This quite possibly made my year – the chance to meet and hang out with one of my favourite bands. The new magazine I write for requires scripting interviews (we record them by dictaphone), so thought I’d stick the whole thing up here. All that’s left to do now is turn it into a decent article!
Pendulum Interview Scipt
Next Floor Festival, Seoul, South Korea
June 29th 2008, 1am.
Interview by James Hendicott and Jessica Wilmes.
Bling Magazine (James) So how are you doing today?
Pendulum (Paul) – Im really tired, I just got up. We flew to Bangkok, did a gig, and now were here. We had to stop somewhere. Taipei or something like that. It was quite a long day.
Bling Magazine (James) What bought on the move? I mean youre based in London now, why did you move from Perth to London in the first place?
Pendulum (Paul) We couldnt achieve what we wanted to in Perth, it was as simple as that
Bling Magazine (James) The scenes a lot bigger in London?
Pendulum (Paul) Just everythings bigger, and proximity to the world. Perth is the second most isolated city in the world, so it wasnt doing us any favours musically there.
Bling Magazine (James) That first track kind of came out of nowhere, how did it feel?
Pendulum (Paul) Detached, because we couldnt see the results. I only made it play at the club that I was running; it was just something to play. To hear it was getting success overseas was like, ok cool but we couldnt see it, and so we moved. It was very strange for the first year and a half.
Bling Magazine (James) You were all involved in completely different projects at the stage, right?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, we were all in bands before. Hardcore and metal and punk bands, and we were gigging while Pendulum was starting.
Bling Magazine (James) Was it a difficult decision to change over to just being Pendulum?
Pendulum (Paul) No, not really! I was still enjoying it, but we got to the point where we were getting success with Pendulum, so it made sense to put energy into that.
Bling Magazine (James) Ok, its fair to say the first album had quite an impact on Drum and Bass. How did you feel about that?
Pendulum (Paul) Ive no idea! It feels like a lifetime ago, it feels like so much has happened since then. Were the kind of people who we do something, and when its finished its done and we move on. The next thing is more important. But if gave Drum and Bass a kick up the ass I think. We werent trying to do that, but I think musically it needed it, and I hope that has done good for the scene. Whilst were kind of drifting away from that Drum and Bass sort of thing it seems like its cool again, which is sweet. If we had something to do with that, all good. Im happy.
Bling Magazine (James) It seemed like a few of the Drum and Bass scenesters were a little bit unhappy about it
Pendulum (Paul) Ah fuck em! Everyone has the opportunity to do what they want. We took it, we did what we wanted and people liked it. If other people have a problem with that then theyre free to do what they want. Nothings stopping anyone. If three guys from Western Australia can crack the English scene with a bunch of records than surely the scenesters can do the same? Maybe they already did and theyre lazy now, whatever. I dont really care!
Bling Magazine (James) Do you think of yourselves as a Drum and Bass band as such, or are you just doing what youre doing?
Pendulum (Paul) Not anymore. I think of us just as Pendulum. Whatever it sounds like if what it sounds like. We made Drum and Bass records, but at no point did we ever say thats all we are. Thats the thing some people dont get.
Bling Magazine (James) The newest album seems to be quite a departure from Hold Your Color era
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, I think we just wanted to play instruments again. Its where we started, and it seemed like a logical regression, while taking it somewhere completely different. Were never going to lose out electronic edge, but its nice to play instruments again.
Bling Magazine (James) Do you ever wish you were playing in a metal band instead?
Pendulum (Paul) No! Ive done it before
Bling Magazine (Jessica) And you dont miss it?
Pendulum (Paul) Not at all. The way that we are now we can do what the fuck we want with that music. Whereas if you put your hand up and say were a metal band youre kind of expected to be a certain way. To sound a certain way. Theres only a few bands who can get away with throwing in a synth or something, and then youll get half of your fan base turning their back and going oh shit, its not purist, and the whole purist mentality to me, its self destructive. Music suffers as a result of purist thoughts, so this is well we could go and write a metal record and stick synths all over it, and if peope like it thats good, but if we were a self professed metal band theres no way in hell we could do that. So this is better.
