EATING OUT, OUT
Eats Everything putting the worlds to rights in 2020
Words: Laila Mckenzie
Taken from Faith Autumn ’20 issue
How are you spending your time during lockdown?
“My speakers and mini-keyboard have been moved into the home so I've been making music here, a lot of quarantine mixes have come out of this and so far they have been really well received, I’m well pleased with this. It has been completely worth it and I’ve probably worked more in lockdown than I would have normally. I haven’t been making the money I usually would have during lockdown, but hopefully that too will come.”
What are your thoughts on how COVID will effect the music industry moving forward?
“I’m not sure where the music industry is going with regards to the virus. Whether international touring will have to take a break for a while, but personally I would be happy with touring in the UK, the glamorous DJ life going up and down the motorway would be mint, I’d love it. If it came to not being able to go abroad for a few years that would be ok.”
What can we as an industry do to sustain ourselves financially during this time?
“I’ve been doing a couple of remixes, so that's one way. For me, I don’t want to charge for live-streaming. I don’t think that would be sensible, or moral as the people that are watching the live stream probably have less money than the person doing the live-stream. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be earning the wage that I would normally earn until this thing is over. But, by next year, my management team and I are going to have to come up with new ideas of how we are all going to earn a living. With this virus, it feels like either people are making loads of money or no money depending on the industry you work with, it’s really polarising.”
How do you feel about Music Venues closing down as a result of lockdown?
“Vocally, I'm not a fan of this government at all, I don’t think they’re very good people and I don’t think they have the interest of most people at heart. They definitely don’t have Acid-House spirit. They seem to have helped their voters out the most, employees of big companies have been furloughed and they’ll end up thinking this government is really cool. But, if they don’t help out the venues and the hospitality industry in the same way then these will go under. It looks and sounds like we’re going to lose Motion in Bristol, I hope we don’t lose Lakota, if we lose both of these, Bristol is left with no big venues, and when this is over, there’s going to be nowhere left to go to.”
What are your thoughts about the current BLM protests in Bristol and around the world?
“I don’t think the protests are going to die down. To the people who say protests don’t get you anywhere, well, you can see both here and in the USA, that protests are working. Taking down those statues, it was not only symbolic but it’s led to taking down lots more statues globally, if that’s not progress then I don’t know what is. Change isn’t going to happen overnight and it will take a while, but what we’ve seen happening recently, well it’s the most progress I’ve seen in my life-time and that makes me feel good inside. I’m a white male and therefore I’m as privileged as I can be, so it is difficult for me to understand what it feels like to be racially abused, I’m anti-racist, and recently I've been feeling ashamed of how I wasn’t anti-racist enough previously. I could have done more. I didn’t see it then, but now that its thrust in my face, I see it. At school, we learned that Winston Churchill was a good man, and admittedly he did do some good things, but also, let’s face it, he was a racist cunt. Also, I hate Margaret Thatcher, but I’m not sure that ripping down their statues will do the movement any favours in the long term and we could end up losing potential supporters and then a lot of the steam would be lost. I want to make it clear that I'm not defending Winston Churchill, but because of what we’ve been taught at school - about him being responsible for winning the war and not learning about his racist side, then for a lot of people that only know the one side, well we could lose their support. At the moment, we’ve got some of the worst leaders for four of the biggest nations, Great Britain, Brazil, USA and Russia, four of the biggest fucking fools on the planet, these four people are not the people we wanted in charge when both the Corona Virus and the Black Lives Matter movement hit. Boris Johnson is a complete arse-wipe, a fucking idiot an ego-maniac but I think Trump is just evil and an out-right racist. Speaking to fellow Bristolian artist Dread MC who is a black man, we were saying how our spirits were lifted after the statue came down, that to see so many white people there that day, that was important because the only people that can end racism is white people, we created it so we have to end it.”
Do you feel there is an element of structural racism in music?
“I definitely do not think that non-white people are represented or respected enough in House, Drum & Bass, or Techno, especially when you consider the level of contribution they have made in creating the genre. A lot more respect and acknowledgement would go a long way.”
What can we in the music industry do to help teach the full story of the music and give non - white people and other marginalised groups the acknowledgement they deserve?
