Going Places: Pierce Fulton heads home to Fairfield
Pierce Fulton was born in Fairfield and went to elementary school in the town, before moving to Vermont while in the sixth grade. It was in Connecticut where the multi-instrumentalist discovered a love of music, spurred on by his parents and their record collection.
“My whole life, they have had really good taste in music and I gravitated towards instruments when I was really young,” he said. “When I was 5, there was a reggae band playing, and I just walked on stage, picked up the rhythm sticks and started banging away. The next year, I started learning guitar and by the time I was in high school, I joined the orchestra and started playing the trombone.”
His interest in different instruments led to a hobby, an almost obsession he admits, of using the computer to help him engineer and produce his own songs. His fascination for taking a concept from one instrument or genre and applying it to something new would later define the core of his music.
“It’s a lot of my experimenting,” Fulton said. “I’ve been playing in bands and doing electronic music, [it] started doing really well with people and I just wanted to push the envelope further with the sounds I was creating.”
In high school, he said, two of his music teachers were big influences on him, as they taught him about music theory and electronic music production. One class taught him the fundamentals of production programs, including basic synthesis, sound design and sampling. Fulton also learned the history of iconic electronic music from the likes of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Frankie Knuckles, and others. This led to his creating his own unique sound.
“Electronic music was the first time in my musical lifetime that I stopped playing things and started clicking and dragging,” he said. “It’s a blast because you can be a one-man band, but over time I realized I lost a lot of what made me a musician.”
Fulton was in college when people started to really get interested in the music he was doing and with more and more gigs starting to fill his calendar, he decided to take a break from school and concentrate on music full time.
“When I first started performing, the most natural thing was to DJ,” he said. “It’s pretty hard to recreate perfectly in-synch electronic sounds live without keeping things on a computer.”
He’s found success with dance songs such as “Kuaga,” “No More,” “Losing You” and “Landmines,” and did well with his EP, “Borrowed Lives” and debut album, “Better Places.” It’s the latter that has upped his fan-base since the summer, as he tours on the strength of that success.
“Here I am six years later, and I am making a go of it,” the now 25-year-old said. “With my new songs, you can hear the live music sneaking its way back into my life and Better Places is my first full-step back into being a musician again.”
Fulton will be doing a dual-headlining show with the band, NVDES at FTC’s The Warehouse on Nov. 27.
“In the past year, I incorporated a lot more of live music and a band-feel to my performance because I play all the instruments and record it,” he said. “As a result, I wanted to update my performance so it reflects what’s going on in music. I am basically a one-man band, but I have come up with some pretty creative solutions on how to reinterpret these songs live.”
The Los Angeles-based NVDES, with frontman Josh Ocean, released its “La NVDITÉ, Vol. 1” EP over the summer and currently has the tune, “D.Y.T (Do Your Thing)” moving up the music charts.
Fulton recently collaborated with NVDES on the song “Better Places,” which features instruments recorded on an iPhone, and utilized a kazoo for much of the track.
“I have done several songs with [Josh] and he comes out during my show and we do it live,” Fulton said. “I’m so excited about this tour. For the first time since I started doing this professionally, I’ve taken a few months off and I really miss being on that stage. But I wanted to take as much time as I could to make this show as special as I could. I would rather take the time and be fully confident about every single show than rush it. The stars have aligned and it’s coming together really beautifully.”
Many of Fulton’s family members live in Fairfield, so he expects a full crowd full of familiar faces, and he’s looking forward to playing live in front of many of them for the first time.
“This will be a nice family gathering for me, and it’s right after Thanksgiving so it’s going to be great,” he said. “It’s the most excited I have been about my music since I started making music.”
Looking ahead, Fulton has a hard time predicting where his music will take him, but he’s looking forward to whatever musical journey awaits.
“I have thrown everything I have into this tour and I know it’s going to get a great response. I love how it’s sounding and looking,” he said. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Hopefully, I will be able to take this tour to other places in the world and share my music.”
Pierce Fulton plays The Warehouse at FTC at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 27. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit fairfieldtheatre.org.