes of shooting the breeze, I left him to prepare for his set. When Pierce finally made his way to the stage, it was obvious that most of his fans had read his post from earlier that day about his new song, because all the phones were in the air and all eyes were on stage. After a successful live premiere, his set only continued to get better and better throughout the night. EDMTunes would love to thank Mr. Fulton for the interview, all the wonderful music, and one of the best shows at the legendary venue in a long time.