Last weekend in Toronto I had the pleasure of catching up with 20 year old American producer out of Vermont, Pierce Fulton. Having spent the past few years producing mostly in his dorm room while he studied at school in Burlington, he's managed to build up his production catalog to one that is more akin to that of a seasoned veteran. Pierce is quickly rising as one of the best up and coming producers in dance music, as he crosses the boundaries between progressive house, electro house, and trance; bridging them together in such a way that really makes for a perfect atmosphere.
Being such a versatile producer has its perks, as he goes from playing alongside acts like Gareth Emery and Cosmic Gate at festivals like Veld to opening for one of the biggest electro house producers in the world, Wolfgang Gartner on his upcoming Love & War tour. Luckily for you guys, Pierce has given us an exclusive mix to get us excited for his tour with Wolfgang and Popeska.
Opening with his classic Who Wants Spaghetti and then getting into some vocal driven progressive house, all before he drops his private edit of the Gorillaz' Clint Eastwood, which we've also got for you here today for free. Check the full tracklisting and enjoy this hour long special from the young producer who continues to make waves in the dance scene.
01. Pierce Fulton – Who Wants Spaghetti? (Original Mix)02. MYNC, Dan Castro, & Ron Carroll – Don't Be Afraid (Pierce Fulton Remix)03. Usher – Scream (Pierce Fulton Remix)04. Gorillaz vs Jordy Dazz vs Koan Sound/Kill The Noise – Clint Eastwood (Pierce Fulton Private Edit)05. Chuckie feat. Gregor Salto – What Happens In Vegas (Pierce Fulton Remix)06. Steve Aoki feat. Polina – Come With Me (Pierce Fulton Remix)07. Felix Cartal – Domo (Pierce Fulton Remix)08. Pierce Fulton – For Me (Original Mix)09. Pierce Fulton – Pardon My French (Original Mix)10. Fabian Gray & Emanuele – When U Fall (Pierce Fulton Remix)
I caught up with Pierce after his set at Veld where we had a beer and just talked a bit about how he got here and where he's going. A genuinely down to earth guy who's clearly grateful for what he's got; and what he's got is talent. The set he threw down ahead of trance heavyweights Cosmic Gate & Gareth Emery was the perfect intro for what was to come later in the evening. I asked him if he had the tracklist for his set but he told me it was completely improvised, however he dropped a name that I hadn't heard yet, Audien, who I looked into and felt the need to share. I think this track captures at least some of what we felt being in the crowd during his set, which was also my first time seeing Pierce Fulton live – certainly not the last.
EM: How did you get into producing? What's your musical background like?
Pierce: I grew up playing music my entire life. My main instrument has always been guitar, I started when I was literally 4. I also play trombone, I play drums, piano, really everything. I've been bands since I was like 8 years old, all different styles and genres. A good friend who was a foreign exchange student from Venezuela at my high school had been djing for a while and he fell into minimal and electronic as well as some really underground stuff. For some reason he showed me one day and I got super into it.
EM: When was that?
Pierce: I started producing around 2009 so a little bit before then is when I first heard it.
EM: What's your favourite show you've played up until now?
Pierce: Griff (talking to his manager & brother) I might need your help cause sometimes I black out and don't remember the show. San Francisco was apparently a good show – for an intimate show – but i don't remember anything, I dont remember a track I played, I don't remember my track list at all haha. I just get super into it, I'll be like Griff was that good and he'll be like "Yeah that was sick".
Griff: Snowball was pretty cool.
Pierce: Snowball was sick actually (a festival in Colorado) and it was my first festival ever, so that made it kind of a big deal for me and also the setup was in the middle of the winter on a mountain, it was fucking intense. You're looking up at the tent and you see these giant mountains, its awesome. I'd definitely say that was my favourite festival play. And for a more intimate show, Santos Party House was pretty wild. It was just absurd, there were people piled in and screaming everywhere, it was fun.
EM: I really wanted to ask about West Egg and 10/6 (That Should Do it), they're two of my favourite songs you've released even though they aren't even dance tracks, where did the inspiration come for that?
