Peking Duk not only tastes good, but it sounds even better. Canberra grown duo Peking Duk have undoubtedly become one of the most talked about artists over the last few years, going double platinum for their single, High in 2014. The lusciously haired musos – Ruben Styles and Adam Hyde – have been on a roller coaster ride that’s not stopping any time soon. Eden Tokatly caught up with half of the main course, Ruben, ahead of their U.S. and Australia tour.
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They were recently nominated for song of the year and best dance release at the 2015 ARIA nomination ceremony, “I was really excited that Take Me Over was up for a nomination and especially getting two nominations this year was crazy. Last year we got one, so hopefully we can continue that swing and maybe go for three nominations next year. But winning, well that’s a whole different kettle of fish. For the best dance release, every single person in our category is great, I’m happy no matter what.”
Taking a stroll down memory lane, Ruben talks about how he first met Adam – at a skate park when they were in year eight. “Adam was a rapper and I was playing guitar in a few bands,” Ruben said. “At lunchtime the music teachers would let us use the computers so we could make beats and screw ‘round, there was a drum kit and we would just go jam. The rooms were soundproof so we could keep going after lunch and it wouldn’t matter, you would just have to explain to maths, physics or whatever you’d missed. So yeah, we were pretty good at keeping our subjects prioritised.”
Ruben was originally part of a band called, Rubycon and never thought he would make it to where he is today but says those fellow bandmates (Max and Sam) influenced his songwriting in many ways. “I used to watch them write and it was incredible to see how cutthroat they were. If there was a part that wasn’t ten out of ten, they just threw it away. That’s the kind of songwriting process that every musician needs. To scrap any part of any song at anytime.”
When asked what inspires him before songwriting Ruben said, “quite often I have silence and then just get straight onto the piano and start hitting a note and see what comes next.”
Peking Duk has worked with some big names over the past few years including SAFIA, Benjamin Joseph and Nicole Millar and Ruben agrees it’s a collaborative approach. “It’s great working with instrumentalists and vocalists, sometimes we’ll jump in the studio with another producer and that will be fun too. Seeing how they work and what they do when they make music.”
As well as having slots at Splendour in the Grass, Lolapoloza and Stereosonic, to name a few Ruben speaks about recent ventures through the States. He was astonished at how far the Peking Duk ‘sound’ had travelled,
“Most places in America we have a few fans and it’s all pretty good but some places out of the blue it’ll be crazy and we’re like, “Wow! Where did this come from? How did it all happen?”
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Peking Duk are at Falls Festival in Byron Bay as well as Stereosonic and if you haven’t seen the film clip for Peking Duk’s new single Say My Name, start typing it in to your browser stat. The video is rib-tickling in all its monobrowed glory. For the full tour dates go to pekingduk.com/tour.