Eats has established himself as one of the most professional and internationally accepted DJs to rise from the UK, arguably since Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada. A conversation with Waterfront’s Harry Ballmann sees him open up about his rise to fame and his current experiences as a DJ.
Growing up in Bristol must have been a quality musical experience, what music were you inspired by during your youth?
I actually grew up in a small town just outside of Bristol. I wasn’t really brought up in a musical family, so all of my influences come from dance music that I found myself more or less. The first time I ever heard electronic music was via the Pet Shop Boys’ Radio One show that was on once a month, and then being around mates’s older brothers who had decks and used to DJ rave music. Later on when I was old enough to go to raves in and around Bristol, I was influenced by the incredible DJs who used to play there; Ellis Dee, Easygroove, Trevor Rockliffe and Carl Cox to name just a few.
What made you want to become a DJ?
The minute I heard dance music I was totally hooked – I looked up to my mates’ brothers and got my first pair of decks aged 12. I haven’t looked back since!
Did you go to any festivals for pleasure over summer? What are your favourite festivals to go to?
My summer touring schedule is so hectic that if I get a weekend off, I’m more likely to want to spend it with my family than go to a festival as a punter. Having said that, I played every day at Glastonbury this year and blocked the whole weekend off for it. I’ve been going there ever since I was a young raver and it’s definitely one of my favourite places in the world. I had an amazing time playing Bestival too, it’s a great way to round off the UK festival season.
What’s the most memorable gig that you’ve performed?
It’s hard to pick just one out of my whole lifetime as there’s so many that have been good for different reasons, but highlights from this summer would definitely include Bestival and lots of the all night terrace shows at Elrow at Space Ibiza – I feel very privileged to have been able to play there so much in its last season.
Is there anybody you really enjoyed collaborating with, or performing with?
I felt honoured to be able to release two tracks featuring Green Velvet this year – firstly ‘The Duster’ and secondly my remix of ‘Flash’. He played with me at fabric’s Room 1 for the launch party of my fabric mix, it was an incredible night. He is a one of a kind human being, an absolute dude, mega wise & has stories for days. He also happens to be one of the best & one of my favourite producers to have walked the earth.
You’ve recently curated a fabric DJ Mix, what’re your opinions on the club’s closure for the music industry?
I’ve been fairly outspoken about how I feel about fabric’s closure. Doing a fabric CD was so exciting, as was going to fabric or playing at fabric and I feel honoured to have been able to do so. The club had some of the strictest searches I’ve ever experienced so it’s fairly obvious this isn’t just about drugs – it feels like our whole culture is in jeopardy. I fully back their decision to appeal and hopefully this isn’t the end of the club or the conversation.
Is there anybody within the DJ scene who is up and coming, you think people should keep an eye out for?
Elliot Adamson is an incredible young producer and DJ who recently released on my Edible label, there’ll definitely be lots more from him.