With the influence of every genre from heavy metal to classical music at his disposal, Pierce Fulton has proven himself to be an unorthodox genius in the realm of electronic dance music and house music. Upon entering the scene in 2011, Fulton took the music sphere by the horns, earning a No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts as well as collaborating with the likes of The Killers and Dillion Francis. In June, Fulton released his first solo record, “Better Places,” which turned heads in the EDM scene for its unique take on modern EDM music. But this month, Fairfield County’s own EDM prodigy is making his way to downtown Fairfield with the first-ever EDM show in Fairfield Theatre Company history. Fulton sat down with The Mirror to discuss his upcoming tour, as well as being a multi-faceted, EDM powerhouse.
Q: On your debut album, what was your goal when going into the studio to write and record these new set of tunes? As a musician, what were some difficulties when heading into the studio to record your debut album?
A: My main goal was to finally gather all of these songs that I’d been holding onto for quite some time and put them together in one cohesive body of work. Some songs on the album were written a few months before release and others were several years old, I just held onto them until the time was right … to put out a song like “1-800 SUCCEED” or “The Sound” as a single would probably confuse some of my listeners that know me for my progressive house sound, so I was thrilled to find a place for songs like those on this album. The only difficulty was when I finally said ‘OK I’m gonna do an album finally!’ and then I was like ‘oh wow, now I have to finish nine songs at the same time!’ The most I had done before that was like four songs at once for an EP and I also didn’t want to have any ‘filler tracks’ on the album just to make it album length — I wanted every song on it to serve a specific purpose and stand out individually as well as in the mix of the whole album.
Q: Going off the previous question, how has your experience with a plethora of genres, from classical to metal, shaped the way you write and perform as an EDM musician? Do you often find intersectionality between EDM and these genres?
A: I really just take in everything I’m around, playing or listening to. I am so lucky to have been surrounded by so many people with so many different musical tastes, from my parents to my high school and college friends and on to people I’ve collaborated with on my music. In high school for example, I’d learn about something like chord cadences in my music theory classes, my friend would show me a new metal band he just discovered and I maybe found some new electronic artist that I was really into … all three of those things would somehow play into me creating my own music. I’d take some knowledge from my music theory classes, study the arrangement and builds/drops of metal music (which is extremely well arranged), and somehow apply that to whatever music I was making. That’s how I’ve always been, I don’t see music split into genres really … I know it helps people categorize, but to me a good song is a good song regardless of if it’s Mozart or Lamb of God. I’m specific to the point where some song will not be very good, but the drums are really well recorded, played or engineered, and I’ll admire the song for simply it’s drums … even JUST the snare drum sometimes!
Q: You have described your upcoming tour with NVDES as a brand new live show. What are you delivering to fans on this tour that differs from past endeavors? What are you hoping fans will take away from seeing you on this tour and gaining an experience that will stay with them for a long time?
A: I’ve been DJing as my main form of performing for a long time now because that was really the only way to tour given how hectic the travel is. Now that I had the opportunity to plan this Better Places fall tour well in advance, I was able to totally change how I perform my music. Now, instead of being some of my songs and some big DJ songs that work on EDM crowds, my show is 100 percent my music. And instead of pressing buttons and dancing around, I’ll be deconstructing, live remixing and sometimes just straight up playing my own music. I wanted it to be sort of like inviting you into my studio that’s conveniently on a stage with cool lights that I programmed to every individual sound. I hope that people go home learning about some of my music, new or old, that they’d never heard before or maybe are inspired themselves to pick up an instrument and start messing around. That’s exactly how I got into it all!
Q: You’re very interactive with your fans on social media, including Facebook and Reddit. How have interactions with your fan base helped you grow as a musician as well as inspire you to write new music? Jetting off of that, what is the funniest interaction you’ve had with a fan?
A: Yeah, I try to keep things pretty transparent with my listeners. I’m not gonna button myself up online and pretend that I’m someone else. I also try to reply to legitimately anyone who wants to ask me a question because I like to let my listeners know that I’m just a regular dude who happens to make music. I think people hear my music differently when they know who I am, in a very good way, so I’d like to be able to seem like a friend to most. The funniest interactions are always at meet and greets — people can just sometimes be so shy. As a result I have been doing a meet and greet style contest called “Darts with Pierce” where I bring a dart board somewhere or meet at a place with one and play a game with fans. It’s fun because anyone can throw a dart and not that many people know how to play … and it adds a human element to the meet and greet. I always want everyone to feel comfortable meeting me instead of it being a sort of awkward ‘let’s take a picture say hello and goodbye’ situation.
Q: You yourself are a Fairfield, Conn. native, which is a rare occurrence for musicians playing at FTC. What is it about Fairfield that allures you as a musician and what makes playing at The Warehouse so special for you?
A: Yep, I was born in Bridgeport, Conn. Although I did move to Vermont as a child and grew up there, my whole extended family is from Connecticut. Seeing such a quality venue come to town was so special — my parents, aunts/uncles and family friends have all gone to amazing shows at The Warehouse and Stage One and have dropped the hint for me to play in Fairfield for years now. I’m so excited because it’s an all ages show so a lot of my cousin’s or friend’s kids who have never seen me play can come see this new exciting live show! The funniest part is I used to do karate at a place just up on the bridge over the train station as a kid, so to be playing a show at a beautiful venue next door is pretty surreal.
Pierce Fulton will be playing at The Warehouse in Downtown Fairfield on Monday, Nov. 27 with NVDES. For tickets, visit fairfieldtheatre.org.