Bling Magazine (James) You seem to be kind of bridging a scene. Youve got dance fans coming to your gigs, youve got rock fans coming to your gigs
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah. I cant think of anyone else whos done it. The Prodigy did, but they never really had a rock edge. It seemed quite like electro punk as they called it. But its quite weird. Were trying to do these tours and were thinking who should we take with us, and we cant think of anyone! So we end up taking DJs with us to bridge that gap, back to where weve just come from. Its ilike a daily struggle.
Bling Magazine (James) Something a little close to my own heart, Im feeling a little wrong this weekend; Im not in Glastonbury. Thats where I would normally be. I think thats where you guys would normally be this weekend as well isnt it?
Pendulum (Paul) We did it live last year and it was a mess. With the mud we couldnt get to the site, we had to walk for 30 minutes literally knee deep in slop holding guitars like this (overhead).
Bling Magazine (James) So you wont be going anymore?
Pendulum (Paul) We were going to DJ but it didnt happen. They say its going to be the last one as well.
Bling Magazine (James) Really? I didnt hear that.
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, it didnt sell out straight away, so they were like its that last one. Its an institution, you cant have no Glastonbury.
Bling Magazine (James) Youll be back next year then, yeah?
Pendulum (Paul) I cant say yes or no, its a very hard festival to play. Its not as simple as other ones simply because of its size, you know. But you never know, we might be. Im not sure about, well theyre trying to market it to a different audience, its not a traditional sort of vibe, like putting Jay Z and people like that on. I see what theyre trying to do, but I dont see the point to it. Theres like 3000 festivals in Europe this year, so if you dont like one, fuck it, go to the other 2000, its no problem.
Bling Magazine (James) How have you found Seoul?
Pendulum (Paul) Literally, I havent seen anything at all. I went from the airport to the hotel and slept, and here I am now. This is breakfast (points at his JD and Coke)
Bling Magazine (James) So this is your first time here, is it?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, so Ive been asking where all the gadgets are, and where I can buy Nintendo games from 1985, and there like we know exactly where so Im pretty excited about tomorrow to be honest. Its very rare we get to stay a day extra somewhere, so
Bling Magazine (Jessica) How do you take the Asian scene in general?
Pendulum (Paul) Its such a pop culture, that to have niche music is really hard. I really respect anyone who works in this environment and tries to promote any sort of electronic music at all, because Ive seen what theyre up against, and it not easy at all. Ive played in most countries out here, and, you know, Ive never seen a festival like this, you know? Its always been club gigs. So its kind of refreshing to pull up and see something this size, and go, yeah it does happen so .
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Its a newer kind of scene in general
Bling Magazine (James) You really have to know the scene
Bling Magazine (Jessica) They missed a whole kind of block of time that the West expereinced
Pendulum (Paul) 15 years man. 15 years of hardcore rave, and they didnt have it at all. They had the Vengaboys.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Do you find this is a common thing throughout Asia in general?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, every country. I mean the only one that would have sort of an electronic history is Tokyo, because of the LTJ Bokom thing, and Thailand because of the psy-trance and hippies on the beach.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) And Ko Phangnan
Pendulum (Paul) I will never go there, and Ive never been.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Oh come on!
Pendulum (Paul) – Im sure that its wicked but, well I dont know, I dont leave England and go on holiday to immerse myself with English people. Im trying to get away from it.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Touche
Pendulum (Paul) Well a lot of countries Singapore – where else have I played Indonesia theyve got local boy bands and thats the market, they love it, to go and sing along to it. To go and see some Western Drum and Bass DJs or whatever is just not on their agenda. Its slowly infiltrating though, which is good.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Well I think you have an edge; you have this kind of multi Youre not limted to
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, its not something you consciously do; it just seems to make sense to us. Its like, that was how were programmed.
