We chat to electronic duo, Peking Duk, who hail all the way from Melbourne via Canberra and ask them about their much-awaited debut LP.
Peking Duk is the collaboration between electronic producers Reuben Styles and Adam Hyde. The duo formed in Canberra back in 2010 before shifting South to Melbourne - where they're currently making new music whilst throwing open the doors to their own bar.
The most surprising thing about the duo is that after winning a prestigious Aria and being shortlisted for more awards this year, as well as having millions of monthly plays on Spotify - they're still yet to release a full album! Perhaps it's the wise thing to do in the streaming age, building up a massive fanbase before releasing a debut to an adoring throng. They've just completed a recent EU/UK tour with many sold-out dates in support of their latest double single release - ‘Fire’ and ‘Distant Arizona’ collectively titled 'Reprisal' for which they've created an epic double length video.
Check out the cinematic 'Reprisal' video and read what Styles had to say in our recent chat below.
GigList:Hey! Introduce the band... Peking Duk: The band consists of Adam and I [Reuben] and we are collaborative producers who make electronic music. We also just started playing live shows, so we have now started recording more guitar and live instruments. But at the end of the day, we are just producers making beats on laptops.
GL: When and where did you guys start making music? Peking Duk: We were in Canberra and I was playing in a bunch of rock bands at the time and Adam was in a hip-hop collective. We then started making electronic music together and it got real exciting. The moment we heard The Bloody Beetroots and Crookers, all those Italian but French sounding electronic music is what got us into it. Since we heard, that we downloaded the music producing software and did everything we could to try and recreate that sound. Before we knew it, we had a bunch of songs and thought ‘oh we should send these out’ because we had only just been putting them up on Soundcloud. We sent about four tunes out to all the labels in Australia, by the way there was a lot of dance labels about at that time. We sent them out to all of them, which sounds hilarious right now but back then there must have been about 15 labels putting out electronic dance records. A couple of labels got back to us and the one that got back to us last was the one we were holding out for. So, from there we ended up putting out a bunch of songs with them, that was simply it. We didn’t really think too much. It was a thing of let's just keep making tunes and releasing them.
GL: Band name origins? Peking Duk: The name was created when we were dining at a Chinese restaurant eating Peking duck.
GL: Describe the Peking Duk sound? Peking Duk: Our music is sweaty, fun and sometimes you can get a bit emotional to it, if you’d like to.
GL: So far, Peking Duk has released music in single or EP format, is there a master plan behind this and can we expect a full LP soon? Peking Duk: That’s a good question, I don’t know, we were talking about this yesterday actually. Our last release was not one song but two songs. Even putting out two songs, we had one of the songs become popular and the other song was slept on. We feel that this could probably happen with an album, there would just be one song that everyone likes, and the rest of the songs maybe slept on a little bit. What we do love is the idea of when Kanye put out a seven-track album and Pusha T’s seven-track also. To be honest we both listen to albums and although we can’t justify it as a good move for us, it’s probably a good move for the people that care. Being fans of lots of artists ourselves it’s lovely when they drop an album, so yeah, we should do it.
We just don’t like the idea of having so many songs going to waste, but I guess it’s not to waste because it would mean so much more to some people.
GL: Your new EP ‘Reprisal’ came out recently and it arrives with a near 10-minute double cinematic video for two tracks, tell us a bit about the making of the EP and the inspo behind the video? Peking Duk: Adam and I had a couple songs in the bank which felt they were in a similar style. Especially lyrically, they both had this theme of some bittersweet reprisal. And we decided let’s put them together, put the two songs into one video clip. We sat down with one of our best friends Ryan Sawyer who is a videographer and director and we started riffing out. All 3 of us and our manager Ben. We just came up with random ideas on how we could link the two songs into one clip. As soon as we started talking about doing a little spaghetti western, it all just started, and the spitballing went into a free for all. Within minutes we had the storyline plotted out and only a week after we came up with it, we went out and filmed it. We’re so stoked with how it came out.
GL: Currently listening to... Peking Duk: I’m super stoked with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new album, I couldn’t believe that they managed to step it up yet again. I think it makes them one of the most exciting acts in the world. Most people just do what they do best and stick to what they know, but these guys have really progressed and made it so different and capitulating, hitting the nail on the head every time. Their new album Is possibly even their best so far. We’ve also been listening to Kanye and lots of good throwbacks like The Strokes, The Hives and a lot of Prince right now.
Adam listens to a lot of hip-hop, he’s a big Drake fan, I probably listen to a little bit more rock.
GL: Average Friday night in Canberra? Peking Duk: I haven’t experienced one in eight years, but I would say it is wild. You should go to all the best clubs, get some food, although I haven’t been to the club in like seven years. Adams also just moved to Melbourne but what I can say is go to Dixon Asian Noodle House because if someone ends up in Canberra that’s the best laksa in the world.
GL:Fave places to hang out in Canberra? Peking Duk: There’s a great place on the Kingston portion called BrodBurger and it’s quite cool. They do amazing burgers and they sell beer too. I don’t really know apart from those two, I haven’t been there in so long. We just used to hang out, play Tekken and make beats.
GL: What acts with a great live show are you liking right now? Peking Duk: The Hives, seeing them was one of the reasons we got into our live shows. Also, LCD Soundsystem and Hardship, we’ve seen a lot of amazing live shows that have got us really keen to stop DJ’ing and start playing live.
GL: You’ve just done a UK/EU tour in support of your new EP. Dream tour buddies? Peking Duk: That’s a tough one there’s so many options, but I guess somebody fun like Mark Ronson would be amazing. It’s tough to name anyone else because we play very loud screaming synth-style music. We wouldn’t want to support an acoustic singer because it just wouldn’t be the right vibe. So yeah, Mark Ronson is the only guy I want to support.
GL: What is the one album/band/song that you would both agree on? Peking Duk: The song that has stood the test of time with us is ‘Last Night’ by The Strokes, we both love to chuck it on. Another one would be ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ by The Hives, it’s fun music to just get pumped up to.