Pendulum Interview Script

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) – I’m really tired, I just got up. We flew to Bangkok, did a gig, and now we’re 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 you’re based in London now, why did you move from Perth to London in the first place?

Pendulum (Paul) – We couldn’t achieve what we wanted to in Perth, it was as simple as that

Bling Magazine (James) – The scene’s a lot bigger in London?

Pendulum (Paul) – Just everything’s bigger, and proximity to the world. Perth is the second most isolated city in the world, so it wasn’t 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 couldn’t 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 couldn’t 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, it’s fair to say the first album had quite an impact on Drum and Bass. How did you feel about that?

Pendulum (Paul) – I’ve no idea! It feels like a lifetime ago, it feels like so much has happened since then. We’re the kind of people who we do something, and when it’s finished it’s 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 weren’t 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 it’s cool again, which is sweet. If we had something to do with that, all good. I’m 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 they’re free to do what they want. Nothing’s 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 they’re lazy now, whatever. I don’t really care!

Bling Magazine (James) – Do you think of yourselves as a Drum and Bass band as such, or are you just doing what you’re 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 that’s all we are. That’s the thing some people don’t 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. It’s where we started, and it seemed like a logical regression, while taking it somewhere completely different. We’re never going to lose out electronic edge, but it’s nice to play instruments again.

Bling Magazine (James) – Do you ever wish you were playing in a metal band instead?

Pendulum (Paul) – No! I’ve done it before

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – And you don’t 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 ‘we’re a metal band’ you’re kind of expected to be a certain way. To sound a certain way. There’s only a few bands who can get away with throwing in a synth or something, and then you’ll get half of your fan base turning their back and going ‘oh shit, it’s not purist’, and the whole purist mentality to me, it’s 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 that’s good, but if we were a self professed metal band there’s no way in hell we could do that. So this is better.

Bling Magazine (James) – You seem to be kind of bridging a scene. You’ve got dance fans coming to your gigs, you’ve got rock fans coming to your gigs…

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah. I can’t think of anyone else who’s done it. The Prodigy did, but they never really had a rock edge. It seemed quite like electro punk as they called it. But it’s quite weird. We’re trying to do these tours and we’re thinking who should we take with us, and we can’t think of anyone! So we end up taking DJs with us to bridge that gap, back to where we’ve just come from. It’s ilike a daily struggle.

Bling Magazine (James) – Something a little close to my own heart, I’m feeling a little wrong this weekend; I’m not in Glastonbury. That’s where I would normally be. I think that’s where you guys would normally be this weekend as well isn’t it?

Pendulum (Paul) – We did it live last year and it was a mess. With the mud we couldn’t 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 won’t be going anymore?

Pendulum (Paul) – We were going to DJ but it didn’t happen. They say it’s going to be the last one as well.

Bling Magazine (James) – Really? I didn’t hear that.

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah, it didn’t sell out straight away, so they were like ‘it’s that last one’. It’s an institution, you can’t have no Glastonbury.

Bling Magazine (James) – You’ll be back next year then, yeah?

Pendulum (Paul) – I can’t say yes or no, it’s a very hard festival to play. It’s not as simple as other ones simply because of its size, you know. But you never know, we might be. I’m not sure about, well they’re trying to market it to a different audience, it’s not a traditional sort of vibe, like putting Jay Z and people like that on. I see what they’re trying to do, but I don’t see the point to it. There’s like 3000 festivals in Europe this year, so if you don’t like one, fuck it, go to the other 2000, its no problem.

Bling Magazine (James) – How have you found Seoul?

Pendulum (Paul) – Literally, I haven’t 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 I’ve been asking where all the gadgets are, and where I can buy Nintendo games from 1985, and there like ‘we know exactly where’ so I’m pretty excited about tomorrow to be honest. It’s 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) – It’s 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 I’ve seen what they’re up against, and it’ not easy at all. I’ve played in most countries out here, and, you know, I’ve never seen a festival like this, you know? It’s always been club gigs. So it’s kind of refreshing to pull up and see something this size, and go, ‘yeah it does happen’ so….

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – It’s 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 didn’t 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 I’ve never been.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – Oh come on!

Pendulum (Paul) – I’m sure that it’s wicked but, well I don’t know, I don’t leave England and go on holiday to immerse myself with English people. I’m trying to get away from it.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – Touche

Pendulum (Paul) – Well a lot of countries – Singapore – where else have I played – Indonesia – they’ve got local boy bands and that’s 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. It’s slowly infiltrating though, which is good.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – Well I think you have an edge; you have this kind of multi… You’re not limted to…

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah, it’s not something you consciously do; it just seems to make sense to us. It’s like, that was how we’re 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 we’d progressed slightly from Hold Your Colour it almost would have been pointless, because it would have meant we’d 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 didn’t 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, it’s just that they didn’t get released.

Bling Magazine (James) – What about the Slam video

Pendulum (Paul) – I was not in it! I’m 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. He’s like a talent scout as well. He runs an agency or something. He’s the boss and he likes to jiggle, so fair play to him.

Bling Magazine (James) – It’s 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 ‘that’ll do, fine’, it was as simple as that.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – Is there any place you haven’t been that you’d like to go?

Pendulum (Paul) – South America. Well we’ve 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 didn’t 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. That’s kind of the last spot. I’ve pretty much been everywhere else that I wanted to go.

Bling Magazine (James) – It sounds like a great lifestyle

Pendulum (Paul) – It is. It’s 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 ‘we’re in Korea’, you know like I was sitting in my living room in England two days ago and I won’t 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 weren’t doing this?

Pendulum (Paul) – I’d be doing a job I didn’t like. Which is what I did before this, so yeah, I don’t know, I don’t like to think about that.

