Pendulum are an Australian drum and bass and electronic rock band founded in 2002. Pendulum originally formed in the city of Perth, Western Australia, by Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen and Paul "El Hornet" Harding. The band was later expanded to include members Ben Mount, Peredur ap Gwynedd and KJ Sawka. Members Swire and McGrillen also formed the electro house duo Knife Party. The group is notable for its distinctive sound, mixing electronic music with hard rock and covering a wide range of genres.
In 2003, Swire, McGrillen and Harding relocated to the United Kingdom. The debut studio album, Hold Your Colour, was released in 2005 to positive critical reception. While Hold Your Colour was mostly of the drum and bass genre, the succeeding albums In Silico and Immersion saw experimentation of other genres such as industrial rock and electronic rock.
In August 2013, Swire announced that a new album may be released in 2014, although Swire and McGrillen later confessed on their Reddit AMA that they had become disillusioned with Pendulum and have no interest at present in producing any new material. Despite this, on 20 March 2016, Pendulum reunited to perform at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, marking their official return as a live act. Soon after this, Swire, via Twitter, said that he would make a new Pendulum album, and later clarified that a remix album, The Reworks, would come first, followed by new material.
2002–07: Formation and Hold Your Colour
Before Pendulum, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen were in multiple rock and metal music bands before Swire influenced McGrillen into producing electronic music on their computers. Harding had been the drummer in a punk band since the mid 1990s. Both their bands had played together at the same shows, but they did not meet until a drum and bass night in 2002. They all had a passion for electronic music and formed Pendulum, incorporating their previous influences of rock and metal music from their previous projects.
Pendulum began their career in Perth, Western Australia as a trio of DJs. Harding had been active in the Perth drum and bass scene for some time, DJing under the name "El Hornet". Swire and McGrillen had played friends parties, mainly DJing from their computers. Initially Swire and McGrillen wanted to start a record label and release songs on it. One evening they were meant to play a DJ set on The Perth Producers night at The Drumclub, but Swire's hard drive failed. Harding offered to play their music instead which was received well. They sat down with each other and decided to produce music together under the name Pendulum.
The first track the trio produced was 'Vault', which would be released in 2003 on 31 Records to great acclaim within the UK drum and bass scene. At that moment they were residing in Perth, but they felt isolated from the drum and bass community. Once fellow drum and bass artist DJ Fresh offered them free accommodation in his London flat for eight months, they decided to move to England.
The band also recorded and released 'Spiral / Ulterior Motive' the same year, and in 2004 made their first compilation appearance on 'Jungle Sound: The Bassline Strikes Back!', with several songs featured and Harding in charge of mixing the album's second disc. The band was offered an album deal by Breakbeat Kaos, Fresh' label, which resulted in their debut album Hold Your Colour in 2005. The album charted in both the United Kingdom and in Australia and was certified as a golden album in Australia.
Following the success of their 2005 debut album, their label Breakbeat Kaos re-issued the compilation under the name Jungle Sound Gold, the front now saying "mixed by Pendulum". The band disapproved of this as they had neither given permission nor been informed about the release, and Pendulum later ended up leaving the label.
In 2006, the trio became a sextet after introducing Ben Mount as their MC, Peredur ap Gwynedd as their Guitarist and Paul Kodish as their drummer. At this time McGrillen began playing bass guitar at live shows and on some studio recordings.
2007–09: In Silico and Live at Brixton Academy
Pendulum's second album, In Silico, was released on 12 May 2008. This release contained different sounds compared to their debut album, as it contained more rock elements whilst maintaining their electronic elements. The response to this change was relatively positive from critics, but was said to be dated by The Guardian. The album was relatively successful as it charted at 2 on the UK Albums Chart and at 9 in the Australian Albums Chart. The album reached No. 16 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. After the release of the album, Paul Kodish, for unknown reasons, left the band, making him the first official former member of the band. In November 2008, three songs from the album In Silico were used in the soundtrack of Need for Speed: Undercover. The song "Tarantula" was featured in the video game MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.
At the end of the year the band filmed a live DVD on 4 and 5 December 2008, at the Brixton Academy. This was released on 17 April 2009.
