Pendulum (drum and bass band)
|Labels||Breakbeat Kaos, Warner Music UK, Earstorm, Warner Bros.|
|Associated acts||Xygen, Knife Party, DJ Fresh, Freestylers, Adam F, Destroid, The Prodigy, Tom Morello, The Crystal Method, Linkin Park, Powerman 5000, Orbital, In Flames|
Pendulum was an Australian drum and bass and electronic rock band founded in 2002. Pendulum originally formed in the city of Perth, Western Australia by Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen, and Paul "El Hornet" Harding. The band was later expanded to include members, Ben Mount, Peredur ap Gwynedd, and KJ Sawka. Members Swire and McGrillen also formed the electro house duo Knife Party. The group is notable for its distinctive sound, mixing hard rock with electronic music and covering a wide range of genres.
In 2003, Swire, McGrillen and Harding relocated to the United Kingdom. The debut studio album, Hold Your Colour, was released in 2005 to positive critical reception. While Hold Your Colour was mostly of the drum and bass genre, the succeeding albums In Silico and Immersion saw experimentation of other genres such as industrial rock and electronic rock.
In August 2013, Swire announced that a new album may be released in 2014, although Swire and McGrillen later confessed on their Reddit AMA that they had become disillusioned with Pendulum and have no interest at present in producing any new material. Despite this, on March 20, 2016, Pendulum reunited to perform at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, marking their official return as a live act.
2002–07: Formation and Hold Your Colour
Before Pendulum, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen were in multiple rock and metal music bands before Swire influenced McGrillen into producing electronic music on their computers. Harding had been the drummer in a punk band since the mid 1990's. Both their bands had played together at the same shows, but they did not meet until a Drum and Bass night in 2002. They all had a passion for electronic music and formed Pendulum, incorporating their previous influences of rock and metal music from their previous projects.
Pendulum began their career in Perth, Western Australia as a trio of DJ's. Harding had been active in the Perth Drum and Bass scene for some time, DJ'ing under the name 'El Hornet'. Swire and McGrillen had played friends parties, mainly DJ'ing from their computers. The three came together in mid 2002 to form a group and decided to work on music together, producing their debut track 'Vault', which would be released in 2003 on 31 Records to great acclaim within the UK Drum and Bass scene. The band also recorded and released 'Spiral / Ulterior Motive' the same year, and in 2004 made their first compilation appearance on 'Jungle Sound: The Bassline Strikes Back!', with several songs featured and Harding in charge of mixing the album's second disc. Following the success of their 2005 debut album, their label Breakbeat Kaos re-issued this compilation, the front now saying "mixed by Pendulum". The band disapproved of this as they had neither given permission nor been informed about the release, and Pendulum later ended up leaving the label.
In 2006, the trio became a sextet after introducing Ben Mount as their MC, Peredur ap Gwynedd as their Guitarist and Paul Kodish as their drummer. At this time McGrillen began playing bass guitar at live shows and on some studio recordings.
2007–09: In Silico and Live at Brixton Academy
Their second album, In Silico, was released on 12 May 2008. This release contained different sounds compared to their debut album as it contained more rock elements whilst maintaining their electronic elements. The response to this change was relatively positive from critics but was said to be dated by The Guardian. The album was relatively successful as it charted at 2 on the UK Albums Chart and at 9 in the Australian Albums Chart. The album reached No. 16 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. After the release of the album, Paul Kodish, for unknown reasons, left the band, making him the first official former member of the band. In November 2008, three songs from the album In Silico were used in the soundtrack of Need for Speed: Undercover.
