Translating electronic music to a live stage performance is quite a challenge. With their new CD In Silico, Pendulum have fused drum & bass with their punk and metal background to create music that works as well in a stadium show as it does on the dancefloor. With the insane energy of their live performances, Pendulum have been dubbed by many as The Prodigy of the new millennium bringing together the rock crowd and the club crowd.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: You're based in Australia, correct?
Gareth (of Pendulum): No, we're based in London now but we're from Australia. Rob and I, we grew up and started out in Perth. We moved to London to make a go of it - the UK is the musical center of the universe for us.
RS: That makes sense. Did you start more as a rock band or a
drum & bass artist?
Gareth (of Pendulum): Back in the day during high school, we'd always been in rock and metal bands together, me and Rob, but we also had a passion for electronic music. Rob produced electronic music on his computer and he got me into producing on the computer as well. We both made some drum and bass tunes and they became really popular, so we kind of put the whole rock and metal thing to rest for a while and became DJs and started producing electronic music for a couple of years. Now, I guess we've come full circle now because we're back on the road as a band and performing more of guitar and drums & bass influence in to the music.
RS: Why do you think drum and bass fits so well with metal and the rock?
Gareth (of Pendulum): It's the energy of it. The first time I heard drum and bass it was the kind of drum and bass that I like. We weren't really into the jungle thing. We got into it late and when we heard it, it was kind dark and twisted and really aggressive and energetic. I think that's the same as rock and metal and punk. It was just something about the energy of it was just really similar and they go really well together. That's why our audience is all like emo-screamo kids and punk kids and skaters and stuff.
RS: Yes, you weren't really going after the traditional dance
audience or the club kids, you're going after the rock guys.
Gareth (of Pendulum): We're not going after them, it's just that's what we've attracted and it's just part of it now. It's like literally our audience is this big motley crew of different people who like different things, there's dance people and there's people in mosh circles and stuff, so it's just getting them all together.
RS: Was it difficult to translate electronic music into a live show?
Gareth (of Pendulum): It was for us because we didn't want to do it halfheartedly, we wanted to make sure it was perfect. With electronic music, you have a lot of concerns with the sonics and how the mix sounds. When you play a record or a CD on the turntable, it's already mixed and mastered and ready to go so it sounds as good as it's going to sound. With live performances, it's different every time and there's so many variables. We had to rely on a lot of technology being invented for us to do it, and we're lucky that the technology was invented. We've got thirteen computers on stage processing the sound so we can play a hundred percent live.
RS: When a DJ does a set for a huge performance, it's often
pretty much planned, at this moment he's going to play this song and
everything is choreographed around it. When you're up there playing
live is it more like a jam band, where you can change the way you play
Gareth (of Pendulum): We can change it around if we want, that's the beauty part of it. The thing we love about it is, if the drummer breaks a stick or if I smash into Perry or someone's fallen over or breaks their leg, that part of the music stops. If the drummer misses the drums the drumbeat sort of stops, we like that because it makes it more real. There's no hard track, there's no sequencing or stuff like that.