Bling Magazine (James) I thought there was a really dramatic change between Hold You Colour and the most recent album
Pendulum (Paul) I think it may have seemed like that because we were unable to release music in between those two. We only had one single that came out, which was Blood Sugar, and we were contractually bent over a barrel for that period of time, so I feel like the album we have out now is kind of like a third album, and I feel that we wrote the second album by touring between the two. And it wed progressed slightly from Hold Your Colour it almost would have been pointless, because it would have meant wed still have so much ground to cover to get to where we are now. So we alienated a lot of people by changing very quickly. It didnt feel quick to me, but you know for fans, obviously all they can go by is products. We wrote a bunch of tunes that I thought bridged that gap, its just that they didnt get released.
Bling Magazine (James) What about the Slam video
Pendulum (Paul) I was not in it! Im pretty glad about that.
Bling Magazine (James) Where did you find that guy, do you know him?
Pendulum (Paul) We saw him on youtube doing a similar thing to a different track. Hes like a talent scout as well. He runs an agency or something. Hes the boss and he likes to jiggle, so fair play to him.
Bling Magazine (James) Its a bit of a youtube classic that one
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, it was a bit strange. I was away on tour when it was done, in the States, and I got back and it was finished. They said check this out, and I just sat there and said thatll do, fine, it was as simple as that.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Is there any place you havent been that youd like to go?
Pendulum (Paul) South America. Well weve been to Brazil once in 2004, and one of the other guys DJed there, we were supposed to go to Venezuela, but the club got shut down and we didnt go. Pretty turbulent country, all sorts of madness happens out there. Rumour has it were playing at Skull Beats this year, in Brazil this year, so. Thats kind of the last spot. Ive pretty much been everywhere else that I wanted to go.
Bling Magazine (James) It sounds like a great lifestyle
Pendulum (Paul) It is. Its weird, because we were talking today, we were on our way here and I looked at him (points at on stage MC Jakes) and said were in Korea, you know like I was sitting in my living room in England two days ago and I wont be here in twenty four hours time. It takes a bit of getting used to.
Bling Magazine (James) What would you be doing right now if you werent doing this?
Pendulum (Paul) Id be doing a job I didnt like. Which is what I did before this, so yeah, I dont know, I dont like to think about that.
Bling Magazine (James) What are you listening to right now?
Pendulum (Paul) Theres a new Bad Religion record that I really like. I like all this new blog house rave stuff, new rave, look dead, banger stuff, (incomprehensible) stuff, a mate of mine produces under the name Treasure Fingers and hes doing all this like freaked out electro-rave disco stuff. Its like a whole scene thats evolved pretty much overnight, and they dont even sell their music, they just give it away, stick it on blogs, and its really fun, I quite like it. Erm, what else is new
Bling Magazine (James) I was kind of expecting you to say Queens of the Stone Age or System of a Down or something like that
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah the new Queens of the Stone Album is a wicked album. Its on high rotation, Ive been into Queens since before they were known as Queens, theres a new Max and Ivor Cabalara from Sepultura, Cabalara conspiracy, theyre sick if you like Brazilian Death Metal. I dont know, Im just trying to think, I started listening to a lot of old, obscure ninties bands that I kind of overlooked Juna 44 I listen to bands that no one has a clue about. Ive been listening to Fugazi again like every day
Bling Magazine (James) Has your taste always been really eclectic?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, Id love to some how compile it into a 15 cd box set or something. I always play a strange tune last. I wont today, but new mixes and stuff, its kind of hard to play a full set of Drum and Bass when you like so many weird things.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Maybe in later life youll become like an 80s
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah Ill be like John Peel or something.
Bling Magazine (James) How do you feel about Djing? Would you rather be up there playing live?
