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Q&A: Former Fairfielder Pierce Fulton Makes Musical Homecoming At FTC

Talking Head drummer Chris Frantz did a Q&A with Pierce Fulton, who will appear at FTC's The Warehouse on Monday, Nov. 27.
Talking Head drummer Chris Frantz did a Q&A with Pierce Fulton, who will appear at FTC's The Warehouse on Monday, Nov. 27. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Electronic Dance Music artist Pierce Fulton probably won’t need a map to get to his Monday appearance at Fairfield Theatre Company.

Fulton, who is currently touring with NVDES, was born in Bridgeport and lived in Fairfield as a child. Now based in Los Angeles, Fulton is touring in support of his latest release “Better Places.”

His mini-homecoming at The Warehouse is part of FTC’s Brody Wilkinson Emerging Artist Series.

Percussionist Chris Frantz, a founder of both Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, is one of the curators of the series. Frantz and his wife bassist Tina Weymouth, also a founder of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, and record producer Peter Katis will be on hand for the show.

Frantz took time out for a Q&A with Fulton to learn more about his roots, influences and connections to the area.

Q: We are looking forward to your upcoming show at FTC in our Emerging Artists Series. Have you ever been to Fairfield, Conn., before? Have you ever performed here?

A: I’m really looking forward to it, too!! And it’s funny because...I was born in Bridgeport, Conn.! I lived in Fairfield until I was 9 and then moved to Vermont for middle school, high school and college. A very large majority of my family lives in Fairfield so it’s always still felt like home and playing at FTC will be my first time playing in Fairfield which is big for me! The fact that it’s an all ages show means my entire extended family can come and see me play…young cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.!

Q: How would you describe your musical style at the moment or do you prefer to avoid categorization?

A: Well a majority of my music falls under the Progressive House categorization, which is totally accurate and I’ve mostly made Progressive House over my years pursuing music full time. I’ve been playing music my entire life though; well before producing electronic music I was playing guitar in bands and picking up various instruments in school music classes. Three years ago, after I’d established myself in the electronic scene a bit, I decided to bring back those early influences by injecting more recorded music into my electronic songs. The combination is what I describe as “electronic music with a live band feel” because typically I play and sing all of the recorded parts on my songs so it’s basically a band of myself with featured vocalists from time to time.

Q: Do you have any musical heroes, influences or mentors that people should know about?

A: Like my past, my influences totally come from opposite sides of the spectrum. I was very fortunate to be raised by parents that have an excellent ear for music. My childhood was filled with the Rolling Stones, the Doors, the Dead, Neil Young, and lots of really timeless rock music. And on the flip side, what got me into electronic music were artists like Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, Paul Kalkbrenner and a lot of the more melodic house and trance sounds that came out of 2007-2010. After years of experimenting and teaching myself the ins and outs of producing and engineering on the computer, all of those influences started blending together unintentionally.

Q: How do you feel about protest music and people expressing their political views in song?

A: I think it’s both very good and very bad. There are a lot of issues that people are too afraid to even think about, let alone talk about, and to be able to express that with music is so powerful in the really good way. But then I think about all of the mixed messages that one person can take in between the media, the art world, their family, friends, colleges, etc. Anyone's opinion can get in front of millions of people these days so it scares me to think about how many are flying around the internet and how people who have a hard time having their own opinion might latch onto someone else’s.

Q: What can people expect from your show production wise?

A: So I’ve been building up to a tour like this since I first started sprinkling live instruments into my electronic music…I’ve been collecting gear, learning live show tips, and slowly preparing my songs to be played live rather than on turntables for close to 3 years. I even did some mock up sets in private years ago just to test techniques out that I was positive I’d one day turn into my actual show. And that was all just preparation for the past 3 months that I’ve spent deconstructing my entire catalog for a completely live and unique show experience each night, programming a light show that is tied to each musical element of each individual song (which means I can rearrange my set at any given moment wooo!), and simply practicing playing and singing my songs. As I said, I’ve been planning to make my show like this for a very long time so I’m putting 110% of myself into this tour and so far it feels incredible.

Tickets, information and samples of Fulton’s music can be found at Fairfieldtheatre.org .

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