Fresh from the announcement that Peking Duk were down for two ARIA nominations – Best Dance Release and Song of the Year for “Take Me Over” – I sat down with Reuben Styles from the Canberra duo to talk about the nominations, the brilliant video for “Say My Name” featuring Matt McGorry (as well as the “Tour Diary” version), their work with Benny from SAFIA and the road ahead…
SAFIA are along for the ride on your Song of the Year nomination, too… Benny has been popping up at shows overseas with you too, hey? Coachella and South By Southwest (SXSW) for starters…
Reuben: Yeah! Whenever we can, we steal Benny from SAFIA for a guest spot on stage for “Say My Name” or “Take Me Over”. SAFIA are moving real quick.
As they should.
As they should! They’re the greatest dudes and musicians, they deserve everything. I dare say we’ll never be able to get Benny to jump on stage again.
Well, at least you’ve got that moment in time captured in the “Tour Diary” version of the “Say My Name” video… how come you guys threw that together?
We didn’t have a music video finished at the time for “Say My Name”, and we were getting asked by MTV and Channel [V] to give them something… So we decided to get some legend to sift through our hours and hours of footage. And they did, in a matter of minutes….
It must have been quick… that was right after Lollapalooza, and Lollapalooza was in there.
Oh yeah it was!
But everything made it in… even your time in India!
Yeah, there was India too. There was everything. Shout out to the AU review for covering India (Note: Johnny from the AU covered that one), what a fun trip that was. It was a fun video and looking through it was real fun, getting hit up by our friends “just saw my little cameo in your video”. We almost didn’t think we needed a video for “Say My Name” cause that sufficed so well…
But you did one in the end… it’s pretty funny. It’s got a great response, everyone’s been vibeing on it.
Turns out, there’s a great trick to casting – find a male feminist to do it. Because everyone like tweeting about it or whatever these male feminists do…
How did Matt get involved?
Matt McGorry from Orange is the New Black and How To Get Away With Murder, he’d been wanting to do more and more dancing and somehow the director was friends with him and knew he wanted to do that. We were lucky, very lucky to find that out because when we came up with the concept for that video we thought casting would be the biggest obstacle as it was a concept that was very dependent on its lead.
What we wanted was someone with the charisma of Jackie Chan or Johnny Drama, and super happy in every single way with themselves, but keeps getting shut down everywhere. It would’ve been great to get Johnny Drama…
Was he top of the list?
Definitely, but Matt McGorry was way better, that was the greatest thing ever. When we pitched the idea to directors, they all came back and Anthony Chirco what a legend; got Matt and he was perfect. He felt at home and was in his realm, immediately.
Rest of the year, how are you wrapping it up? Obviously you got ARIAs, end of November, but what else is cracking on?
We’re going to Columbia, we’re going to Bogotá.
Columbia, I think that’s at the end of this month or start of next month. Stereosonic, that’s going to be a definite winner, I’m super excited for Stereo.
…and VanFest in December, bringing it back to the regionals…
…back to our regional roots as they say. I’m excited, we need to include an Aussie anthem into our set…
…get a marching band, get a local marching band…
From Tuncurry, Gosford, Dubbo, Wangaratta, Mildurah – Mildurah is my favourite country town they have the best Gelato shop in the country. It’s going to be a fun end to the year and I’m looking forward to it. We go to Falls in Byron Bay for New Years Eve night which is something we’ve always wanted to do!
You’re cracking in in midnight? Sweet! Play that song, get the marching band out, blast out the fireworks!
And then drop the bangers as the DJ should…. “As thy DJ should.”
The ARIA Awards will be help on November 26th at The Star Event Centre in Sydney. More details on the official website. For more on Peking Duk, head to their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pekingduk
Transcription by Candace Magno