Coachella 2015: Peking Duk On Their Festival Debut, Next Single & Album Progress

Coachella 2015: Peking Duk Hit The Sahara Tent
Peking Duk turned the Sahara tent into a dance party at Coachella 2015. See the pics.

Peking Duk came, saw and conquered Coachella. The Australian duo made their festival debut in the Sahara tent on Friday afternoon (April 10) and delivered one of the craziest sets of the weekend. Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles drew a huge crowd and immediately had party-goers dancing along to their hits (“High” and “Take Me Over”) and quirky remixes.

I caught up with the guys after their set and they happily riffed off each other — telling bad jokes and hilarious anecdotes while puffing on cigarettes. They talked about their killer Coachella debut as well as new single “Say My Name” and even gave an update on their much-anticipated debut LP. (It’s apparently 58.3% done). Peking Duk also opened up about nudity at their gigs and Reuben’s impressive pubes. Find out more below.

Was it intimidating to play an early set?Adam: It’s kind of funny, because at Australian festivals, nobody gets there until about four or five [in the afternoon]. So we’re like, “I wonder if there’s going to be people there?” Or whatever. But as soon as we jumped on, it was quite solid. Halfway through, it was pretty much just jumping. The whole place was banging. It was sick.Reuben: Yeah, the whole set was great fun there, we had a great time. Definitely.

Did you see all the Australian flags?Reuben: Yeah, there was one guy, he was so adamant about showing us his Australian flag. I kept looking at him, going, “Cool.”Adam: He started out on one dude’s shoulders, and they get like a trio tower, and then we saw him. He acknowledged us, and then he tried to attempt a four-man shoulder tower. I don’t know what he was thinking.Reuben: Look at it this way, he really got his point across. But the set was incredible, it was very fun, very fun.

When did you finalize your set?Reuben: Well actually, last night. We spent all last night trying to prep it up, because we’ve been on tour, and trying to finish, trying to work on the album and stuff.Adam: We were legit up until 3:30 am, just trying to figure out this set for Coachella, we were so far behind. We were like, “Maybe we should screw off this song and this song, and just go search for different ones,” and then we figured it out. This morning we sort of ran through it and went, “Okay, this might work.”

Talk to me about the inclusion of “When the Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “California Dreaming.”Reuben: “California Dreaming” was just purely because it’s a great song, and we’re in California, let’s give it a spin. See how it goes. But yeah, The Lion King tune, we have been spinning that for a little bit.Adam: We wrote a song called “Mufasa” and it started out as a massive, massive goof, massive gag on our end. And we’re like, “Let’s do some big room stuff.” And Reuben wrote this beat in 20 minutes, and it sounded like the sort of shit that would really go off in a club. We’re like, “Fuck, yeah, let’s roll with that.” And it got sent over to Laidback Luke, who’s the sweetest dude of all time, and he’s like, “This is dope, let me finish this.” It had the build-up and the drum, and he sent it back in like 2 hours, it was a full song. We’re like, “Fuck, yeah. Let’s roll with that.” The best part was, though, when we were recording the hook that says “Mufasa”, we’re sitting in Reuben’s bedroom in Kensington going “Mufasa” and trying to lay them all.Reuben: Trying to get a bunch of layers of us sounding like real creeps, just going, “Mufasa” and it just went through like a million different terrible attempts.

Are you shocked about how well you were received here? People knew all the songs.Adam: It’s kind of cool, man. We only just released “High” over here not too long ago. It’s been out in Australia for a while, it did well, which was sick. It’s been cool, like the shows that we’ve played over here, we still don’t have that much of a following here at all, but anyone who comes to the shows, they’re either like diehard fans or just girls that go there to get drunk. It works kind of well and it becomes a nice party.

What are you releasing next in America?Adam: So “Take Me Over” and “High” are going to be put on an EP with a couple of new songs. We have another single coming called “Say My Name.”

What does that sound like?Adam: It’s got SAFIA’s Benny Woolner on the bongos. It’s actually really funny how that song came about. We were on the Stereosonic tour in Australia, and we just came back, I think it was the end of it, or something. We were hung over as fuck, and we were in the airport, and me and Benny were listening to the Arctic Monkeys song “Do I Wanna Know?” It’s just like real simple… real good… and we’re like, “Fuck, we should write a song like that.” And then we went back to the house, and we smoked a bit of weed, and the song was written very, very, very quickly. Yeah, like really, really fucking quickly. It’s got balls to it. I’m like, “Reuben, you’ve got to hear this shit.” Reuben’s like, “All right, let’s do this, this, and this.” And now it’s sort of shaped into the new single.

Have you already recorded the album?Adam: Essentially, I’d say we’re probably 58% of the way done.Reuben: 58.3%.Adam: Yeah, something like that. Minimum. But yeah, we’ve got so many demo ideas, and we know which ones are going to be on there for sure so far, which I’d say would probably have maybe five or six tracks. Yeah, we’ve got a month off once we get back from our Asian tour, we’re just going to finish it off.

That’s exciting and very specific!Adam: Have you seen Reuben’s pubes, by the way? He trimmed them.

No, I haven’t.Reuben: According to Adam, the reason we got booked for Coachella was because I’ve got incredible steel wool downstairs.Adam: A year ago those pubes were incredible, it was like a bush. I’m pretty sure we used hedge trimmers to get rid of it, but it’s gone now. I’m sad.Reuben: It’ll be back in probably a week.

Who came up with the idea to remix Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”?Adam: That one’s really fun, man. It works really well, every time. Because girls love Beyonce, and dudes want to get crazy, so it’s like the fusion of fuckery.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Coachella?Adam: I want to see Drake. There are so many fucking artists playing, it’s ridiculous. Ryan Hemsworth is on tonight. AC/DC as well.

Which DJs do you want to check out?Adam: DJ Snake is one of our homies. He’s one of our good friends. It’s actually really funny, we were in Miami the other night. We’re walking down the street to go to this club and this dude is screaming out the window of his “Hey, my favorite Australian ducks, what the fuck you doing?” He jumps out of the car. That was the first time I’d seen him take his sunglasses off.Reuben: Porter Robinson.Adam: I mean, there’s a lot. Flosstradamus for sure. Tame Impala.Reuben: They’re amazing, they put a grass turf on their stage, so that they can play without shoes. They’re the coolest cunts in the world.Adam: They’re really nice people.

“Coolest cunts.” That really touched my heart.Reuben: I’m glad. It’s beautiful.

What’s the difference between American and Australian audiences?Adam: I think Australians, they’ll really just go in on alcohol and drugs and sweat and fucking don’t give a fuck.Reuben: They have no care for themselves. They are the greatest.Adam: I think Americans have a little bit of self-dignity going on. So they’re sort of a bit conscious of themselves. They still get ratchet but in Australia it only takes two minutes until there are a few sets of tits out. Some dude at our show in Melbourne once got naked.Reuben: His dick was flopping around. It was incredible. You wouldn’t find that here.

Did you catch Peking Duk’s show? Let us know in the comments below.

[All photos by Josh Fogel].

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