What’s in your bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. This week, we’re featuring electronic music duo Peking Duk.
Canberra-bred duo Peking Duk are a riot. Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles performatively parade through The Verge offices taking selfies and adding nonsensical commentary that has everyone in tears with laughter. At one point, while digging through their belongings, a silica packet falls out and Adam immediately takes the opportunity to be absurd. “They say do not eat it,” he says with mocking seriousness. “Reuben actually once ate a packet of silica gel and that’s why he’s dry on the inside, wet on the outside.”
Though the pair can’t help but be jesters and riff off each other constantly, their music shows a different, more reflective side. They produce songs about love, loss, vengeance, and retribution, all packaged within bright pop-centric and nu-disco vibes with utterly infectious hooks. Their first breakthrough single, “High,” went platinum four times and won an ARIA award for Best Dance Release. Their second single, “Take Me Over,” went triple platinum and was nominated for Best Dance Release and Song of the Year at the ARIAs. In all, Peking Duk has gone platinum a whopping 13 times in their homeland of Australia.
Their newest release, “Reprisal,” is a body of work consisting of two new tracks, “Fire” and “Distant Arizona,” that are presented in a Tarantino-like spaghetti Western video. It chronicles Adam and Reuben traveling on an arduous, tortured journey of revenge that ultimately leads them to an unseemly fate. This cinematic and serious work is what Peking Duk is known for artistically, but is quite the dichotomy to the sharp, dry wit of their IRL personalities. As Adam and Reuben narrate their things, sending the room into peals of laughter, we learn what essentials touring artists must have at hand, and to almost never take what these two say at face value.
So tell me about this bag.
Reuben: Well it’s a usable bag.
Adam: We’ve actually chosen one backpack because together we are one heart, one soul, one body, one thing.
Reuben: Together unity is bound.
Adam: So we’re rolling with this one bag, a basic backpack. This is the type of backpack you can use in all terrains. You could bring this bag to Mount Everest and she’s still going to win that battle against the harsh mountain.
Reuben: You can also take it to Jamaica just for a relaxing time on the beach and a few Mai Tais.
Adam: Yes. It’s very versatile. Very simple. Many pockets. Many different crevices where you can hide many different things.
Reuben: But keep in mind, you can take it on a plane. We’ve got the front pocket which we’ve decided to keep quite relatively chill. In case you get some extra snacks, you can put your snacks in there.
Adam: You always want your front pocket empty.
Reuben: Beef jerky or almonds.
Reuben: We’ve also got a journal for lyrical ideas.
Adam: You can also draw pictures.
Reuben: Doodle, if you will.
Adam: That’s some analog shit. There’s no screen on that. No digi. Taking it back. No dongle needed.
Adam: All right, next up we have a lint roller because you know your boys have to look good on that travel tip. We’re always spilling shit on ourselves including lots of dust. We’re dusty boys. I’ll show you how this little fellow works.
It’s also good after a visit to the cat cafe.
Adam: Yeah, this is some high technology shit from Samsung. And you just want to get in there. And maybe sometimes on the crotch.
Reuben: Give it to me easy now!
Adam: Yeah, he’s pretty clean.
Adam: Here’s another fun one. A Polaroid. You want to keep your memories when you’re on the road. It’s always a fun time. iPhone photos are cool, whatever, but these are cooler. This is an Instax Mini 90. It’s kind of sexy, isn’t it? So what you want to do is line it up and... [takes photo]. Boom, you’ve got a sexy boy on a purple screen. And that’s going to come out just fine. Let’s get one more, actually.
Reuben: How about I get you. It’s cool with that light behind you, actually. It’s pretty arty. Stay still. [Takes photo of Adam in front of studio light]
Adam: Whoa, that was fucked.
Reuben: I should have turned the flash off.
Adam: I just had a quick stroke. Anyway, I picked this Polaroid camera up in Chiang Mai and it’s served me well.
Reuben: Hydralyte ‘cause after a dip and the beach and a few Mai Tais, you’re gonna be a bit dry.
Adam: And also if you’re on Mount Everest, you may be very dry.
Reuben: Yeah, because you’re not going to have any oxygen in your lungs and your body will be going, “Whaaaaaaaat!”
Adam: I’ve had 10 of them this morning.
Reuben: When you get diarrhea it’s really useful. Nurofen Zavance is Advil, but the Australian version.