Pendulum once again toured Europe in 2009. During this tour they announced that they were working on their third studio album, Immersion. It was announced in December 2009 that Pendulum would be touring for their new album in May 2010. The release date of the album was announced to be sometime "in May" during the live preview party at Matter, and was then announced to be released on 24 May. Pendulum previewed their album Immersion at the Ear Storm night at London’s Matter nightclub on Friday 22 January, as well as streaming the material on their official website. "Salt in the Wounds", a track from their new album, was Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1 on 25 January 2010. It was stated however that it was a street-level release and was not an official single. On Zane Lowe's show, it was also announced that he wanted to join the band and the first single from the new album would be called "Watercolour". This single also received its first play on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on 8 March 2010, and was his Single of the Week for that week. The music video for "Watercolour" was released on 31 March and premiered on their MySpace page, and also in the members area of their official website, The Other Side. A day later, on 1 April, another music video was released, this time for "Salt in the Wounds". The video is unique in that it is, according to the band's website, "...the world’s first 360° interactive music video." Viewers can move the camera around in the video. Six letters are hidden throughout the video. Once these letters are found, the viewer can enter them as a code and claim a free download of "Salt in the Wounds". Otherwise, "Watercolour" claimed the No.4 spot in the UK Singles Chart, making it their biggest hit to date. On 21 May 2010, the band headlined the annual Radio 1's Big Weekend festival which was held at the Vaynol Estate, Bangor, Gwynedd. The second single from the album, "Witchcraft", was released on 18 July and charted at No.29 in the UK Singles chart, making it their third highest charted single in the UK. The third single from Immersion was "The Island", and just missed the UK Top 40 at No. 41. Rob Swire had stated that if it had achieved greater success than "Witchcraft", he would have released a song entitled "Ransom", which was taken off Immersion before the album's release. "Ransom" was previewed however and became a fan favourite. As it did not do better, Swire revealed the original files for "Ransom" were corrupted, and that he has no plans to recreate them, therefore it will not be released. However, on 6 April 2011, Pendulum released "Ransom" as a single via their website with all proceeds going to the Help for Japan fund after the tsunami. "Crush" was released as the fourth single in January 2011. In January 2011, Pendulum released a Deluxe Edition of Immersion via iTunes which contained the album's original 15 tracks and a collection of remixes of "Watercolour", "Witchcraft" and "The Island" by other artists including deadmau5, Tiësto and Chuckie. Both the UK and US store were also given the music videos of those three tracks in the release. However, more remixes were released in the UK store along with extra videos, including a trailer of footage from their live show at Wembley Arena that took place on 28 May 2010.
2011–15: Progression, hiatus and possible new album
On 26 October 2010, Swire announced that a new record was in the works. This new record was set to be heavily punk influenced. The next album was expected to be a significant departure from usage of drum and bass tempo, for a faster tempo in the form of punk, and a slower tempo in the form of dubstep.
On 29 March 2011, Swire revealed that there would be no "new album" for a while. He added that there would be "def new material" later in the year.
In 2011 Rob Swire and fellow member Gareth McGrillen announced in various interviews that a project called Knife Party had been created. The side project is not linked in any means to Pendulum and consists of electro house, dubstep and other club genres. Knife Party has since become the duo's primary project.
Pendulum played at the 2011 Download Festival, Oxegen, The Eden Sessions, Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, and V Festival, headlined Global Gathering, an exclusive London show at South West Four and finally headlined the first night of Bestival on the Isle Of Wight.
On 5 April 2011 Pendulum announced that a previously unreleased track from Immersion, titled "Ransom", would be released on Pendulum's website, with 100% of the proceeds going to help disaster relief efforts in the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Pendulum were one of the headliners on the Main Stage line-up at the LovEvolution 2011 Dance Festival & Parade in Oakland, California, which had over 50 DJs and 15 or more parade floats.
On 3 January 2012, Pendulum announced that they would be taking a hiatus from touring while thanking their fans for the last several years. They went on to state that they might create a new record in 2013. Swire stated that Pendulum is on hiatus, as Knife Party is now his primary project.
On 16 June 2012, Rob Swire announced that there will be no further Pendulum live shows and there are no plans for a new album in 2013. Although there are no live shows taking place in the near future according to the band, El Hornet & MC Verse still perform DJ sets across the world.
On 22 August 2013, in a series of Tweets, it was revealed that along with a Knife Party album, a possible Pendulum album may also be released in 2014. El-Hornet, who does the DJ sets, confirmed the album in a speech at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC and said "don't rush us". However, the possibility of Pendulum performing live again has still been ruled out. On 13 July 2014, Swire stated that work on the new Pendulum album will begin around September and could be released early 2015.
On 16 December 2014, Knife Party did an AMA on Reddit which some fans inquired the duo about how the Pendulum album was coming along. Rob Swire stated that, although they aren't working on it yet, they have some old material from previous albums that can be re-worked and finished into something new, which is however, different from all previous work Pendulum have done so far. Rob Swire also stated that he personally didn't want to make a new Pendulum album but rather work on something else with Knife Party or create a new project altogether, one he can have "control" of, since he "lost heart for the project", having no real desire to make drum and bass anymore and fusing it with rock, also completely ruled out a live band tour and gave no further details on release dates.
2015–present: Hold Your Colour 10th anniversary and reunion
On 20 July 2015, the 10-year anniversary of the release of Hold Your Colour, Rob Swire took to the Pendulum Twitter page to celebrate, thanking the fans for their support and changing the profile picture to that of a birthday cake underneath the Pendulum logo in its original font. On 26 July 2015, Rob also uploaded two videos to his personal Twitter page of old Pendulum studio files playing on his computer.
On 22 August 2015, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen joined El Hornet and Ben Verse onstage at V Festival in Hylands Park, Essex for the Pendulum DJ set. This marks the first time either of the members have performed under the Pendulum name in four years. Rob later tweeted after the performance that the experience was "fun, and also weird."
