Formed during 2002 by three musicians from Western Australia with similar visions and musical backgrounds, Pendulum’s mission has always been to pull together their production resources, ideas and influences from various styles of music, to create a new sound that they felt was missing from dance music. The individual members behind Pendulum had been active in Perth’s live music scene for several years: producer / vocalist / keyboardist Rob Swire and producer / bassist Gareth McGrillen played together in the acclaimed Perth band Xygen, while Paul ‘El Hornet’ Harding was a veteran of the Perth DJ scene.
The initial result of the collaboration between the three was the seminal ‘Vault’, released on the highly respected 31 Records. ‘Vault’ went on to become one of the biggest anthems of 2003. This was confirmed when the track received the much sought after Knowledge Magazine award for ‘Best Single of 2003’. ‘Vault’ was followed by a series of brilliant tracks including ‘Trail of Sevens’, ‘Spiral’ and ‘Ulterior Motive’, ‘Back to You’ and ‘Still Grey’ and a remix of ‘Tonite’ by Concord Dawn. Two heavyweight DJs that have supported the Pendulum sound ever since its creation were the legendary Adam F and the renowned DJ Fresh who asked Pendulum to join their recently formed Breakbeat Kaos label in order to form a tight crew of like minded musicians. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity; as a result towards the end of 2003 the trio relocated to the UK and have been touring the world extensively ever since in an attempt to generate further awareness around their unique sound. Pendulum’s debut single for Breakbeat Kaos, the epic ‘Another Planet’ backed with ‘Voyager’ exceeded any prior expectations. The single made its debut at #1 in the UK’s National Dance Chart and even went Top 40 in the mainstream chart.
2005 saw Pendulum release their debut artist album on Breakbeat Kaos, the highly acclaimed ‘Hold Your Colour’ that has gone on to sell in excess of 300,000 copies and spawned their first Top 30 hit in the shape of the single ‘Slam / Out Here’. The band’s full live experience (which adds guitarist Peredur ap Gwynedd, drummer Kodish and MC Verse to the core trio) also became an exciting prospect with a defining headline performance at Glastonbury’s Dance Stage being a particular highlight. By now the biggest artist on the underground, Pendulum aimed to continue their rise by signing a new deal with Warner Bros. Records / Ear Storm.
Re-emerging with the fan favourite single ‘Granite’, it was the Radio 1 A-listed follow-up ‘Propane Nightmares’ that enabled Pendulum to leap into the mainstream. The band then followed a defining performance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend by seeing their second album ‘In Silico’ debut at #2 in the UK album charts. The album was certified Gold within a month of release and its success continued unabated over the summer months with a diverse array of festival appearances including Linkin Park and Jay-Z’s Projekt Revolution, Download, Creamfields, Reading / Leeds and T in the Park. Following a succession of sold-out London shows and a memorable performance on Later with Jools Holland, Pendulum’s momentum continued with their biggest UK headlining tour to date before an audience in excess of 50,000 people. Radio 1’s continuing support also included a special documentary on the band that aired over the Christmas period, while ‘In Silico’ approaches 300,000 sales in the UK alone.
Pendulum have also been making huge strides towards breaking through in America having earned praise from the likes of Billboard (who described the band as a “breakneck brand of aural dynamite”) and the LA Times (“The electro-rock band evokes the Prodigy’s sense of screaming, face-crushing bombast with savvy beats straight off the contemporary low-end-heavy zeitgeist”). Their debut US live tour featured thirteen sold-out shows from coast to coast, including a date at Los Angeles’ 1300 capacity Mayan Theater. Their tour also trekked into Brazil and Mexico. Their North American progress forged ahead with frenetic television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Carson Daly. Meanwhile, their continuing live popularity also received a succession of boosts with killer sets at Coachella and SXSW and their first ever headline appearance at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival.
One of the most visceral and exhilarating live experiences around (“One of the most enthusiastic reactions afforded a main stage act in Big Day Out history,” observed Kerrang! “Phenomenal doesn’t even come close”), Pendulum’s highly acclaimed live performance has been captured in their ‘Live At Brixton’ CD / DVD set. Grammy nominated director Paul Caslin has created an awe-inspiring visual celebration of the band’s live experience that captures the fiery intensity of the audience’s impassioned reaction with a dazzling visual artistry never before seen in a live document. Early 2010 saw a change to the LIVE Pendulum set up with the addition of Seattle born drummer KJ Sawka.
After some time spent writing their third studio album, Pendulum returned with ‘Immersion’ released in May 2010, which shot straight to No.1 in the UK Album Charts. The band followed this success with 2 Sold Out UK Tours, 2 huge shows at London’s Wembley Arena, tours in Europe and Australia and a massive summer spent smashing the international festival circuit. At the beginning of 2011 the band headed to North America where they played as special guests on Linkin Park’s ‘A Thousand Suns US Arena Tour’ followed by a run of their own headline tour dates across North America. They then returned home to Australia to headline the Future Music Festival, before heading into another summer of headline slots at festivals all over the UK and Europe, including the penultimate slot on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival, and headlining slots at Download Festival, T In The Park, V Festival and Bestival.
At the end of 2011 Pendulum decided to take a well deserved break from their live shows, however Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen have been storming ahead with hugely successful side project ‘Knife Party’ and DJ El Hornet and MC Verse continue to spread the word of Pendulum throughout the world, appearing at a myriad of international clubs and festivals in 2012.
Pendulum DJs will be on the road performing throughout the world in 2018. For Pendulum and their enormous, international fan base, great things are to come…