Interview: Peking Duk on working with AlunaGeorge, fan tattoos, and Chinese food

Australian duo Peking Duk first garnered attention in 2012 with the release of a Passion Pit bootleg remix. Now, they’ve worked with Laidback Luke, Elliphant and most recently AlunaGeorge for new single “Fake Magic.”

The pair are traveling the world this summer playing festivals, clubs and pool parties, but I had a chance to check in with Reuben Styles and Adam Hyde to hear more about their collaboration process, the viral story of a fan editing their Wikipedia page and of course, if they order Peking Duck when getting Chinese take-out.

Brian Benton: “Fake Magic” and “Stranger” feature some big name vocalists. Are you producing these songs with a vocalist in mind or does the song get written and then you see who’s interested in singing on it.
Reuben Styles:
With Stranger we wrote the song with Elliphant off the rip. In Stockholm last year we had a few sessions with Elli and made a whole bunch of songs. Stranger simply felt like the one we had to put out asap. For Fake Magic it was quite different, we had a track with melodies on top and we wanted Aluna more than anyone. We tried to workshop the beat and melodies to the point where we could send it to her. We were so nervous the moment we sent it but she got back in a few days. We then had a skype and she had a bunch of lyrical ideas and directions on where to take the song. We didn’t get a chance to meet her right til shooting the clip in LA!

Had you worked with AlunaGeorge before “Fake Magic”? How did you connect with her? 
Adam Hyde: We hadn’t met her at all actually. We were always big fans, we just thought we’d reach out to see if she was down to lay some magic on the tune seeing as we had nothing to lose and to our suprise she loved the idea. Aluna is a legend.

This is a goofy question, but what’s Canberra like? It gets overlooked by Americans a lot despite being the capital. Any favorite things about it? 
Reuben: Canberra is actually stunning in the fall, or as we would say ‘in autumn.’ The city is super green and covered in trees so I would recommend heading there in April and doing a hot air balloon at dawn. Sunrise above the city in Autumn with a champagne breakfast FTW. It’s conveniently covered in skateparks, 1.5 hours from the beach, and 1.5 hours from the snow so year round, it’s a great place to grow up.

I’m sure you’ve been asked about it a ton, but you were in the news a bit when a fan edited your Wikipedia page to get backstage in 2015. Are there any other odd fan stories that come to mind that maybe didn’t get the same amount of attention?
Reuben:
We’ve had a bunch of fans get our lyrics tattooed on them. Some fans have copied our personal tats. Four fans, clearly all friends, came to every show on one of our tours a couple years ago. It was so bizarre but pretty rad at the same time! Not many stories come close the bloke changing our Wikipedia to come backstage for beers.

You played a Panorama pre-show, but not playing Panorama. Any favorite American festivals you’ve played in the past?
Adam: Coachella was one of the most surreal experiences we’ve ever been able to be apart of. Hopefully we get to head back there someday!

In March, you posted an Instagram of Adam in a Mets jersey and then a month later one with a Yankees t-shirt. Any preference of the two teams?
Adam: Hahaha… I’m conflicted in my loyalty. I’m scared of commitment to be honest. Yankees all the way… for now.

What’s your go-to Chinese food order?
Reuben: Xiao Long Bao, the green beans with pork mince, and literally anything made with Sichuan peppers. Sichuan peppers give the world’s best flavor to anything.

Listen to Peking Duk’s music and find their tour dates at www.pekingduk.com.

Brian Benton

Brian is the founder and editor of Respect Your Youngers. He currently lives in New York City, and previously lived in St. Louis and San Francisco. He enjoys public transportation and coffee, and can be found online at brianfbenton.com

Interview: Peking Duk on working with AlunaGeorge, fan tattoos, and Chinese food

Australian duo Peking Duk first garnered attention in 2012 with the release of a Passion Pit bootleg remix. Now, they’ve worked with Laidback Luke, Elliphant and most recently AlunaGeorge for new single “Fake Magic.”

The pair are traveling the world this summer playing festivals, clubs and pool parties, but I had a chance to check in with Reuben Styles and Adam Hyde to hear more about their collaboration process, the viral story of a fan editing their Wikipedia page and of course, if they order Peking Duck when getting Chinese take-out.

Brian Benton: “Fake Magic” and “Stranger” feature some big name vocalists. Are you producing these songs with a vocalist in mind or does the song get written and then you see who’s interested in singing on it.
Reuben Styles:
With Stranger we wrote the song with Elliphant off the rip. In Stockholm last year we had a few sessions with Elli and made a whole bunch of songs. Stranger simply felt like the one we had to put out asap. For Fake Magic it was quite different, we had a track with melodies on top and we wanted Aluna more than anyone. We tried to workshop the beat and melodies to the point where we could send it to her. We were so nervous the moment we sent it but she got back in a few days. We then had a skype and she had a bunch of lyrical ideas and directions on where to take the song. We didn’t get a chance to meet her right til shooting the clip in LA!

Had you worked with AlunaGeorge before “Fake Magic”? How did you connect with her? 
Adam Hyde: We hadn’t met her at all actually. We were always big fans, we just thought we’d reach out to see if she was down to lay some magic on the tune seeing as we had nothing to lose and to our suprise she loved the idea. Aluna is a legend.

This is a goofy question, but what’s Canberra like? It gets overlooked by Americans a lot despite being the capital. Any favorite things about it? 
Reuben: Canberra is actually stunning in the fall, or as we would say ‘in autumn.’ The city is super green and covered in trees so I would recommend heading there in April and doing a hot air balloon at dawn. Sunrise above the city in Autumn with a champagne breakfast FTW. It’s conveniently covered in skateparks, 1.5 hours from the beach, and 1.5 hours from the snow so year round, it’s a great place to grow up.

I’m sure you’ve been asked about it a ton, but you were in the news a bit when a fan edited your Wikipedia page to get backstage in 2015. Are there any other odd fan stories that come to mind that maybe didn’t get the same amount of attention?
Reuben:
We’ve had a bunch of fans get our lyrics tattooed on them. Some fans have copied our personal tats. Four fans, clearly all friends, came to every show on one of our tours a couple years ago. It was so bizarre but pretty rad at the same time! Not many stories come close the bloke changing our Wikipedia to come backstage for beers.

You played a Panorama pre-show, but not playing Panorama. Any favorite American festivals you’ve played in the past?
Adam: Coachella was one of the most surreal experiences we’ve ever been able to be apart of. Hopefully we get to head back there someday!

In March, you posted an Instagram of Adam in a Mets jersey and then a month later one with a Yankees t-shirt. Any preference of the two teams?
Adam: Hahaha… I’m conflicted in my loyalty. I’m scared of commitment to be honest. Yankees all the way… for now.

What’s your go-to Chinese food order?
Reuben: Xiao Long Bao, the green beans with pork mince, and literally anything made with Sichuan peppers. Sichuan peppers give the world’s best flavor to anything.

Listen to Peking Duk’s music and find their tour dates at www.pekingduk.com.

Scroll to top