Heading back to the West for Stereosonic at Claremont Showgrounds, Sunday 29th November, Peking Duk’s Adam Hyde talks about the Perth music festival scene, rap and Straight Outta Compton with JAYDE FERGUSON.
Canberra EDM superstars are undoubtedly one of the biggest dance acts in the world right now. Dominating some of Australia’s biggest clubs and touring internationally for all the hottest music festivals, Peking Duk are riding a wave of global success- and loving every single minute of it.
And even with two music awards under their belts (including an ARIA for Best Dance Release in 2014) and a solid following across the world, Peking Duk haven’t been afraid to just do their own thing and stay true to what they do best – write and produce music.
“It’s kind of funny because we’ve been writing so much music for the new album and it just progressed to a whole bunch of different styles”, explains Adam. “We started writing a bunch of psychedelic vibes and then we were writing ones with a rock vibe, rap and upbeat… then some dance stuff and more bangers! We realised we were just writing heaps of different styles and it was fun – it still is fun. It felt right to put Say My Name out as the first single just to show we do have a few different things coming. Not to say that the whole album is in the same style as Say My Name, it’s just one of the styles we’ve been playing around with”.
Despite their fame and good run of hit singles and bootleg remixes, Peking Duk are yet to release a studio album. But with their recent new single tease of Say My Name in July and whispers of collaborations with Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, their much anticipated debut album may just be closer than we think.
“Hopefully they’ll be on the new album. We’ve worked on a few songs with him (Daniel Johns), which was pretty cool and hoping to work on a few more because we all had great chemistry in the studio together. He’s a great dude and such a good artist. So we’re hoping to show everyone one or two songs that we’ve worked on, just trying to make sure everything sounds just right when we unveil it to everyone”.
On the subject of collaboration and with Stereosonics just around the corner, Adam reminisces about the ultra-cool acts they’ve already opened for or had the pleasure of working with and who’s next on his ‘wish list’.
“There’s so many! Someone like Kanye West or even Travis Scott. I personally really love Travis and Kanye, they’re such talented dudes but on the same note I’d love to work with a variety of people – someone like Barry White or if Marvin Gaye were still alive…someone like that would be really, really cool! Or even some of the rocky-y stuff like Julian Casablancas or Albert Hammond Jr from The Strokes that would be incredible…. And Damon Albarn from Blur and the Gorillaz, I think with people like him and Kanye I’d love to just be able to sit down and pick their brains more so than actually create with them, they’re just absolute legends basically!”
Buzzing with excitement over Stereosonic talk and with the Perth music festival scene a hot topic these days, Adam sheds some light with his view on it all.
“Last year the whole Stereosonics thing was the funnest thing in the world. It was absolute mayhem non-stop, hanging out with all the other great artists and your buddies, every show was out of control – it was just a great time, like a big holiday! It never felt like ‘work’ at all, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and doing it all again this year – bigger and better”.
“In regards to the Perth festival scene as a whole though, I think they’ve hit a point where it’s oversaturation. For Australia there was just so many of them, I mean I’m not on the other side of the fence and cutting the deals or whatever so I don’t know the real stories behind most of it all but in the end, it’s just tragic to say goodbye to such iconic festivals. We got put on the very last Big Day Out which was awesome, and yeah it’s really sad to see all that go. I’m not too sure as to what the reason is, I think it may be oversaturation which leads to punters not wanting to buy tickets and go. Or it could be other things that go on behind the scene but in my opinion, music festivals are incredible. The concept of people getting together and going to a place to have a good time and enjoy music with friends – that’s one of the best things you can do! I’m all for it! The more the merrier, you know what I mean? The punters get more picky the more festivals that come around and that leads to this”.
With pumping performances at multiple festivals already; including TommorowWorld, Coachella, Parklife and Stereosonic, Peking Duk are easily one of the biggest names in Australian electronic music right now.
“We got into electronic music in high school. Reuben (Styles) and I were both in a couple of bands here and there doing some hip hop stuff and we actually had a mutual friend in about year 11 that gave us this CD with The Bloody Beetroots, Fake Blood all that sort of 2008/09 fidget house stuff on it. Trashy fidgety house music I suppose you would call it. We had never heard electronic music that sounded so primal before; everything that we had heard was so clean, not raw like this…”
“It really intrigued us and Reuben and I seemed to take a real shining to it more so than our other friends. We decided to learn how to create that sound so we became nerds and just sat on our laptops all the time chipping away at music software”.
“We’re still learning every single day and we’re still just computer nerds! Now it’s progressed though – at the start it was all about the club bangers that’s all we wanted to write, but now as you can hear with Say My Name, we’re recording ourselves playing guitar…”
“It’s music you can listen to while you’re walking and driving, you don’t have to be in a club to listen to it. We’re blending our roots and the producing knowledge that we’ve learnt over the last few years; it’s a really fun time”.
Since the release of Straight Outta Compton – the latest movie about 80’s hip-hop group N.W.A’s first studio album, Adam admits he’s really been getting into his rap lately.
“Dr Dre’s 2001 was the first record I bought myself and I still listen to it. I actually played the whole album last night after watching Straight Outta Compton – incredible movie…really, really good. Dre is just ‘that guy’ – his production is so tight and that’s still my favourite album of all time”.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of rap music. The whole new wave of rap and hip-hop music that’s been going around is pretty incredible. Spending so much time in America too, you hear it everywhere but there’s not too much happening over here though. Artists like Travis Scott I find really fascinating – it’s very new music and in a way it hasn’t been done before. I used to hate Drake but I absolutely love him now (laughs) Yeah, I’ve just been listening to rap and other cool trashy stuff”.
It’s obvious after chatting with Adam that his love for music, rap and the old school stuff has definitely made him more open to different music flavours, which you get a great taste of in Peking Duk’s new single Say My Name.
(To bring back or remix any song from the 70’s or 80’s) “Donna Summers, she’s just got a really cool vibe. Or some David Bowie would be great, you know – that sort of vibe”.
Peking Duk will be rocking the DJ stage at Stereosonic Sunday 29th November alongside some other really hot acts including Armin van Buuren, Showtek, Major Lazer, Generik, Clean Bandit and more. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from here.
In preparation for an insanely awesome gig coming up at Stereosonic, Adam reflects on he’s most craziest and memorable live concert moment.
“One time this chick came up on stage to dance with us and she slipped, fell on her face and broke the front row of her teeth. She got up and kept dancing! Blood everywhere and we’re like ‘holy shit!’ we need to fix you! (laughs) So we got some help and the next day on Facebook she posted a picture of herself at the dentist or something say ‘best night ever guys, thanks!’ We were like…wow, that’s dedication!!”