Adam: So our theory for a hangover is if you have one [Hydralyte] and two [Nurofen Zavance] and a double shot of espresso, then you’re fine.
Reuben: When you get stink pit, put that on [sprays deodorant]. Get a whiff of that! It’s got no parabens, believe it or nay.
It smells good!
Reuben: We’ve got a pair of Ray Bans, which are great for when you’re also in the big drink. This morning we contemplated a pop in to Long Beach. Surf’s up.
Adam: The thing about sunnies is you can wear them when the sun is out, and you can also wear them when there is no sun in the room and look like a real cool dude. And just sit there.
Reuben: I only wear them at night.
[The Verge pulls out a packet of silica gel from bag]
Adam: [Laughs] You gotta bring silica gel.
Reuben: We take our backpacks to the beach quite often. All your things get wet real quick.
Adam: They say do not eat it. Reuben actually once ate a packet of silica gel and that’s why he’s dry on the inside, wet on the outside.
Reuben: That’s why I’ve always got a pair of beach shorts in my backpack.
Adam: [Takes big inhale] They stink.
Reuben: But salt water is very clean, so if you go in the big drink, the ocean, once a day you don’t have to shower, ever.
Adam: Certainly one of the more fun things in the collection is also for when you’re hungover. It’s a Nintendo Switchy.
This is a very nice case you have, too!
Adam: I’ve never seen anyone else with the same case.
Reuben: It keeps the Switch in mint condition.
Reuben: One thing you’ve got to keep in mind and remember is that we are also tech guys.
Adam: Shout out Silicon Valley.
Reuben: We got a portable charger. Now I’m not going to recommend charging your Switch off that because that will make the charger go flat in seconds. But for your phone, it’s useful. It charges your phone from 0-100 roughly 7.1 times. Charge it overnight and then your phone will be sweet forever.
Adam: Also for when you’re working on tunes on the plane, on the train, or wherever the fuck you might be, you want these noise-canceling headphones from Bose. Obviously if you’re trying to work on tunes on a plane, it gets very noisy and it’s hard to actually hear what you’re doing.
Reuben: You don’t want to hear the guy burping and farting next to you; you want to hear your music. I feel like the Beats noise-canceling headphones are really good as well, but these seem to really shut out everything. And they’re really comfy.
Reuben: Well this is an Apple laptop. One of the specials from the king himself, Steve Jobs.
Adam: We like to actually call them MBPs. Because we only used to be MB boys, just MacBook boys, but now we use an MBP, MacBook Pro. We feel like real big men and that’s a privilege in itself. We obviously both bring one each on the road with us because they’re very slim and you can work on your beats wherever you are. But the new MacBook Pros are actually pretty shit because of this Touch Bar they put in.
Reuben: I’m into the Touch Bar, personally. The massive trackpad, though, is fucking terrible.
Adam: I feel like the design on the new MacBook Pro could be a lot better if they just... stuck with the old one.
Reuben: [Holding laptop] We play Counter-Strike on the road. It’s a whole process. You have to plug in all these things and use adapters.
Adam: And then pwn noobs.
Reuben: Playboipoo is Adam, and I’m Milkman Greg. I’m really in the market for friends right now [laughs]. We’ve got a collection of mice, but the Microsoft one for gaming seems like a pretty fun one. [Points to SBS World Cup Guide] FIFA 18 is a rad game on Playstation, but real life FIFA is pretty cool, too, and there’s actually real people doing what these video game characters do as well. And Australia, as you can see, is the biggest of the countries. Look, Australia, big. Argentina, not so big. France, tiny. Brazil, medium.
Reuben: Also the thing with this bullshit new laptop is you need adapters.
Reuben: Doesn’t even have USB! Adapters, adapters, adapters!
Adam: We don’t want to diss Apple too much because without them, we wouldn’t be working on tunes. It’s a love / hate thing. A very passionate relationship.
Reuben: And here’s another adapter that you didn’t need on the last MacBook. What a joke. SD. SanDisk SDs are the best SDs. Last of all, you want to be able to connect to your laptop to the TV at the Airbnb or hotel with an HDMI cable... another thing they removed from the new laptop that you have to adapt to.
Adam: You have to adapt to it both literally and metaphorically...
Reuben: And telephonically.
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