Interview: Peking Duk

Turns out their name has nothing to do with Chinese food.

Peking Duk have had an insane year. Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles have been living out of a suitcase, doing the festival rounds in Australia and the States. They’ve come a long way from Canberra to Sydney, living broke and fighting over Mi Goreng packets with their chart-topping singles ‘High’, ‘Take Me Over’ and ‘Say My Name’. We caught Adam in the midst of it all.

What’s your funniest tour story?

On our last headline tour, we were playing at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. One dude took all of his clothes off including his underwear. The crowd lifted him up and started crowd-surfing him. All you could see was his tiny dick floating around in the air. On the microphone we said, “Hey dude, stick around after the show and we’ll give you some clothes.” He stuck around, we gave him a bunch of clothes and a beer, he said, “Oh my God you guys are the best!” and then he ran away. It was pretty funny.

Why are you called Peking Duk?

It has nothing to do with the dish but Chinese food is very delicious. It’s a reference to when we were younger. We used to drink a lot of beers (if we want to use that word) and sometimes when you have one too many beers, you begin to start peaking, which can lead to you looking like a duck especially when you do the duck face gurn. We used to use that word as a joke like, “Look at Reubo, he’s peaking duck.” The night where we had to come up with a name, I looked at Reuben and he looked like a duck ‘cause he was peaking. Peking Duk. There it is. It just sort of stuck.

Why is the ‘Duk’ missing a ‘c’?

I don’t know actually. I think I was writing it on this piece of paper like graffiti and I left out the ‘c’ because it looked nicer. We never really used it but that stuck as well. Worked out really well for Google searches.

What’s your favourite hangover food?

Some days it’s phở, the Vietnamese noodle soup, some days it’s just straight-up burgers and fried chicken, other days I have a real weird hangover where I just feel like kicking my mind back into gear with a little jog on the treadmill and a salad.

Tell us about your upcoming debut album.

It’s been really exciting. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with some of the music they hear. We’ve written straight-up rap beats, rock, psychedelic, pop and dance so there are a lot of different flavours. We plan to finish it by the end of this year but the release will be next year.

Some of your festival shows attract the rowdiest crowds. Why do you think that is?

The shows have been getting rowdier and rowdier. We played Lollapalooza in Chicago and there was the biggest mosh pit death circle thing. It looked like people were punching each other in the face but they were really happy and having a good time. We don’t embrace violence one bit though. Maybe my stage raging is channelling across a bit more. Sometimes I’ll head-bang until my neck feels like it’s about to snap.

Apart from music, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve been talking to a childhood friend from Canberra, Cian Lyons, and he’s got these beautiful crazy-as-fuck clothing designs. We’ve been sitting down a lot lately over the last year brainstorming and we’re planning on launching some clothing in a year because there are so many clothing labels these days that make fuckboy stuff. Cian is trying to be as unique as he can. I’m also trying to get back into skateboarding.

Peking Duk are playing Stereosonic in December this year.


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