Australian duo Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles of PEKING DUK is on fire this year since their massive collaborative record with ALUNAGEORGE called "Fake Magic". In 2014 they brought together indie electronica and with combined live sets. The following year they dropped three triple platinum singles with “High ” “Take Me Over” and “Stranger” which topped number one on ARIA Australian Artist Single Chart. From headlining performances at Coachella, Electric Forest and Lollapalooza, they continued their live circuit at The Independent this past weekend in San Francisco, California. We got a chance to meet them about their latest record, music and more.
How did you get into music in the beginning?
Reuben: When I was a baby, my parents would play music from Miles Davis. I grew up with singing and playing guitar. It was always super embarrassing when I had friends visiting and stay over. I kind of put off music but it was very engrained. Dad does jazz guitar.
Adam: It was forced. His dad also did an electronic project.
Reuben: Yes, he pretty much just talks over the top. It was called Joda. Good luck finding a copy. I think he just burned a bunch of tapes and CDs when they came out. I think he gave them away actually.
Adam: Pretty much the same for me. My dad played the clarinet. He was always playing lots of music, always music in the house. If music is around you growing up, you can't really choose. If it's around you, you fall in love with it without even knowing in some way or another. It's sort of like a teddy bear when you're a kid.
Reuben: It becomes a part of you in a way. We both went to different high schools but we both fell in love with metal music. We learned to shred on the guitar.
Adam: I learned Megadeath.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Adam: Ever? I'm going to have to say Kayne West. Anyone who can just keep smiling and succeeding in the face of diversity, when everyone is just going off saying that guy is a f*ckboy and he's just laughing it off. You can't fault him for his music at all. I just love that more than anything. It's hard to say who is my biggest musical inspiration. For me I just love watching him and listening to his music.
Reuben: Going off on that, I remember from high school music was a little bit of a novelty because it was all about shredding solos. It was really all about who can go the hardest. I didn't fall in love with music as such in a emotional way. It was more of a competitive thing in high school. But as soon as I discovered the strokes, I knew there was a whole new world of music out there and I think that's when I fell in love.
What’s the story behind your name?
Reuben: We used to party a lot.
Adam: We were young and used to take a lot of...beers. And when you take one too many beers you start peaking.
Reuben: Peking Duk is more about when you're peaking and you're so lost in that moment of peaking that you're not really altogether. You're in the corner of the room and you start doing the duck face. It just became a saying, we would say like oh look there's Dave and he's Peking Duk right now. It was very much so for nightclubs and very so much for Dave.
Adam: I remember the night when we had a couple of songs Reuben and I had done together and we were like f*ck we need a name or something I guess. We were like Peking Duk and we just rode with it.
Reuben: We'd thought we'd change it for our second song it was a bit of a silly name.
Adam: Some wise words from Paddy of Sticky Fingers told me once that name's don't mean sh*t. Who gives a f*ck. So we just stuck with it. Now we're still here explaining it.
Describe to us your sound.
Reuben: The sound is sweaty, fun and exciting.
Adam: It's like if Enya smoked PCP for three days in a forest and then she met Nicolas Cage and after that conversation she had, Nicolas Cage walked further into the woods -- if his mind could speak words, that's what our music would be like.
Reuben: It's like the first time you see an eagle catch a snake.
Adam: Sensual sweat.
Reuben: Melancholic fun.
Talk to us about Fake Magic with AlunaGeorge.
Adam: That's a song Reuben and I had a beat for two years ago. There was a different sort of vibe then, the fundamentals were the same but different flesh. Reuben did the bass line and we changed the whole vibe of it. We were like we should get Aluna to sing on this but we didn't know her. We were like f*ck it we don't really have anything to lose so we reached out and she was down to clown. She hopped on it and the rest was history.
Reuben: We probably spent like six months to a year forgetting about the song and all of a sudden we were like lets get down on this. So we tried to tailor it in a way so it would be good enough for Aluna to say yes. Finally, we were like f*ck it lets just send it and she was like yep.
Do you have any upcoming records you can share with us?
Reuben: We're going to be playing one tonight actually!
Adam: A bunch! We have a really talented singer with us tonight named Amy Allen who's about to be the world's biggest star in the planet. The original plan was to bring our live show out here which we just performed but our drummer couldn't get his visa sorted and he also helped us with a lot of the programming. There's a lot of electronic back-end sh*t going on. He couldn't make it unfortunately, so in light of that we're going to be playing a lot of unreleased music. It's exciting for us to share.
Reuben: Especially in San Francisco, the last time we played here at The Independent was like in January and we were like really prepared to make it special and bring a whole live band and full live set. Lets just say it's harder to get a visa now than it was a year ago. So we're going to make it very special but in a different way.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Adam: Kayne. I'd just like to sit in a studio with him and watch him vibe out. I've seen interviews and every story there is some wild sh*t of him being like yeah I like that. Then he'd put on a porno and ask someone if they'd want to ask cheesecake. It's just the most obscure.
Reuben: And every time he would just sub out the studio monitors for top of the line monitors with KRKs.
Adam: We worked in the Woodshed Studios in Malibu and it was a couple weeks before Kayne was there. We were stoked like what we were going to say? They had multi-million dollar equipment in there and Kanye was like get rid of that sh*t and have my boys bring the KRKs in.
Reuben: They're sort of like the best of the cheap range. But very much in the cheap range.
How’s the touring been so far?
Adam: I haven't been doing cocaine, I've been a good boy.
Reuben: We've been going for runs, very healthy boys. We've formulated a way to do yoga upside down, hanging off of a ceiling fan while it's spinning.
Adam: Lets just say his shockers are very much in line.
Which had been your favorite festival to perform at?
Adam: Favorite festival is either Coachella or Splendor in the Grass.
Reuben: Or Lollapalooza. That was pretty dope. We still haven't been to Shambala, it's supposed to be the best one.
Adam: I can really see myself getting naked and rolling around with a bunch of hippies.
Reuben: Electric Forest in Michigan was really dope too. I was so cool I can't even describe.
What is one thing you’re currently obsessed with?
Reuben: Obsessed with Shrek 4 we're doing a cameo at the moment.
Adam: Also, pornhub has been doing a lot of things for me lately. Oh, and choco-dusted almonds from Blue Diamond.