On 16 December 2015, it was announced that Pendulum would reunite as a live band at the 2016 Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida. The band closed the music festival as the latter half of a joined performance with Knife Party. The band performed new live versions of songs such as deadmau5's Ghosts 'n' Stuff, with deadmau5 himself performing live alongside the band, and Knife Party's 'Begin Again.'
When Pendulum was formed, their musical style was considerably more drum and bass sounding than the work they were known for later in their career. Signature tunes such as "Masochist", "Vault", "Back 2 You" and "Voyager", which were released on labels such as Uprising Records, 31 Records, Renegade Hardware and Low Profile Records, have a darker, more amelodic air to them which is substantially absent from their later productions. The band's newer work is regarded as generally leaning heavily towards a mainstream, dance-driven sound. Early work such as "Another Planet" seems to indicate an early affinity with a more global sound, similar to other Breakbeat Kaos artists such as DJ Fresh and Adam F.
The group has produced various remixes of other artists also; one of the best-known being the remix of "Voodoo People", originally by The Prodigy. In 2008–2010, they covered/remixed songs including Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", Linkin Park's "The Catalyst", Calvin Harris's "I'm Not Alone", Coldplay's "Violet Hill", and Metallica's "Master of Puppets". Pendulum's versions of "I'm Not Alone" and "Master Of Puppets" both exist as studio recordings but have not been officially released, and are only previewed during DJ sets. The original live version of "Master of Puppets" was played as an instrumental introduction for "Slam", and was featured on their first live album/DVD. During their American tour as the supporting band for Linkin Park, the song was played in its entirety, with Rob doing vocals. Pendulum have also remixed their own music and, on occasion, television theme songs, such as Australian television's "ABC News Theme" in May 2010. The remix proved to be immensely popular with listeners of Australian youth radio station Triple J, polling at number 11 in the 2010 Triple J Hottest 100 countdown.
Pendulum's musical style consisted of a fusion of drum and bass (along with other electronic genres), alternative rock and heavy metal, with the inclusion of acoustic instruments. This creates a sound reminiscent of electronic rock, albeit with much more prominent drum and bass and, more recently, dubstep influences. Some songs, such as "Slam", "Propane Nightmares" and "Witchcraft" are synth-led, whilst others, such as "Showdown", "The Tempest" and "Comprachicos", are guitar-led. Bassist Gareth McGrillen stated in an interview on Channel 4 that they use 13 computers during the live performances, all of which are mixing the sounds produced by the instruments in real time. Rob Swire stated in issues of TJECK magazine and Rock Sound magazine that he would like to begin producing songs with a punk style to them, which Gareth clarified to mean "A raw, aggressive, less polished method of producing". Pendulum were known to be fans of progressive rock and progressive metal bands, which may have inspired them to fuse multiple genres of music together, which is standard practice in those genres.
In 2006, Pendulum's old label Breakbeat Kaos released an album containing a 2-year-old Pendulum DJ mix without their permission, resulting in group member Rob Swire later denouncing the album on public Internet forum Dogs On Acid. This issue has since been resolved; DJ Fresh is included on the list of acknowledgements in the Immersion booklet, and Pendulum is now working with Breakbeat Kaos again, on the vinyl release of the singles "Witchcraft" and "The Island".
Electronic musician Goldie has criticised Pendulum's single "Granite" for being what he calls a "shit single", and accused the band of not acknowledging the drum and bass scene from which they came. For the band's part, in an interview with The Times Swire cited "Goldie making concept albums about space and his mum" (in the words of The Times reporter) as one of the reasons why he was not initially keen on the genre; he claims to have been more into "breakbeat, straight up house and hardcore" before Gareth McGrillen, who is Pendulum's bassist and was Swire's bandmate in Xygen, introduced him to "more electronic" areas of the genre. This issue has since been resolved as well, according to Gareth McGrillen in an interview on The Age.
- Live band line-up (Active)
- Rob Swire – vocals, synths, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, production (2002–present)
- Gareth McGrillen – bass guitar, backing vocals, production (2002–present)
- Ben Mount – MC (2006–present)
- Peredur ap Gwynedd – guitars (2006–present)
- KJ Sawka – drums (2009–present)
- DJ set line-up (Active)
- Former members
- Paul Kodish – drums (2006–2009)
- Touring members
(These members performed during Pendulum's transition into a live band prior to the acquisition of guitarist Peredur Ap Gwynedd and MC Ben Mount as permanent members.)
- Matt White – guitar (2006–2008)
- MC Jakes – MC (2006–2008)
- Studio albums
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- "Pendulum on Twitter: "This week marks 10 years since our debut album Hold Your Colour was released. Thank you to everyone who has a place in their heart for it."". Twitter. Retrieved 2015-12-18.
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