“For me personally, I’m going to try and be more representative of the past when talking about music. That said, I’m not going to sign a person just because he’s black, or because she’s a woman. There are enough talented people in all cultures, and these talented people just need a leg up. I’ve only ever signed music because I’ve liked the music, but I think moving forward I’m going to be searching a little more for undiscovered black talent. There’s so much talent out there, and so much of the musical genre has emanated from black people, the pain and suffering these people endured during slavery must have cemented that musical spirit that came from Africa. If you look at it, it is only classical music that didn’t really emanate from Africa and well, that music is a bit shit really.In the current climate, working together, helping each other and loving one another seems more important than ever.
Can you share which projects and incentives you are currently involved with?
I'm teaming up with a charity at the minute called Black Minds Matters and I'm an ambassador for the charity Last night a DJ saved my life. I don’t want to look like I’m a band-wagon jumpy cunt, but I do want to help out as much as I can. My music has always championed social and racial injustices, and some times it loses me a lot of followers, but I don't want those people following me if they have a racist mindset, I don't want them anywhere near my gigs anyway. Right-wing mentality does not belong in dance music. Again, this might lose me followers but I don't believe you can be a right-wing person and have the Acid-House spirit or have rave culture in your blood, they are polar opposites.”
Has underground dance music lost its original spirit or does that same essence live on?
“I think the essence is definitely different now, the amount of phones in the crowd is big. But, also I know that kids these days doing pills at 18 are having just as good a time as I did raving on pills 30 years ago. The world is a completely different place but it doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying it just as much. I try not to worry about the ‘it's not the same as it used to be’ ethos, these kids are having just as much fun, but yes the phones annoy me, which is why I did the digital switch-off at Lakota, there’s no point missing the moment.”
Tell us about the first clubs you went to?
“The first night club I went to was Lakota, it was Temptation on a Friday night, Dave Angel, Tasha Killer Pussies, Ian Wilkie. That night fucking blew mind, raves were amazing, but a packed night club was even better. The closeness of it. I met Ed Karney that night, he is now my manager and we’ve been friends ever since, all my big friendships are people I met at Lakota. Carl Cox, Easy Groove, LSD, DJ Rap, these DJ’s just did it for me. Now I’m mates with Carl Cox and LSD so these were the times. Yeah, when the news came that the planning permission had been granted for Lakota we were all devastated, my mates haven’t been there for 15 years but night clubs are special places, they create friendships and relationships. I've told the owner Bentleigh Burgess a hundred times, without Lakota my life would be completely different. It would be so sad to lose Lakota now, especially if Motion goes too.”
Bristols’ House history scene, share your story with us?
“Bristol had great Dj’s. Charlotte Hazelby, Wiley (Bristol), Staircase, Mark Davis, Deli G, Paul Upton. We had events like Heresy & Rip Snorter then later Just Jack. Our first big house production was FFRR from my memory. There was also Carlton who was a (vocalist for Smith and Mighty and Massive Attack) he did an album called ‘The call is strong’. Then there was Julio Bashmore, then there was me. Bashmore opened the door, and then a lot of us came along and kicked the frame away.”
Who were your musical influences as a teenager?
“Carl Cox, Dave Angel, Ellis D, EazyGroove, Derrick Carter, Tony Di Vit, DJ Rap”
The sets from the time, which ones still stay with you and why?
“Carl Cox at Lakota, he was supposed to be there at 3, he hadn’t arrived by 5 and people started leaving. About 5:45 he turns up and played till about 11 in the morning. Everyone was on the balcony so they could see him, he banged out that music and we lost our minds, I asked him a couple of years ago in Ibiza if the rumour that he didn’t make any money because he was late was true, and he said it was true, he’s such a sound bloke, which is why he’s been at the top of his game for such a long time.”
House and Techno, differences and similarities between Europe and the USA?
“European tech, jungle techno, rave, hardcore, gabba, this scene is much faster, much more aggressive, it evolved quickly, I think the essence is quite similar between the two places but the delivery is different. In the States it moved from Chicago to New York and back to Chicago, and then it moved to the UK, again I would say the UK like European house was a bit tougher than it is in the US, it’s a bit more ‘having it. That said, we wouldn’t have these genres in Europe if it wasn’t for America, and again we wouldn’t have the music we have without Black people. In Detroit, it was straight black people, and in Chicago, it was more Gay/Queer black people. You can hear the difference in the sounds too. We have to thank black people as they are the people who made this music, without them we wouldn't have this scene at all.”