Pendulum (Paul) I dont have any real part in the live show, it was a choice, because if I did then Id have to stop DJing. I dont want to do that. I like DJing, its what Im personally best at out of all the guys in the group, so it makes sense to keep that going. If you think, the difference with having a live show with five or six people is you can only play in certain places with that. DJing I can go anywhere. I couldnt have done a live show here, its too hard to get all of our crew and I couldnt have played in Thailand last night, and a lot of the Clubs that we do just dont fit a live band. Its nice to be able to do both, and its good that theres enough of us in Pendulum now that we can concentrate on what were good at.
Bling Magazine (James) Its kind of strange that if you look on your myspace, it looks like youre playing in two different corners of the world on the same night.
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah weve done that since day 1, we were DJing two places and people would start to question if it was actually us. Theyd turn up with a flyer and look and say were not sure. We look on myspace and someone will say I saw you play last night and I dont think it was you and I was like fucking hell, I just flew 20 hours, it sure as hell was me.
Bling Magazine (James) Youre actually playing at my old University, or the rest of the band was last night
Pendulum (Paul) Which one?
Bling Magazine (James) Warwick
Pendulum (Paul) Warwick yeah
Bling Magazine (James) I saw you play there about, I dont know, three years ago?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah I DJed there as well, heaps of times. Thats not where they do the Monday Club is it?
Bling Magazine (James) Yeah
Pendulum (Paul) – I dont remember shit, but to walk in there and see that many people on a Monday its like
Bling Magazine (James) Yeah weve got all those layers, everyones stood on the balcony kind of staring down at you
Pendulum (Paul) (to Jessica) its like a student union, which we dont have in Australia, and you drive in on campus and its like nothing, just dead quiet, and you find the pub ish bit and walk in and its like arghhhh! 1500 kids on a Monday night pissed out of their heads.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Thats what Universitys good for
Pendulum (Paul) We dont have this in Australia at all. We have like a pub that seats 20 people and thats it, no gigs or anything. So I had to get my head around that.
Bling Magazine (James) Your first tour in the UK was all around the Unversities wasnt it?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, the first live tour was definitely. I think Id DJed in nearly all of them before as well.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Whats your favourite place to return to?
Pendulum (Paul) LA. Id move there tomorrow if I could
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Why?
Pendulum (Paul) Well Ive got lots of friends there, the weather, the beach.
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Yeah they call it the sun tax
Pendulum (Paul) Exactly. I mean at heart everything I was interested in as a kid was from California, so to go down to Venice Beach, to dog town and skate there and shit I grew up never believing I d ever go there, and then two months ago we went and did Coachella and I was stood there like were on fucking Venice Beach man I dont know, I just have a real good connection with that city. Its ridiculous, you could just disappear there for weeks on end. So much fun. Other than that probably Perth, probably home. When you go home, well it feels like someone put me on slow motion, and I get nothing done. And Ill be like Ill do it tomorrow and thats why we had to leave.
Bling Magazine (James) What are you like on tour, do you like to chill out, or do you just go crazy every night?
Pendulum (Paul) Chill out. Im like an old man in disguise. I like to put as much mental energy as I can into playing, so afterwards I usually cant talk at all, my brain is mush. I think Ive been doing this so long before Pendulum that Ive had my time of going crazy. This is something that means so much to me that I dont want anything to jeopardise it, so its really business, but still fun at the same time, you know?
Bling Magazine (James) If you have to be in business its a good one to be in I guess! Do you have any good tour stories from the past?
Pendulum (Paul) None that you could probably print!
Bling Magazine (Jessica) Those are the best ones! Just tell us, we wont print them! Just make us jealous.
Pendulum (Paul) I cant think of anything cos Ive got quite a bad memory, but Thailand, Bangkok last night, the last 48 hours. Im going to take that to the grave. I cant even tell you the shit that goes on in that city, its ridiculous.
Bling Magazine (James) Have you been on the buckets?
Pendulum (Paul) oh man, Im not a big drinker, and I must have drunk my body weight in alcohol in the last twenty four hours.
Bling Magazine (James) He says drinking Jack Daniels for breakfast!
