- Tue, 2009-05-05 10:33
As well as rocking crowds around the world with their blend of basslines, riffs, electronica and rock, Pendulum recently announced their partnership with Crisis Hidden Gigs. A series of London-based events throughout May and June, Pendulum are just one of the big acts that have signed up to the bill. The big twist is that the venues will remain hidden until 24 hours before the gig, when a text or email message will be sent to the ticket holders revealing its location.
By withholding details until the last minute, Crisis aims to raise awareness of the precarious situation facing hidden homeless people, who often don't know where they will end up each night and are often forced to move from place to place.
I Like Music caught up with Gareth to chat about Crisis, festivals, making music, fancy dress and their third album plans...
"I Like Music because… it keeps me from flipping burgers in a burger van.” Gareth, Pendulum
ILM: Why did you decide to get involved with Crisis?
Gareth: We have quite a large audience at the moment. We manage to get a lot of people through the doors! With a wider problem like this, the opportunity to do it, was something that we definitely wanted to do. It's really fulfilling being out there playing to an audience that are really enjoying it and loving it. Especially audiences that know your music well. If you can use that to get people to recognice a certain cause or a charity, I think that's really important. It takes it to the next level.
ILM: You're playing loads of UK festival dates this summer. What is it about playing festivals that you enjoy?
Gareth: You've kind of already won the battle when you do your own show. Everyone's turned up to see you. They know you. They've got your music. When you play a festival you're not necessarily playing to your audience, you're playing to an audience who are probably there to see a different band or collection of bands. So when we play festivals, if it kicks off, then we feel like we've achieved a lot.
ILM: You're playing such a variety of festivals. From huge dance festivals like Global Gathering to all out, head thrashing rock festivals like Download. Do you change your sets to suit the crowd?
Gareth: We don't actually. It just works both ways. The core of it is electronic, but it’s really energetic and rocky as well. That's how we made the music. It just appeals to both audiences!
ILM: Bonus! Can you describe the Pendulum process of making music?
Gareth: That's the one thing we need to preserve. The creation process and how it all comes together. I think the reason it all works is down to the way we build the songs.
ILM: And how do you do that?
Gareth: A song will start in any number of ways. It can come from rehearsals, jamming in the studio with the whole live band. Most of it comes from an idea that Rob or I will get on the road or in the studio. Rob will develop it further and we decide which direction to take it in. Then we just work on it until it's finished.
ILM: How long does that usually take?
Gareth: That process can take anything from a day to six months!
ILM: You have a full live set up now. Did you find it difficult to transfer your music from behind the decks to the front of the stage?
Gareth: Yeah. That whole process was very difficult. That took about a year. We did a lot of research to develop the live show. We wanted it to be 100% live. A lot of electronic bands can mime, we didn't want any of that. We set about developing the technology and buying the equipment that would allow us to play live and still sound full and energetic. Like it does on the record.
ILM: Is your live set-up the same this summer?
ILM: What's been your top festival experience?
Gareth: There's a massive festival in Australia called The Big Day Out in January. It's sort of similar to Reading and Leeds. It takes a similar line up but just throws it in the middle of Australia. That was always the main, big festival every year at home for us. When we were little kids, Rob and I broke into that festival and saw The Prodigy. This year, we actually played there and headlined and stuff! Haha! To actually play was quite an amazing experience!
ILM: What's the strangest thing you've seen at a festival?
Gareth: I don't really get to go out into the festivals. I tend to get quite mobbed!
ILM: You should wear a disguise!
Gareth: I’ve actually done that before! I've worn a hoodie and glasses. I usually have a hat on which means I get instantly recognised for the hat. I took the hat off, put my hoodie up and put on some glasses. I just wanted to go and get some food! I went searching for a burger…
ILM: Ah, the difficulties of stardom! What would be your advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Gareth: It takes patience. You've really got to believe in what you're doing. The lengths you go to with production and music will take a lot of patience, no matter how talented you are. For us especially. Just going over and over it again. Re-writing it. Throwing it away. You've got to know when to stop working on something. It's a difficult process. The patience applies itself throughout the learning process too. You need to learn these things for yourself. Perseverance and belief in what you're making are key.
ILM: Are you working on a third album yet?
Gareth: Yup! We're putting together our studio now and getting everything ready. We're not going to be doing any tours with the band for a while. We'll finish the festival cycle first though. Then start on album three!
ILM: What ideas / inspirations have you had for it so far?
Gareth: It's going to be quite electronic. We tend to get bored of what we just did. It needs to be an antidote to the last one. So more electronic. Not necessarily different, still Pendulum, just more electronic.