Pendulum once again toured Europe in 2009. During this tour they announced that they were working on their third studio album, Immersion. It was announced in December 2009 that Pendulum would be touring for their new album in May 2010. The release date of the album was announced to be sometime "in May" during the live preview party at Matter, and was then announced to be released on 24 May. Pendulum previewed their album Immersion at the Ear Storm night at London’s Matter nightclub on Friday 22 January. "Salt in the Wounds", a track from their new album, was Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1 on 25 January 2010. On Zane Lowe's show, it was also announced that he wanted to join the band and the first single from the new album would be called "Watercolour". This single also received its first play on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on 8 March 2010, and was his Single of the Week for that week. In December 2010, "Watercolour" was found to be featured in the soundtrack of the 2010 hit game "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit". On 1 April, the music video for "Salt in the Wounds" was released. The video is unique in that it is, according to the band's website, "...the world’s first 360° interactive music video."
"Watercolour" claimed the No.4 spot in the UK Singles Chart, making it their biggest hit to date. On 21 May 2010, the band headlined the annual Radio 1's Big Weekend festival which was held at the Vaynol Estate, Bangor, Gwynedd. The second single from the album, "Witchcraft", was released on 18 July and charted at No.29 in the UK Singles chart, making it their third highest charted single in the UK. The third single from Immersion was "The Island", and just missed the UK Top 40 at No. 41.
Rob Swire had stated that if it had achieved greater success than "Witchcraft", he would have released a song entitled "Ransom", which was taken off Immersion before the album's release. Swire revealed the original files for "Ransom" were corrupted, and that he has no plans to recreate them, therefore it will not be released. However, on 6 April 2011, Pendulum released "Ransom" as a single via their website with all proceeds going to the Help for Japan fund after the tsunami. "Crush" was released as the fourth single in January 2011. In January 2011, Pendulum released a Deluxe Edition of Immersion via iTunes which contained the album's original 15 tracks and a collection of remixes of "Watercolour", "Witchcraft" and "The Island" by other artists including deadmau5, Tiësto and Chuckie. Both the UK and US store were also given the music videos of those three tracks in the release.
2011–15: Progression, hiatus and possible new album
On 26 October 2010, Swire announced that a new record was in the works. This new record was set to be heavily punk influenced. The next album was expected to be a significant departure from usage of drum and bass tempo, for a faster tempo in the form of punk, and a slower tempo in the form of dubstep.
On 29 March 2011, Swire revealed that there would be no "new album" for a while. He added that there would be "def new material" later in the year.
Pendulum opened for Linkin Park on several selected dates during the band's 2011 "A Thousand Suns" North American tour. They also headlined their own tour supported by Innerpartysystem.
In 2011 Rob Swire and fellow member Gareth McGrillen announced in various interviews that a project called Knife Party had been created. The side project is not linked in any means to Pendulum and consists of electro house, dubstep and other club genres. Knife Party has since become the duo's primary project.
Pendulum played at the 2011 Download Festival, Oxegen, The Eden Sessions, Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, and V Festival, headlined Global Gathering, an exclusive London show at South West Four and finally headlined the first night of Bestival on the Isle Of Wight.
Pendulum headlined at Rhythm & Vines 2011 in Gisborne, New Zealand. The band took a break from touring in 2012 in order to take part in side projects.
Pendulum were one of the headliners on the Main Stage line-up at the LovEvolution 2011 Dance Festival & Parade in Oakland, California, which had over 50 DJs and 15 or more parade floats.
On 3 January 2012, Pendulum announced that they would be taking a hiatus from touring while thanking their fans for the last several years. They went on to state that they might create a new record in 2013. Swire stated that Pendulum is on hiatus, as Knife Party is now his primary project.
On 16 June 2012, Rob Swire announced that there will be no further Pendulum live shows and there are no plans for a new album in 2013. Although there are no live shows taking place in the near future according to the band, El Hornet & MC Verse still perform DJ sets across the world.
On 22 August 2013, in a series of tweets, it was revealed that along with a Knife Party album, a possible Pendulum album may also be released in 2014. El-Hornet, who does the DJ sets, confirmed the album in a speech at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC and said "don't rush us". However, the possibility of Pendulum performing live again has still been ruled out. On 13 July 2014, Swire stated that work on the new Pendulum album will begin around September and could be released early 2015.