Pierce: Well, I didn't start out making one genre of music, I just started with all this other random stuff. One day I just decided I was gonna change it up, and it was fun, it worked out. It was funny at one show I played, somewhere in Ohio or something, and a kid msgs me saying 'Dude WTF why didn't you play 10/6 and West Egg?" I'm just thinking why the hell would I play that?! It made me laugh, like come on bro, it would just be a total train wreck.
EM: Yeah, I'm glad you didn't play it, as much as I love it –
Pierce: Everyone would fall asleep haha.
EM: Who are some of your musical influences? Past and present?
Pierce: My parents were really good in terms of showing me music, I grew up listening to bands like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles, all those classic rock bands that they all grew up on. I definitely think that helped, mainly because I wasn't just the typical kid listening to whatever was on the radio, I was super into Jimi Hendrix and all that, all until I got into electronic. And I'd say in terms of electronic influences probably Eric Prydz for one, cause he has the same vibe as me going across all styles and genres. And Paul Kalkbrenner definitely, he's very different and I appreciate that.
EM: Yeah I saw Prydz last weekend for the first time in Toronto, it was incredible.
Pierce: Yeah he was actually my first show when i was 17 I snuck in, sickest thing in the world. I'm scared to see him again cause I don't wanna ruin that experience
EM: I know what you mean, sometimes you just need to preserve that memory. What do you like playing more, intimate venues or big festivals?
Pierce: Hmm, it really depends. For example last night I played in a club in Atlantic City. It was a bigger club so it was kind of hard to connect with people at the back. I mean the front was going wild, but you can't really do anything about the rest of the club. With a festival like Veld, you can see the whole room move so its pretty cool.
EM: What DAW do you use?
Pierce: I use Logic. It was the only one I could look at for a long period of time. I tried everything, it's funny because I'm kinda biased in terms of their appearance. I cant look at Ableton, I think it's the ugliest thing in the world, I think FL studio is the ugliest thing in the world, so I said alright, Logic is pretty good looking, I'll stick with that.
EM: What about VST plugins, what are some of your favouites?
Pierce: I'm pretty funny with my plugins, I'll try to find these really weird ones. I'm using a really intense one a lot lately, by U-He, its called Diva, I think the entire track of West Egg was made with that. I get a lot of random free VSTs, emulators and stuff (a digital version of an old synthesizer). I use one called Tal I think? It recreates old analog synths, they're fun and different.
EM: What do you have coming in terms of releases?
Pierce: I have 4 demos sitting with my label right now but I'm not sure when those will be ready. I have a lot actually, 5 or 6 remixes on deck, the Aoki one needs release, the Usher one needs release.
EM: What labels can we find them on?
Pierce: Well i'm signed exclusively to CR2 for the next bunch of originals, and the remixes are on various labels.
EM: Any collaborations in the works?
Pierce: Well its funny because all my peer producer friends and I are all really A.D.D., so we'll be working on something and it'll just disappear. I have collaborations with this Finish group called Something Good, I'm working on two tracks with them. I'm trying to get something going with my friend Michael Brun, we always try and we always fail cause were just ADD. My buddy Lenno, we keep trying but nothing final yet. Its just a matter of us being focused and trying to actually get something done.
EM: You're touring a lot right now obviously, how has that been compared to being in the studio?
Pierce: Yeah, it's good! The way it usually pans out for me is hardcore shows to hardcore time at home, working. So you're just always going ya know. It's weird, but its definitely fun.
EM: How was your experience at Veld?
Pierce: I had a lot of fun, I mean it was a lot bigger and more intense that I thought it would be. I expected it to be this little trance tent, but yeah it was a blast.
EM: Anything else you wanna talk about?
Pierce: We've got that Wolfgang Tour coming up, we're hitting all these random cities. West Virginia and shit, Rhode Island, Missouri. I'm playing in Vermont for my first time. Well, first time in my actual college town, in Burlington Vermont.
EM: Thanks for catching us up with us! See you at Electric Zoo!
Pierce: Can't wait!