20 Questions: Mickey Pearce Talks Chocolate, Salt 'N' Pepa, and the Worst Place He's Ever Been
London producer Richard Attley (a.k.a Mickey Pearce) first came to prominence in the late '00s with a series of UK garage-influenced EPs under the name Shortstuff, releasing on labels like Planet Mu, Ramp, and the currently mothballed Blunted Robots, which he ran alongside Brackles. Now recording and DJing exclusively under his Mickey Pearce alias, Attley regularly appears on Rinse FM and is signed to Loefah's Swamp 81 imprint, through which he recently released the excellent (and free) beat tape Up West, an effort that underlined his enduring and overriding fascination with percussion. Now, he's about to follow it up with the Instructions EP, which will feature some of Up West's finest selections on vinyl. Ahead of its arrival, we caught up with Attley to talk about condiments, Hershey vs. Cadbury, and Loefah's yoga routine.
1. Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Luton and raised just down the road, in a little town with lots and lots of hairdressers.
2. What are the best and worst things about living in London?
The best thing is the variety of foods I can get within 20 minutes of my flat. The worst thing is people who try to get on the tube before others have got off.
3. Would you like to live somewhere else or do you think you'll be in London for life?
I could live in another big city for a bit, but I think I'll be in London until I'm old. Then I'll go find somewhere warm to die.
4. Why do you call yourself Mickey Pearce?
The original Mickey Pearce is a character from the classic British sitcom Only Fools and Horses. He is a 2 Tone rude boy and a bit of a wrong-un. I always liked the idea of the 21st-century Mickey making grime and playing on pirate radio, and it developed from there.
5. What happened with the Blunted Robots record label that you and Brackles used to run?
A few years ago, [Brackles] and I started doing slightly different things musically and the label didn't fit anymore. Maybe it will return one day.
6. These days, you're linked up with Loefah's Swamp 81 crew. What's something about him that we don't know?
Loefah does yoga every morning. He is entirely self-taught.
7. Percussion always seems to be your overriding musical preoccupation. Why is that?
I just get way more into rhythms than anything else. My favorite bit of a track is often the intro, before any of the 'music' has begun.
8. Where is the best night out in London right now?
That's a tough one. The pub around the corner from me has a great selection of guest ales.
9. Your forthcoming Instructions EP is composed of tracks from your Up West mixtape. Why did you select the tracks you've chosen?
We always planned to put full glossy versions of some of the mixtape tracks on vinyl, alongside some of the skits. The tracks that made the cut were a combination of the ones most people played and the bits that sat nicest together.
10. You travel a lot. Where's the worst place you've ever been?
I love to go anywhere people will have me. Having said that, London Fields on a sunny day can be horrific.
11. Were you formally trained in music?
I can see why you'd think that, but no.
12. What's your favorite condiment?
13. Who does your favorite regular show on Rinse FM?
14. British chocolate or American chocolate?
I've eaten great American chocolate, but on a basic Hershey vs. Cadbury level, British has it all day long.
15. What was the first record you ever bought?
I think the first bit of music I ever bought was a compilation on cassette called 100% Rap—it had stuff like Salt 'N' Pepa on it. The first actual vinyl record was by NOFX or someone like that. I didn't have a turntable at the time but bought it to look cool.
16. What's the most exciting thing you've received in the mail this year?
A t-shirt this kid from Liverpool sent me. It features Wiley's head, crudely Photoshopped onto the Angel of the North.
17. If your music was an animal, what would it be?
18. Do you work better during the day or at night?
During the day. I used to tell myself I worked best late at night with loads of weed and cups of tea, but I was lying.
19. What one thing would improve the fortunes of England's national football team?
I could talk forever about this, but a couple of genuinely world-class players and a bit less hype would go a long way.
20. What's the first thing you'll do after answering these questions?
I'm going to make a quiche.