Bling Magazine (James) – What are you listening to right now?

Pendulum (Paul) – There’s 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 he’s doing all this like freaked out electro-rave disco stuff. It’s like a whole scene that’s evolved pretty much overnight, and they don’t even sell their music, they just give it away, stick it on blogs, and it’s 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. It’s on high rotation, I’ve been into Queens since before they were known as Queens, there’s a new Max and Ivor Cabalara from Sepultura, Cabalara conspiracy, they’re sick if you like Brazilian Death Metal. I don’t know, I’m 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. I’ve been listening to Fugazi again like every day

Bling Magazine (James) – Has your taste always been really eclectic?

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah, I’d love to some how compile it into a 15 cd box set or something. I always play a strange tune last. I won’t today, but new mixes and stuff, it’s 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 you’ll become like an 80s…

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah I’ll 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 don’t have any real part in the live show, it was a choice, because if I did then I’d have to stop DJing. I don’t want to do that. I like DJing, it’s what I’m 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 couldn’t have done a live show here, it’s too hard to get all of our crew and I couldn’t have played in Thailand last night, and a lot of the Clubs that we do just don’t fit a live band. It’s nice to be able to do both, and it’s good that there’s enough of us in Pendulum now that we can concentrate on what we’re good at.

Bling Magazine (James) – It’s kind of strange that if you look on your myspace, it looks like you’re playing in two different corners of the world on the same night.

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah we’ve done that since day 1, we were DJing two places and people would start to question if it was actually us. They’d turn up with a flyer and look and say we’re not sure. We look on myspace and someone will say ‘I saw you play last night and I don’t think it was you’ and I was like fucking hell, I just flew 20 hours, it sure as hell was me.

Bling Magazine (James) – You’re 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 don’t know, three years ago?

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah I DJed there as well, heaps of times. That’s not where they do the Monday Club is it?

Bling Magazine (James) – Yeah

Pendulum (Paul) – I don’t remember shit, but to walk in there and see that many people on a Monday it’s like…

Bling Magazine (James) – Yeah we’ve got all those layers, everyone’s stood on the balcony kind of staring down at you

Pendulum (Paul) – (to Jessica) it’s like a student union, which we don’t have in Australia, and you drive in on campus and it’s like nothing, just dead quiet, and you find the pub ish bit and walk in and it’s like arghhhh! 1500 kids on a Monday night pissed out of their heads.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – That’s what University’s good for

Pendulum (Paul) – We don’t have this in Australia at all. We have like a pub that seats 20 people and that’s 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 wasn’t it?

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah, the first live tour was definitely. I think I’d DJed in nearly all of them before as well.

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – What’s your favourite place to return to?

Pendulum (Paul) – LA. I’d move there tomorrow if I could

Bling Magazine (Jessica) – Why?

Pendulum (Paul) – Well I’ve 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 don’t know, I just have a real good connection with that city. It’s 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 I’ll be like ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ and that’s 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. I’m like an old man in disguise. I like to put as much mental energy as I can into playing, so afterwards I usually can’t talk at all, my brain is mush. I think I’ve been doing this so long before Pendulum that I’ve had my time of going crazy. This is something that means so much to me that I don’t want anything to jeopardise it, so it’s really business, but still fun at the same time, you know?

Bling Magazine (James) – If you have to be in business it’s 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 won’t print them! Just make us jealous.

Pendulum (Paul) – I can’t think of anything cos I’ve got quite a bad memory, but Thailand, Bangkok last night, the last 48 hours. I’m going to take that to the grave. I can’t even tell you the shit that goes on in that city, it’s ridiculous.

Bling Magazine (James) – Have you been on the buckets?

Pendulum (Paul) – oh man, I’m 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. I’m looking at him! (points at MC Jake). We’re 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 I’ll hunt you down! I can do it, I’ve got the power. Trust me I have the power. I’m a lion now! We’re in Taekwondo land.

Bling Magazine (James) – I’ll keep my eye out.

Vadim – ok, James has been waiting for this day, I’m not joking you… I confess, I didn’t know anything about you guys, up until three months ago, and this guy

Bling Magazine (James) – This will actually be the third article I’ve written about you

Pendulum (Paul) – really? Out here?

Bling Magazine (James) – In Seoul, yeah

Vadim – He’s crazy about you. I’m 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, you’re 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 don’t sleep.

Bling Magazine (James) – Does that work?

Pendulum (Paul) – Yeah, it does actually! That’s 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 it’s 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. That’s got to mean a lot to them, so you have to take that into mind when you play. You can’t be arrogant about it, and like ‘I want to do this’, you know, at the end of the day it’s 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… I’m a collector, so it shits me a little bit, but like everyone I bought an MP3 player, I’ve got a ridiculous amount of music that I didn’t pay for, and it makes me feel a bit… Music is worthless now. It’s unfortunate to say, but it’s 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. It’s worth nothing. I think it’s very cheap now, and the only way people seem to make any kind of living out of it now is through performance. Luckily you can’t bootleg that. I mean you can record it, but you can’t 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 it’s 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 it’s so much easier to make music now, which means there’s so much bad music. There’s zero quality control, because anyone with a myspace page can call themselves a band or an artist. And it could just mean they’ve 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 they’ve 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, they’d have outsold every other record in the top 40 combined. That shit is scary. So when you think you’ve 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 can’t 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 don’t know. We’re kind of in a different place to them. They’re out of contract. They’re so big they can call their own shots. We’ve 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. We’ve already started working on the next record, we’re touring the hell out of this one. The schedule’s quite ridiculous pretty much til the end of the year, and we never really like to say what we’re gonna do next, because we might change our minds. And once you hear about it, that’s what it is.

Bling Magazine (James) – I think they’re 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

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