MusicalMover Exclusive – Interview with Pendulum.
“We spend nearly every waking moment trying to create music that takes you out of this universe – for ourselves and anyone else who wants to listen.” – Pendulum.
Pendulum. A name synonymous with the now six piece outfit that formed in Perth, Western Australia in 2002, when producers Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen teamed up with acclaimed local DJ Paul ‘Elhornet’ Harding. Their vastly different musical roots helped define Pendulum’s unique style.
The name Pendulum as Gareth describes it was chosen “from a list of names!” unbeknownst to them the name would be the epitome of their music, a force that alternates between extremes, that of rock, electronica, metal and drum and bass, with a ferocity and level of brilliance their fans have come to know and love.
Their song “Vault” released in 2003, launched Pendulum onto the forefront of the drum and bass scene, and looking back Gareth explains “‘Vault’ was almost like a lucky break, it hit drum and bass at a time when it needed something new and a new sound and we were lucky enough to have such a track out around that time. It was literally the first track we wrote together so we were lucky to hit it off in the drum and bass scene so promptly.”
At the end of 2003 the band relocated to the UK and proceeded to dominate the music scene, where their debut album “Hold Your Colour” spawned many hits but having their first Top 30 hit in the shape of ‘Slam’ was “amazing!” The band gained many a fan and over the next few years and cemented Pendulum’s reputation as a formidable act.
Flash forward to 2010 and Pendulum’s newest release “Immersion”. The album has an atmospheric quality about it, it shimmers, and then subtly the mood shifts to one of surging baselines and soaring synthesisers, merging into nothing short of a sonic masterpiece. It’s an album that will take you on a journey unlike any other.
The band’s influences “vary from album to album” Gareth elaborates “for example big influences on ‘In Silico’ were Queens Of The Stone Age and Led Zeppelin, whereas I think on this latest album, ‘Immersion’ our influences were specifically our last two albums, as we wanted it to be a perfect blend of the best parts of our last two albums. “
They chose “Immersion” as the title for the album as they has come “up with a short list of names that fitted the vibe of the album for us and ‘Immersion’ had the strongest meaning to describe the album.”
The recording process was “better then the last album” explains Gareth, he adds “‘In Silico’ nearly killed us, we learnt a lot of lessons on how to work whilst doing ‘In Silico’ and so when it came time to work on ‘Immersion’ we didn’t chase our tail over direction and vibe, and we just enjoyed writing it a whole lot more. The problem with ‘In Silico’ was self inflicted second album syndrome.”
As for a favourite track off the album, Gareth muses “it’s hard to choose one, ‘Witchcraft’, the second single from the album is up there as one of my personal favourites, but ‘Self vs Self’ featuring the guys from In Flames is also a mile-stone track for us since we’ve always wanted to meet heavy metal styles a bit closer than we have been able to on past albums.”
The new single they are releasing is called ‘The Island’, out on September 19th. He explains “it’s somewhat of a departure from our typical tempos. The song was inspired by our trips to Ibiza, we’ve becomes big fans of the heavier side of house music again and wanted to reflect that on a two part song on the album.”
Gareth’s favourite aspect of performing is the “audience reaction” he adds “in my opinion, it is the most important thing”. A favourable audience reaction is not hard to come by as their performances are the stuff of legends, having been described “one of the most enthusiastic reactions afforded a main stage act in Big Day Out history,” by Kerrang! They recorded the Live At Brixton’ DVD to capture the essence of such shows, working with director Paul Caslin. Having Caslin direct the live DVD was “an honour” says Gareth “as he has done lots of live music DVD’s that we really respect.”
They have only recently begun to make progress at breaking into the market in the USA and their tour there last year where they played at Coachella, SXSW as well as Miami’s Ultra Music Festival garnered them rave reviews from music critics, Gareth explains “America is a very hard market to crack, we’ve toured out there a few times already and got more out of it then we could have imagined. One thing we will not do is constantly tour America and end up hating each other, its a very big place and cracking it can be mostly down to luck and being in the right place at the right time.”
As to who takes the longest to get ready before a gig, he jokes “I think Rob takes the longest to do anything and I think he’s proud of that!” As for the messiest on tour, it’s not one of the band members as you might assume but a clothing item, Gareth elaborates ”None of us are really messy, I have the worst smelling item – my jacket, but its dry cleaned now so its better! None of the band are working on side projects but “there’s always the desire to, just no time.”
Pendulum. Part band. Part myth. Part live legend.
I have a copy of ‘Immersion’ to give away, all you have to do is tell me why you would like a copy of their latest release and it’s yours!