Eat Static was formed in 1989 by Merv Pepler and Joie Hinton as a creative outlet for the diverse range of electronic music that the pair were writing. Always intended as a live band, Eat Static can legitimately claim to be one of the UK's first live techno outfits. Eat Static quickly developed a spectacular live show that included a huge light-show and a giant illuminated brain. A loyal following quickly formed, with the crowds realising that dance could be performed live at a time when 'live' performances by other bands were often mimed PA’s. Since that time Eat Static have played hundreds of gigs headlining festivals and shows around the world.
Early Eat Static releases were on the band’s own imprint - Alien Records, and laid the foundations of the band’s sound with inventive editing, B Movie samples and a sense of humour and unpredictability. They then signed to Michael Dog’s legendary label Planet Dog, which captured the spirit and idealism of a heady time. The album Abduction was a particularly strong release and the band went on to enjoy chart success with a number of their EP’s on the label. At the same time Eat Static were headlining Megadog nights and festivals as well as Glastonbury.
With their departure from Planet Dog the band formed their own label - Mesmobeat and a number of album releases followed, including the standouts Crash and Burn and In the Nude, where the band explored a wider palette of sounds, including Big Beat, 70’s kitsch, psychedelic Latin and subtly twisted lounge music. Merv also started a side project Hi-Fi Companions with ???
As well as recording and releasing on their own label the band also worked with Solstice, BNE, Twisted, TIP World and Interchill and a handful of other labels. The tracks on Interchill compilations provided an outlet for downtempo and chillout.
Merv’s collaborations are numerous; Hi Fi Companions, The Flexitones, music recorded with Steve Joliffe, Steve Hillage (as System Static), Robert Hjeinen, Robert Smith of The Cure fame, Georgina Brett and many more, including the most excellent Strontium Dogs (with an album due out on Iboga). Eat Static also have a long list of remixes to their name including Suns of Arqa, Shpongle, Kaya Project, Front Line Assembly, System 7 and many more.
After the 2007 summer festival touring season keyboardist Joie Hinton left the band and it was then just Merv, now rejoined in the studio by original member Steve Everitt, who makes a strong appearance on Last Ship to Paradise.
2008 saw the release of Eat Static's first ever full length down-tempo album, Back To Earth, with Canada's Interchill label. The album was infused with dashes of Arabian and jazzy influences alongside solid rhythmic elements of dub/breaks and spaced out other-worldly electronica.
In 2015 Eat Static released their 25th anniversary double album release Dead Planet / Human Upgrade. One half uptempo and banging and the other half exploring more experimental sounds. Merv put out this monster release to counter the disposable culture of streaming music. People said it couldn’t be done and shouldn’t be done which was reason enough to do it.
Recent years have seen the band continue to be featured heavily at festivals around the world and Merv working and gigging harder than ever. Highlight shows have been repeat appearances at the Ozora Festival, Albert Hoffman’s 100th birthday party, the Tokyo Festival of Modular and of course Glastonbury.
When not on the road Merv can be found in the studio where he has taken a deep dive into the new frontier of modular synthesis and continues to add to his collection. For Last Ship to Paradise Merv and Steve combined their modular rigs and set out to make sure that nothing repeated, and that tracks had a constantly evolving liquid quality to them. There are no presets and no off the shelf samples that you have heard in other tracks. This speaks to Merv’s dedication that none of this music shall be predictable or following any commercial trends.