On 16 December 2014, Knife Party did an AMA on Reddit which some fans inquired the duo about how the Pendulum album was coming along. Rob Swire stated that, although they aren't working on it yet, they have some old material from previous albums that can be re-worked and finished into something new, which is however, different from all previous work Pendulum have done so far. Rob Swire also stated that he personally didn't want to make a new Pendulum album but rather work on something else with Knife Party or create a new project altogether, one he can have "control" of, since he "lost heart for the project", having no real desire to make drum and bass anymore and fusing it with rock, also completely ruled out a live band tour and gave no further details on release dates.
2015–present: Hold Your Colour 10th anniversary, reunion and The Reworks
On 20 July 2015, the 10-year anniversary of the release of Hold Your Colour, Rob Swire took to the Pendulum Twitter page to celebrate, thanking the fans for their support and changing the profile picture to that of a birthday cake underneath the Pendulum logo in its original font. On 26 July 2015, Rob also uploaded two videos to his personal Twitter page of old Pendulum studio files playing on his computer.
On 22 August 2015, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen joined El Hornet and Ben Verse onstage at V Festival in Hylands Park, Essex for the Pendulum DJ set. This marks the first time either of the members have performed under the Pendulum name in four years. Rob later tweeted after the performance that the experience was "fun, and also weird."
On 16 December 2015, it was announced that Pendulum would reunite as a live band at the 2016 Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida. The band closed the music festival as the latter half of a joined performance with Knife Party. This was the first live performance of the band without MC Ben Verse. The band performed new live versions of songs such as deadmau5's Ghosts 'n' Stuff, with deadmau5 himself performing live alongside the band, and Knife Party's 'Begin Again.'
On 16 December 2016, Pendulum was confirmed to be performing as a live act at Nova Rock festival 2017. The band also posted an image to their Facebook page teasing a possible return in 2017.
Pendulum also performed in their hometown Perth to ring in the new year at the 10 year anniversary of the Origin NYE festival.
On 9 January 2017, it was unveiled via their YouTube channel that Pendulum would be officially returning. On 13 January, Pendulum officially announced on their website that a possible London tour/album release may be happening in Summer 2017. In March 2017, the band further announced performances at Ultra Singapore, Nova Rock festival in Austria and VOLT Festival in Hungary, as well as Ultra Korea in June 2017. The band also performed a headline set at Nass Festival 2017. In August 2017, the band also performed at South West Four Festival in Clapham Common, London.
On 10 August 2017, Rob Swire announced that he would be making a new Pendulum album. The band also departed from their label Warner Music UK opting for their own label, Earstorm in order for more creative control.
On 2 September Pendulum headlined the first day of the Weekender festival in Jersey, Channel Islands. They ended their summer tour at the Ultra Japan on 18 September 2017. Pendulum are scheduled to play at Snowbombing Festival in 2018, confirming that the live band will continue to play in 2018.
On 26 February 2018, Pendulum announced a remix album, The Reworks, to be released in installments beginning on 16 March and ending in June. The band has also announced it will release The Complete Works box set. The group also announced forthcoming show dates, kicking off its first headline show since 2011 in London's Printworks on 14 April. Swire has also confirmed that after "The Reworks" there will be new music coming. He didn't specify whether it would be Pendulum, Knife Party, or both, Swire is hinting towards a new original Pendulum album, as he has been teasing one since the release of Knife Party's debut album Abandon Ship.
On 29 January 2019, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen stated that they had "potential new Pendulum stuff" that they would be working on following the release of their Knife Party EP. They indicated that recording with the remaining Pendulum members would begin soon, saying that they had "loads of stuff" already. They also discussed their previous intentions to release new Pendulum songs in 2018, and explained that they were reluctant to introduce new material live.
In March 2019, Pendulum announced their headline appearance at the upcoming Southwest Four Festival, which had Swire, McGrillen, & El Hornet play a DJ set in front of a Mayan temple like structure. The performance will be the first of their "Trinity" tour with dates to be announced in North America, Europe and Australasia in 2019/20.