What is it like being a globally renowned music artist and a dad?
“It’s all a blessing, I’ve got my dream job and I’m a dad. I’m fortunate, I relish it, I love being a parent, and having a mini-me running around is amazing. It’s something to come home to, to return to a grounded reality. Being a dad helps you with your mental state, having a kid basically stops me from getting off my face all the time.”
What new projects are you working on currently? Tell us how EI8HT began and what are your future plans with it?
“It started because me and Andres Campo, we’re both like-minded souls when it comes to Techno and we always wanted to do something together, we kept finding we couldn’t quite find the sound we were looking for which was more the groovy, quick and funky type of techno, as opposed to the banging, trancey type of techno.
We wanted to put our own stamp on the techno world more groovy and not relentlessly banging, we see Truncate as the pinnacle of that sound, so we’ve got a couple of EP’s from him, and we’ll have some more soon. We’ve had to put a pause on things because without a dance floor that kind of Techno would be kind of wasted right now. I have an 8 track EP called ‘8Cubed’, because it’s 8 tracks, on the 8th release on my label EI8HT so 8x8x8. It was going to come out on the 22nd May but we were just about to start promoting when lockdown hit, so we decided to wait, and by doing so we would then have a good, credible set of music as we come out of lockdown and this includes the Miss Honey and Fatboy Slim records that are coming out too. The idea is to build up this catalogue of great Techno music which we can showcase around the world, it's working out really well, it has been really well received, the music is all good quality, we’ve got some wicked stuff coming up and I’m super excited about what the future holds.
We’ve done some EI8HT parties in Spain and one in Holland, we are definitely going to do some EI8HT parties here too.”
Eats Everything and Fat Boy Slim, tell us about that, what's he like and do you have future plans together? “Norman and I became friends, as our RV’s were always next together at Glastonbury. I played for him a few times, and I became really good friends with Katy his manager, so one day at Glastonbury we decided to play an unannounced back to back set and we bought the house down, it was amazing. He’s just a great lovely man, we both take the music seriously, but we have fun and joke around with the rest of it, we share that outlook and we have a great time.”
Top 10 tracks of all time. Any genre, any era?
Robert Armani - Circus Bells (Hardfloor Mix)
Da Hool - Meet Her At The Love Parade (Nalin & Kane Mix)
Todd Terry - Jungle Hot
Todd Terry - Unreleased Project 4 (Jumpin)
DJ Ham - Most Uplifting Skyy - Here’s To You
Sunkids - Rescue Me (Bini & Martini Mix)
Inner Sound - Fax War (The Advent Remix)
Mr G - Mangoes In Season
Frankie Knuckles ft Jamie Principle - Baby Wants To Ride
Who is your best person to go b2b with?
“Andreas Campo. - it's like me DJ’ing with four arms, we are the same.”
Wellbeing and mental health in the music industry. Let's discuss.
“The music industry is a very stressful place, I’m fortunate as I don’t have any real mental health issues. But, I do think that social media is simultaneously great and evil, and I used to struggle to look at my peers apparently doing better than I am on social media, it creates some strange fake jealousy thing which does not happen in real life. In real life I would have hugged them and say well done, I try not to spend to much time on social media now. So for me, drugs, drinking, not sleeping these are the worst things for your mental health and yet they are all part of being a DJ. We have to keep ourselves grounded, and self-awareness is an important part of that”.
How to make the world a better place?
“Listen to those affected, believe them, and do something to help. It can be any aspect; race, environment, gender for instance. We say that Britain is not a racist country, but if black people say it is, then fucking listen, it is them that are being affected. Listen, learn and act out some of that advice”.
So come on Dan, do you really eat everything?!
“Sometimes I eat everything though my favourite meal is beef Sbtrogonoth, but that said, If I was to be executed my last meal would definitely be a proper full cooked English breakfast with everything, especially hash-browns.”
Thank you Dan. It’s blatantly apparent, there is no stopping this powerhouse as he swings from club to club bringing the entire party along for the ride. We look forward to all the pent up tracks, the signed artists, the new finds. Whilst writing we hear Eats Everything has been blaring his sets through the streets of Bristol from an Ice-cream van. We would expect no less and look forward to more.