They are the legends of the party. Australia’s favourite dance pop duo Peking Duk (made up of Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles) are known as the wild, fun-loving guys wearing matching tracksuits on the red carpet, leaving you champagne-sprayed at their live shows, and being the ones responsible for some absolute bangers.
With consecutive hit releases launching the boys back into the limelight each year, Styles says it was unintentional to drip feed fans with yearly releases.
“It’s kind of funny. Lots of acts are putting out an album each year, and we’re just putting out a song,” Styles laughs, “But the thing is, in the last year we’ve written about 50 songs and finished them. Each time we release a song, we’re just picking our favourites.”
Rather than putting out multiple singles, the duo have spent the last three years delving into different styles and toying with different sounds around the world, from creating anthemic rock music in India to making soul beats in Washington DC.
“There’s been a lot of going different places musically, and taking our writing to different realms. I guess putting one song out a year sounds really slack, but it’s just something which we have accidentally done. Because we write so much, we don’t want to show all of it because it doesn’t sound like Peking Duk – most of it doesn’t sound like Peking Duk. Sometimes we’ll just get a piece from here and a piece from there, and be like ‘let’s turn this into a Peking Duk song’.”
Hailing from Canberra, the boys first captured our attention back in 2014 with the ARIA-winning, four-times platinum single ‘High’ and followed with the triple platinum ‘Take Me Over’, and the gold-certified ‘Say My Name’, both featuring fellow Canberra electronic indie band SAFIA. They continued last year with their infectious and euphoric anthem ‘Stranger’- a collaboration with Swedish cool girl Elliphant, who the boys were determined to have feature on the track.
“The funny thing is we didn’t want anyone but her for it. The second we had that beat ready, we were like ‘this needs Elliphant’. We had been working with Elli for about a year, we’d written about eight songs, but this one we knew she would nail,” Styles says. “We tried a bunch of ideas and then she literally just said the words ‘Keep me calling my brain’ and from there we were like ‘okay’, and then it all just unfolded naturally.”
With the single going double platinum, gaining the #9 spot on the triple j Hottest 100 and #1 Australian Artist Single for 10 weeks running, Styles says this song is very much ‘us’. “It sounded very Peking Duk to us – like the songs that got us our name, like ‘High’ and ‘Take Me Over’ and our remixes, where we sort of started our own sort of sound.”
Between joking about Ben from SAFIA becoming the third member of the Duk (“to be on two consecutive singles when we’re doing like a song a year, unintentionally, is pretty good”) and expressing his love for the Nintendo, Styles finally reveals that we’ll be hearing a lot more Peking Duk than what we are used to. “We are going to put out a few songs this year. I’m just going to say it now. It’s happening. We’re going to put out a lot more than the average Duk year,” he laughs.
With the promise of more releases this year, there is also the potential for a Peking Duk album. “We’ve been talking about an album for about five years, so we may as well keep talking about it. I think the amount we’ve written and finished for this supposed album is getting close to just a ridiculous number, and it’s cool because none of the songs sound hugely like singles but now in the streaming world I don’t know, I find it hard to discover new albums,” Styles explains.
“It’s a tough matter, the album question. I’ll just say, yeah maybe we’ll do an album. Actually, I’m going to promise you we will do an album before 2030, and if I truly was indeed lying, I’ll give you my Nintendo Switch.”
With months already spent touring and partying in North America, preparing for their Australian Clowntown tour with already sold out shows, playing copious amounts of The Legend of Zelda, and having just been announced on the Splendour in the Grass line-up, the guys, known as the legends of the party, are toning down their party antics.
“After a show before we know it, it would be 10am and we’d be in some shed like three hours away from the village, cooking sausages on a hub-cap and we’d just be like ‘what just happened’. Now we are sort of getting a bit better at figuring out how to not end up in those situations,” Styles laughs.
“I mean we still party hard, but we keep good company and don’t really let ourselves go in such a silly sense that we used to. But I actually need to destroy the Nintendo – I’m hooked. I really hope that we don’t put out an album by 2030 so you get to keep it.”
Despite the awesome offer, we’ve got our sights set on a Duk album.
Written by Talia Rinaldo
Photo by Maclay Heriot
When & Where: Karova’s Carpark, Ballarat – April 29 from 3pm