Bling Magazine (Jessica) What happens in Thailand, stays in Thailand
Pendulum (Paul) Indeed it does. Im looking at him! (points at MC Jake). Were talking about Thailand!
Bling Magazine (James) What did he do in Thailand? Was it a man?
MC Jake (very sarcastic!) If you write anything about that Ill hunt you down! I can do it, Ive got the power. Trust me I have the power. Im a lion now! Were in Taekwondo land.
Bling Magazine (James) Ill keep my eye out.
Vadim ok, James has been waiting for this day, Im not joking you I confess, I didnt know anything about you guys, up until three months ago, and this guy
Bling Magazine (James) This will actually be the third article Ive written about you
Pendulum (Paul) really? Out here?
Bling Magazine (James) In Seoul, yeah
Vadim Hes crazy about you. Im also a big fan!
Bling Magazine (Jessica) So, what do you guys do to get in the mood, you know? It must be really hard, youre flying back and forth, doing all the shows, how do you get hyped up?
Pendulum (Paul) To make music or perform?
Bling Magazine (Jessica) To perform
Pendulum (Paul) Er, I dont sleep.
Bling Magazine (James) Does that work?
Pendulum (Paul) Yeah, it does actually! Thats probably the best one. Red Bull, Jack Daniels, not sleeping, and reminding yourself that you could be in an office wearing a suit. There are a lot of people that are quite detached from the fact that a lot of people have come to watch them play, and they get very complacent with that, and its like all these people have spent money, it could be half their pay or their savings, to come watch you spin records for two hours. Thats got to mean a lot to them, so you have to take that into mind when you play. You cant be arrogant about it, and like I want to do this, you know, at the end of the day its a party and people want to enjoy themselves, so you have to enjoy yourself doing that, providing that for people.
Bling Magazine (James) How do you feel about the state of the music industry right now? Downloads, that sort of thing?
Pendulum (Paul) Erm Im a collector, so it shits me a little bit, but like everyone I bought an MP3 player, Ive got a ridiculous amount of music that I didnt pay for, and it makes me feel a bit Music is worthless now. Its unfortunate to say, but its the truth. You can download a full discography of an artist in five minutes. A whole twenty years worth of work is worth 600 Megs of data or something. Its worth nothing. I think its very cheap now, and the only way people seem to make any kind of living out of it now is through performance. Luckily you cant bootleg that. I mean you can record it, but you cant bootleg the vibe of being at a performance, maybe meeting your wife or girlfriend at a gig, and your having fun with your friends or whatever. But it is unfortunate that its got to the point that people are just giving music away in the vague hope that people will listen to it. And with the change of technology it means its so much easier to make music now, which means theres so much bad music. Theres zero quality control, because anyone with a myspace page can call themselves a band or an artist. And it could just mean theyve downloaded five cracked programs for free and bashed it together on their computer.
Bling Magazine (James) Do you think Radiohead have the right idea?
Pendulum (Paul) They say that theyve made more money out of giving their record away than they did out of any other album combined or something. And had the chart system actually counted the amount of downloads they did, theyd have outsold every other record in the top 40 combined. That shit is scary. So when you think youve got a Madonna record, a Timberlake record or whatever selling 50,000 or 100,000 in a week, add them all up and they smoked it by five times. You cant argue with that, you know? And they will reap the rewards of that on tour.
Bling Magazine (James) Will Pendulum ever do something like that?
Pendulum (Paul) I dont know. Were kind of in a different place to them. Theyre out of contract. Theyre so big they can call their own shots. Weve still got a long way to go, you know?
Bling Magazine (James) What are your plans for the future? Have you got anything specific?
Pendulum (Paul) More progression. Weve already started working on the next record, were touring the hell out of this one. The schedules quite ridiculous pretty much til the end of the year, and we never really like to say what were gonna do next, because we might change our minds. And once you hear about it, thats what it is.
Bling Magazine (James) I think theyre waiting for you for photos they told me two minutes more than two minutes ago, so, nice to meet you, thanks very much.
Pendulum (Paul) Thankyou