Six questions with Pendulum’s Gareth McGrillen

Without Linkin Park, they’d probably hate each other

Pendulum and Gareth McGrillen (second from right)

Legend has it you switched up your style to drum and bass after hearing Konflict’s Messiah at a rave. Why did it captivate you guys?

We were into rock and metal at the time, and we had a metal band. So when we heard drum and bass it was like, we always had been into electronic music, but we had never heard it have such an aggressive energy. The same kind of vibe you get from rock and metal, we got from drum and bass. So we just mixed into it. And the next thing you knew, we were well entrenched in the scene.

You have an extremely eclectic style of music now. Who and what are your inspirations and influences while you’re songwriting?


February 26, 9:00 p.m.; $22-$26.
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It varies from record to record. Our previous stuff had been so electronic and so drum and bass, we thought, why don’t we try and mix up our influences and write an electronic album using only influences from rock and metal that we were listening to. There’s Led Zeppelin and a lot of surf rock and the Beach Boys. And on the third record, our influences were our favorite parts on the first and second albums, just taken to the next level.

You’re already working on your next album, and I hear it’s going to be heavily punk influenced.

Punk as in raw, not as the genre. Punk as in the raw ethos of the word. It’s raw and aggressive.

Why do you think EDM is becoming so prevalent in the mainstream scene?

The creativity is a lot easier to muster when you’ve got just you, a sequencer and a laptop. Back in the day you needed a place to practice, you needed your instruments, you needed all the equipment—being a band was a little more difficult. These days you can write the tracks in the air on a plane or in the back of the bus. I think a lot more people these days are going to clubs rather than concerts, and clubs are the domain of electronic music.

Where do you see EDM heading?

I think it’s moving up and up the bills on big festivals and stuff like that. You see a lot more bands incorporating electronic elements at the core, rather than just adding it on top. I think you’ll see it coming more and more into the forefront of bigger bands.

How did the tour with Linkin Park happen?

They asked us. They’re fans of our stuff, and we supported them in the UK at a massive gig called Project Revolution. Obviously, we’re playing to their audience every night, so it’s hard for us, but it’s a good opportunity to play for so many Americans, whereas to get to this level [on our own] we would have to tour here relentlessly. You end up hating each other, you know, being on tour for so many years, so it’s a good steppingstone.


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