Together since 2010, Canberra lads Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles — aka Peking Duk — reminisce about the water that has passed under the bridge since their formation.
“I pretty much started out listening to my dad playing Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix records around the house,” explains an eloquent and circumspect Adam. “With Reuben in bands and things, I kind of dabbled with the guitar and then progressed into hip hop, which I’m a little embarrassed about,” laughs the proud youngster.
“I was making these terrible beats on Garage Band on the computer and then ran into Reuben who was doing pretty well with his band Rubicon at the time,” Adam says.
He explains that as the lads turned 18 and got a taste of the club scene, later becoming somewhat obsessed with its energy and vibe, they decided to start producing.
“We got our hands onto Reason software and Reuben covered off on that really quickly. Then we bought some really crappy $50 decks and started jamming on those; we didn’t actually learn to DJ on them; it was when we got to DJ at the club we were told that if we couldn’t make people dance, we’d lose our jobs!”
But dance they did – and they continue to do so. It didn’t hurt Adam and Reuben, either, releasing tracks ‘The Way You Are’ and ‘Feels Like’, both of which have become bona fide smash hits.
“Musically, we decided when we started out writing electro and even more funky stuff – and then pondered some of the stuff we were producing now — we’ve evolved onto a sort of indie tip. We’re enjoying guitars and organic instruments as opposed to just synths. We enjoyed writing ‘The Way You Are’ and wanted to write a follow up single and worked on it pretty carefully; the new single, ‘Feels Like’, really did that and feels like it’s on the summer vibe we were looking for.”
Adam claims the duo have a lot of music in the bank, outlining a forthcoming collaboration with 360 and Daniel Merriweather they hope will see the light of day shortly.
“We’ve also got a collaboration with Laidback Luke and Benson from Melbourne coming up – as well as the plenty that we’re already working on,” he says. “There’s a real range of styles there too — soulful and dance oriented, but also upbeat party tunes – and while the Laidback Luke track is a straight up party stomper, we’re trying to temper that with music that goes in different directions as well.”
Maintaining that broad appeal without being pigeonholed then appears to be their raison d'être.
“And as well as that — more than anything — we are just music lovers, 100 percent,” chimes in Adam. “Between the two of us, we spend so much time listening to and appreciating music. I love getting inspiration for the music we write from everywhere. I have to admit though, we don’t necessarily listen to the sort of music we create – for example, I’m getting into cheesy hip hop like 2 Chainz; and I’m constantly on the lookout for new music; I’m always browsing through blogs and trying to seek out inspiration in order to find new ways of doing things!”
Finally – and let’s be frank — the lads are about to hit the big time. Not only are Triple J supporting them heavily, but Big Day Out has invited them along to their annual music-fest.
“Yeah, we’re both really, really excited,” Adam says. “We’re working hard on a really cool visual show with lots of props and fun stuff on stage. Hopefully, we can bring Gareth, the new character from our film clip onto the stage as well and have a bit of a laugh – it’s going to be a good, sweaty time! A lot of the crews playing at this gig are our favorites – groups we’ve both followed for a long time. To be giving something back, being at the other end as it were, that’s a really rewarding feeling. We’re both completely stoked to be honest!”
Peking Duk play Big Day Out at Metricon Stadium and Carrara Parklands Sunday January 19.