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To call Perth isolated is an understatement. With as my dad was working there and I remember go- “A lot of people asked us why we didn’t just
the next city a three-hour flight away (two days by ing down to this little studio and using their drum start our own label,” Rob remembers, “and to be
car), this metropolitan hub of western Australia is machine and shit, even getting a pop-trance sort honest, we were pretty naïve when we first came
second only to Honolulu as being the most remote of thing I made played on Zimbabwean radio.” over here. We didn’t really know much and Fresh
capital city in the world. A far cry from the foggy got us in touch with the right people and sorted
dampness that characterises the environs of our “I was always interested in the production side of everything out on the press front, it was definitely
beloved London, the long hot summers, clean things,” says Gareth. “So when I found out Rob a good decision.”
beaches and laid-back lifestyle that permeates life was into production as well, I had him teach me
in Perth seems as unlikely a place as any for the some things and that’s really how it started.” Hitting the ground running with ‘Another Planet’
next generation of hard and heavy drum & bass and ‘Voyager’, the trio immediately proved that they
to emerge. Prophetically, Fresh and Maldini were in town, were no glitch in the matrix - they were for real
playing at the local hotspot and Rob and Gareth and definitely here to stay. Debuting at number
But emerge it has in the form of a three-headed both agree that was the night their calling became one on the UK national dance charts and topping
beast known as Pendulum who quite literally crystal clear. “They had some ridiculous sound out on the mainstream charts at number 43, the
shook the scene to its core when they shot to system in the club that night which was like a single was a huge success by any standard, hav-
superstar status on the wings of their massive demo of a new system that some world-famous ing sold over 20,000 units to date.
anthem, ‘Vault’. With punk and metal as their com- engineer had built,” explains Gareth. “It had this
mon bond, Rob “Ansenic” Swire, Paul “El Hornet” bass that literally pushed the air out of your lungs, Now firmly established as the crew with the
Harding and Gareth “Speed” McGrillen have since it was phenomenal. The minute they dropped golden touch, their long-awaited (and overdue) de-
reached legendary status with their ability to ‘Messiah’ by Konflict it was all over.” but LP ‘Hold Your Colour’ is finally ready to hit the
simultaneously destroy the grimiest of dancefloors streets. Determined to make an album that would
and top out the UK national dance chart with Flash forward to 2002 and the trio have all got a appeal across the board, it’s obvious that the Pen-
effortless ease. bit of experience under their belts and maybe even dulum “sound” continues to be ever-elusive and
a fair bit of local love but let’s face it, to the rest is defined more by the style and quality of their
Active in Perth’s live music scene for years, the of the world they’re nobody. If you’re a big DJ and production than by any one defining characteristic.
Pendulum story is one built on a backbone of they were to come knocking on your proverbial
rock, metal and punk as opposed to the traditional AIM door there’s no doubt you wouldn’t really “We definitely tried to be as diverse as possible,”
hip-hop, funk and early breakbeat influences that think twice about it, now would you? Of course, explains Rob. “Especially with the breaks bits,
most D&B artists cite. all that would change literally overnight as a little there’s a lot of room for experimentation not only
tune called ‘Vault’ came galloping out of Rob’s because it’s at a slower tempo, but also because
“My parents were actually listening to Led Zeppe- computer and rocketed its way around the world. the genre doesn’t have the same expectations that
lin, Pink Floyd and The Doors,” explains Paul. “So drum & bass does where it’s got to be the most
that’s where it all started for me.” “Rob had already done most of the work on it massive tune of the night.”
