By HAZEL REID.
This Australian DJ duo needs no introduction; they’ve been making electronic goodness for over five years now. The Canberra natives had huge success with their hit tune High which went triple platinum and picked up the ARIA for Best Dance Release in 2014.
I caught up with Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles to talk headlining Rhythm and Vines, inspirations and their love of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
You headlined the main stage at Rhythm and Vines over New Year’s. What can people expect at your shows?
Adam: A really good time, lots of sweat and dancing – a bit of nudity, maybe; you never know.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Reuben: Not from just dance music – we don’t actually listen to dance music really any more.
Adam: Now that we’re older, we’re listening to a bit of everything – whatever we are feeling. Tame Impala’s record is definitely cool.
Reuben: Tame Impala definitely took up a lot of the time on our headphones.
Adam: I listen to a lot of corny rap music like Future, Young Thug, Quan – that sort of stuff. I like to get jiggy to it. Musically, we get inspired from that. We also get inspired by meeting new people, travelling and good food. Sometimes you feel a little inspirational.
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Reuben: [answers very quickly] Taylor Swift. Favourite song is Out of the Woods.
Adam: Bieber’s new stuff is cool – he somehow pulled the Jesus move on everyone went from the most hated man to most loved man – big ups to him. I guess my guilty pleasure would be corny rap music, none of my friends really like that. I was listening to Madonna – Like a Prayer on repeat the other night.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Reuben: Kayne West, James Blake…
Adam: Lots of Mohawks, Pusha T is such a good rapper. Lots of people. James Mustaine from Megadeth. Bono, Jimmy Hendrix banging the bongos! Peking Duk is a collaborative project so we are down to collaborate with anyone – we’ve got a one way ticket to clown town.
What’s your favourite song to perform?
Adam: Probably High, we finish with it and it always feels like a celebration. People jump up on shoulders – it’s a very foreign song and everyone’s having a good time.
Reuben: High’s our only record ever to go Gold in New Zealand, so it’s got a vibe over here – we love performing it here.
What’s one song you’d wish you’d written?
Reuben: There’s so many. Sometimes you sit there and wonder how they wrote that. Backwards – Tame Impala, there’s something about that song.
Adam: Or White Elephant by Tame Impala, everything by Tame Impala!
Adam: Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright by Bob Dylan – that song’s beautiful, brings a tear to my eye.
Adam: Yeah, Hallelujah! That’s a jam. He’s a genius. That’s a great question but you can’t narrow it down – there’s too much great music.
Tell us something about you that would surprise us.
Reuben: We’ve got an instrumental in the set that we usually get a guest rapper for and sometimes we don’t have anyone so me and Reuben just bust out some lines. I’ve worn this same pair of shoes for three years and I know how to fly a plane.
A Melbourne-based fan, David Spargo, became internet famous for inserting himself as family of Peking Duk on their Wikipedia Page, to trick security at one of their shows to let him in backstage – and it worked. Tell me about this weird fan experience.
Adam: Yeah he said he’s part of our family – if he can play the bongo drums good enough, he can join Peking Duk. It’s an open invitation.
Reuben: If anyone can play the bongos, they’re in.
Best piece of life advice?
Adam: That’s a good question.
Reuben: Mine’s from the least obvious of fellows. I was in a rough spot… One of the boys from the school that we went to, one of the rough kids – he came up to me and he said “bad luck comes in threes and something good will happen.” It was six years ago and I just realised it’s the most true thing in the world. It’s a bit of an old wives tale – very superstitious.
Adam: Best advice was from Reuben’s dad, we were at a footy game and he looked at me and said “it’s a killing field out there.” That’s it and I’ll never forget it.
Speaking of advice, what advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the industry?
Adam: Just do you, do what makes you happy, you don’t have to follow trends. Focus and work hard.
Reuben: Don’t ever feel like you’re being held back by something you’re doing.
Adam: If you have a chance to meet people in the industry, go and talk to them – have a chat to as many people as you can. That’s how we got started – talking to promoters and getting to know them.
Reuben: Get amongst it – don’t just lie in the shadows waiting for something to happen. Get into the community.
What’s coming up next for you?
Adam: More tunes and more touring!
Check out Peking Duk on Spotify.
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