Apr 15, 2016
So Much More - Recap of Pierce Fulton's First Headlining Tour
Pierce Fulton is fresh off of his first headlining tour. We caught up with him ahead of his final show on the tour at Soundcheck in DC to learn what it’s been like as a headliner, and what lies ahead.
What’s it been like headlining your first tour?
It’s been crazy actually! I was pleasantly surprised by every show. It has been a really eye-opening experience seeing my fans singing along to my songs every night in so many different cities around the country. The only downside – finding new music for every show. There were about 30 shows, and a majority of my set is my own stuff at this point. There’s only so many different ways you can play 30 of your own songs, so it’s been tricky trying to keep it somewhat spontaneous. Especially because I have two key ranges that my music goes between – just by chance, it wasn’t by choice. I have five songs that all work in key, so it’s great to play them all back to back. It works, and since it’s two of my songs, I don’t mind it. If I was playing the same exact playlist every day, I’d get really bored. But, as crazy as it sounds, with the amount of my own music that I’m playing, it’s starting to get like that, so I might start re-editing my older stuff. It’s been a fun thing to juggle with this year.
Do you have a favorite part of your sets?
One of my favorites is when I play my track Landmines. I don’t know why, but I always assumed that my song Landmines was kind of, I don’t want to say a dud, but I felt like it came out, happened, and I’m onto the next one. Especially because it was the real follow up after Kuaga really started to blow up, since Kuaga got big about a year after it came out, and then got even bigger with the vocal version. Landmines was my next single after that. From my perspective, it just didn’t meet what I’d seen with Kuaga, but every time I play it, people react, and it’s like Kuaga now. It’s really cool. No More is starting to get like that, too. It’s been a real treat in every set - people just start lighting up when the intro starts playing, and it’s really cool to sing along with them.
Lots of people at the shows have known your songs?
Yeah and even some of my more unknown songs or older ones. It’s a cool thing for me to see that. I’m assuming the listener thinks “Holy shit, he played this really old song that I heard a bazillion years ago and I still love.” People don’t stop liking music, and that’s what I’ve come to learn by playing all these shows. So many DJs only play their newest music, and if you’re going as a fan, you want to hear your favorite songs, and that might be really old stuff. I get why certain DJs try to play their new stuff, maybe because their old stuff doesn’t fit in, but I’d rather have my listeners happy with a song that might sound weird and old than play only new stuff and not feel like I’m showing them everything. I’m sort of gravitating towards more of a show rather than more of a DJ set. It’s been a good step in the right direction in trying to incorporate my old music. It’s your past – you have to be proud of it even if it’s weird or funny. I have a song called Who Wants Spaghetti – it’s the most ridiculous thing ever. I was a drunk college kid and came up with that song, and still, people ask for it. That’s the one song that I don’t really play, just cause it’s that weird, and I just can’t. Maybe I’ll find a crafty way to bring it back in..
Have you been able to experiment and road test new tracks?
I actually haven’t played that many new ones cause none of them really fit in my sets, which is getting kind of sketchy. Some do. A lot of what I’ve been working on recently has been more song based. My recent remixes like Overload, Nocturne, my most recent one with Echos (All I Want) – they all sound like me, but don’t play them all live. I play the Overload remix live, but I don’t play Nocturne because it’s like 90 percent vocals and I feel like it would take over in a DJ set. For a live set, it would work well. It’s been an interesting time juggling where music is going, at least electronic music, and more specifically progressive house, with what I want to be doing. I obviously love making progressive house, and have a ton of tracks that hit that vein, but I’m also just trying to go with where the rest of the music world is going. And I think that is more towards a song than a “banger” with a big drop since you can only do so many of them. I’m excited to have both avenues that I can explore.
The tour name, So Much More – obviously related to your track No More, but can you talk about that?
Yeah so my latest single is called No More and when it released, it felt like the right time to do a branded tour. Rather than calling it the No More tour and making everyone think I was quitting music, I decided to hint at there being more to come from me in the future because I had remixed the track myself.
It’s funny, the remix was actually the original version at one point. That vocal came about because I thought of the melody in the shower (that happens all the time) and I quickly did a little bit for the chorus. I sent it to my friend Jonny (EDEN), and he ended up doing the rest of it. I didn’t think the electro version fit quite right with the full vocal so I made a new version. I still liked the first electro version I had done as well, so I wanted to figure out a way to put both out somehow. I thought it would hit a certain vein with maybe the people that liked Who Wants Spaghetti, that sort of melodic electro stuff that I hadn’t done in a long time. And that’s what I’m always trying to juggle – what will make me happiest to put out while also keeping my listener in mind and what would make them the happiest. I’m not going to just do whatever I want to do. It’s just not how you build yourself as an artist. You have to keep both sides in mind. I’ve had some people ask me why even put it out, but it’s just like, maybe one kid is happy about it. Who cares? It’s just another song, at the end of the day. Everything is so oversaturated anyway, so even if you plan your attack, it’s not always going to happen the way you expect.
How do you select tracks in your set?
The one thing that I’ve realized with this tour is that I just don’t have enough music right now. I play a lot of my own music but I’ve been trying to find a lot of new music to fill in the gaps between my own. Lately I dig around on 1001tracklists or hit up my friends and ask them to send me stuff. It’s crazy, man. It used to be that you could go on Beatport and find 1000 songs and feel like my set will be crazy, but now, I can’t even find one. I’ll spend an hour, and find that it’s just the same stuff that’s recycled from last year or some sort of trend that’s working. That being said, there’s still some really good stuff that I’ll find randomly. I still check as many promos as I can. But more than anything, I’ll try to find some other old song of mine, and figure out how to put that in my sets if I’m looking for something new. It just seems like the most reasonable thing to do if I’m putting on a Pierce Fulton show.
Is there any standard prep that you do before a set?
No. What’s funny, I had never realized this, but I’ve had this same pair of shoes ever since I’ve started touring, which is pretty weird. I don’t know how they’ve lasted this long, and I had never put two and two together that I always wear them. And I’ve been doing this for like six years. Luckily, they don’t smell that bad. That’s probably the one closest thing I have to a ritual, and it was sort of by accident.
Darts with Pierce – what’s that been like?
It’s been super fun. Whenever I do it, people are like, “So, are you like a pro dart player?” No, I’m not actually that good at all. I just like playing darts. It was mostly because I’ve done a few meet and greets where some shyer fans will take a picture and then just walk away. And I’m just like, “Aren’t we supposed to hang out and chat?” I feel like having the activity just keeps people engaged. And it’s funny because I’ve seen it actually work where I will have a shyer meet and greet winner, and they start to come out of their shell since everyone is having fun and playing a game, even if it’s as dumb as darts. It’s as simple as that, I just wanted to add something fun. I do have to get better at darts though.
What’s next for you?
I have some time at home in LA and a few shows sprinkled in which should be really fun. My next single Losing You will be coming out at the end of May. I’ve been working on it for more than two years, so I’m obviously excited for it to finally see the light of day. If you remember my live version of Kuaga, I’m planning on doing something similar with this next single. I also have a six-track EP that I’m finishing up. Nothing is totally finalized, it’s all kind of just up in the air and I’m having fun with it.
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