before we came in,” recalls Gareth, “but he was
Quickly moving on to AC/DC and Guns N Roses, having some problems finding the right riff and The attitude carries over to the rest of the cuts as
by the time young Paul was thirteen he’d gone that sort of thing. It was actually the first time the the cinematic vibe reigns supreme. Unfolding like
full-on into punk and black metal, even buying a three of us had sat down to do a tune but once it a heavyweight Hollywood blockbuster, the album
copy of the Satanic Bible for good measure. “I started coming together we knew we had some- moves swiftly between tempos, rhythms and vibes
was definitely an angst-ridden teen,” Paul says thing special on our hands.” without hesitation. From the massive floorkillers to
laughing, “and I definitely had no desire to listen to cuts that seem destined for a mainstream cross-
anything else, especially electronic music.” By this time Paul was running a well-known club over, even the boys themselves have a hard time
in Perth called The Drumclub and the trio had picking out any one standout favourite from the
Forming his first “fuck-about band” when he was the luxury of testing out different mixdowns on bunch. “Our favourite track is the last track we’ve
sixteen, Paul actually went on to become a suc- a weekly basis on the club’s heavy rig. “That first finished, literally,” says Gareth. “We work on a tune
cessful drummer with his band Billings Method, time we dropped it people went crazy,” says Paul until it becomes our favourite and if it isn’t there
supporting international acts like Millencolin and with a grin, “but then as we’d play it again and then that’s how we know it’s not finished yet.”
NOFX when they came through. “Drum & bass again in the coming weeks, the minute they’d hear
didn’t enter the picture until the mid-90s,” says that swing-beat coming they’d go apeshit and that While no doubt anticipating the short holiday
Paul. “Some friends of mine were into Square- was a bit unexpected.” they’ll get between the completion of the album
pusher and Aphex Twin, and one of them played and what Gareth calls “the aftermath”, the crew
me ‘Rollidge’ by SS and I was like, what on earth is Snatched by Doc Scott for his 31 Records imprint, know that they’re still right in the thick of things
going on with this tune?” the tune went on a tear across the world like no and are looking forward to keeping things moving.
other has before or since, becoming one of the “This album is a stepping stone really,” Paul says
Hooked on the heavy drum-edits and raw power biggest anthems of 2003 and winning Best Single thoughtfully. “Once this is done I think if we did a
of filtered basslines, Paul soon transitioned into at the Knowledge Awards in 2003. live project, modelling ourselves on how Prodigy
DJing and began playing out on the local club came about, drop a few singles, do an album, and
and rave scene. “The punks would actually give “I heard Ed Rush playing it on an internet stream then bang, we’re live - that would take it to the
me a hard time and be like, ‘What’s this techno live from The End and I thought, fucking hell,” says next level. We’re all from band backgrounds so to
shit you’re playing?’ But then I actually started to Rob. “We were still in Perth and I heard the intro go from playing in clubs to playing in festivals for
bring turntables and a little PA to gigs and I’d just coming and it was just mad.” a hundred thousand people, that’s not a bad route
spin between bands and people would stand there to go.”
and say, ‘What the fuck is this? This isn’t techno is “I wish we could’ve been there to see the effects
it?’ and I’m like, ‘No, it’s not, it’s drum & bass.’ The of it,” Gareth says, sounding disappointed. “Every- And if it all went tits up tomorrow?
next thing you know these same people started one talks about was how huge it was in Miami
showing up at the raves I was playing and you’d and yet none of us were there to see how much “Right now we’d be remembered as a drum & bass
see them standing there with the same look of people were enjoying this tune we’d made.” group who blew up fast and surprised the shit out
bewilderment on their faces I imagine I had two or of people,” Paul fires back seriously, “but if that
three years before.” Following up with a number of heavy tracks on were it that would piss me off because you only
imprints like Renegade Hardware, Freak, Uprising, get these kind of opportunities once and if you
Gareth and Rob (both younger than Paul by a Timeless, and Function, Pendulum stirred up the get to this level where you’ve got this much behind
good five years) had similar metal-influenced jour- messageboard massive once again when they you, it almost seems like you’re not deserving of it
neys, eventually ending up in a well-known band announced that not only were they relocating to if you don’t carry it to the fullest extent.”
called Xygen with no clue that drum & bass was the UK but that they had also signed exclusively
right around the corner. “I had actually been pro- to Fresh and Adam F’s newly formed Breakbeat We’ll be watching.
ducing well before all the band stuff came about,” Kaos imprint.
recalls Rob. “I lived in Zimbabwe when I was young
K20-23_Pendulum.indd 22 25/5/05 18:46:13
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