Twenty-year old producer and DJ Pierce Fulton balances his time between a busy touring schedule and responsibilities as a student at the University of Vermont. His productions have received praise and support from the likes Above & Beyond and Tiesto and he’s remixed for Steve Aoki, Felix Cartal, MYNC, and Chuckie–to name a few. We’ve been impressed by his diverse musical tastes, interesting productions and new weekly podcast on Club Life Radio, entitled “Get Weird.” Earlier this week we had the chance to pick Pierce’s brain and hear a little more about where he draws influence and what life is like for a young American producer.
House4DJ: Rarely do we see DJs offering the type of diversity we’re seeing in your productions. Everyone seems to reject “genre allegiance” these days, but what is it about your tastes and influences that allow you to do it better? Do you attribute this to your relative youth and flexibility in this industry? Could you ever imagine yourself producing something like say, a dubstep track?
Pierce Fulton: Well I grew up playing all sorts of instruments across all genres and I think when I made the transition to electronic music, it sort of followed me. I just don’t see the point in staying within certain boundaries. And yes, it can be harmful to my music because straying from one path can disappoint a certain listener but also surprise another. And to the dubstep question, I’ve produced plenty of them, just didn’t like them enough to show the world. One dubstep remix I did is floating around as a preview, but hasn’t released yet.
House4DJ: What are you studying in school? Do you imagine you’ll be able to graduate at this point with your ever-growing touring schedule? Where do you hope to be in a year or so?
PF: I’m currently studying economics and I’m still a University of Vermont student, but I think in the fall I’m going to start online courses and eventually transfer/take courses elsewhere. It’s just gotten to the point where I truly can’t balance a normal class schedule during the week. I am going to graduate no matter what though, too much of a waste not to at this point. And in a year? Well, I’d like to be doing exactly what I’m doing now–writing music I love, playing lots of shows, and slowly cracking away at some sort of college degree.
House4DJ: What is the best live set you’ve seen recently?
PF: Best live set I’ve seen? Well, I saw Richie Hawtin play at Electric Forest during my down time there and that was pretty awesome. Been a big fan of him for a while and although the crowd wasn’t as into the crazy dark techno as I was, it was killer.
House4DJ: What is a radio show or podcast you absolutely must listen to every week?
I used to listen to Trance Around the World quite often but it’s hard catching it every week, so lately my favorite has been Eric Prydz’s EPIC podcast.
House4DJ:What has been your most significant memory in the last few years that you still look back on and think, “shit…that was fun, I hope I can tell my kids about that one day”?
PF: Ah that’s a hard one, for me I don’t think about any specific memory really, I mostly think about my progress. Like a year ago from right now, I was sitting in an apartment with my brother trying to figure out how the hell to sign a track. I wasn’t making any money, living off of Dunkin’ Donuts, and about ready to give up. And now a year later, literally everything has changed. It’s just quite weird to think about now.
House4DJ: How did you get into dance music? What is the first electronic song you remember listening to and thinking, oh my god, I have to start doing this myself?
PF: Well I had a good friend in high school from Venezuela, an exchange student actually, who first exposed me to electronic music. At the time I was producing hip-hop just for fun and I think it was one electro track from a guy named Hatiras that made me go “oooookay, no more hip hop”.
House4DJ: How do you balance your touring schedule with your personal commitments and relationships? Are you single?
PF: Haha, yes I’m single. I can’t imagine doing all of this with a girlfriend, the way I am would drive any girl nuts. I’m a pretty closed off person and I really enjoy being by myself when I’m trying to write, which is kind of all the time. I was actually talking to a friend about all of this the other day, how I’ve pretty much lost all of my old friends and “normal college kid” experiences to pursue this whole music thing. I don’t regret it at all but sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had never started producing.
House4DJ: Are you usually commissioned to do remixes or do you pick and choose songs you’d like to work on yourself? What was the first song you remixed?
PF: I don’t think I’ve ever requested to do a remix, all my official remixes have come through offers. I used to accept everything because it was just a good opportunity to put out more music but now I’ve become a bit more selective. Back in the day if I really wanted to remix something, I’d somehow find the acapella and just give it out for free. My first remix was of this track “Touch Me”…I think, I may be wrong. Kind of a groovy and melodic house remix and was actually my first official Beatport release.
House4DJ: Are you working on an artist album?
PF: Unfortunately, no. At my level it’s not really smart because you put all this time, energy, and money into developing an album and if the timing is wrong, it just flops. I really wish I could because I absolutely love music in album form, much easier to tell a story and develop something special. I guess I will just have to wait it out until the time is right.
House4DJ: What’s your favorite city to play in? What has been your best festival experience, either DJing or as an attendee?
PF: Either Vegas or San Diego, random combination but Vegas because it’s just so amazing every time and San Diego because I really love this one club, Voyeur. Also because I’ve played in both cities multiple times rather than most other cities where I’ve only played once. And for festivals, I’d say my best experience DJing was at Snow Ball in Colorado, crazy set up in the mountains and the crowd was amazing. As for a festival I’ve attended, definitely Electric Zoo because it was my first festival ever, and I’m actually playing it this year which is kinda funny!
House4DJ: How do you feel about the statistics that show along with a rise in dance music in America there has been a significant rise in ecstasy use? What are your feelings on drug use in the scene?
PF: Ah I just try to ignore it, it just bums me out that kids need to take something to “feel better” at a show, the music should be good enough on it’s own.
House4DJ: Do you party with Tiesto?
PF: Haha, no, not yet at least, mostly because it would be pretty bad if I got way too drunk with him and made an ass of myself…but I do really enjoy hanging out with him before/after shows, one of the nicest guys I’ve met. I do get a little nervous when he goes “DUDE, when are you gonna send me more tracks!?”
House4DJ: Who did you vote for (if at all) in the DJ Mag Top 100? Do you think it’s as important as everyone says?
PF: I actually haven’t voted yet. I’m just indifferent about it, it’s good to have a bit of a system where you can rank people’s progress but, meh, it’s whatever.
Check out Pierce in his studio:
and on Soundcloud.