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Exclusive: Everything We Know About the Return of Pendulum

Of all the huge acts out there, there are few whose absence has been felt quite as much as Pendulum, the legendary drum & bass band that helped revolutionize live electronic music. The last release came in the form of 2010’s Immersion album, and while they’ve popped up for sporadic DJ sets (sans frontman Rob Swire), things have generally been quiet since the band split back in 2012…until now.

The announcement of Ultra Miami’s 2016 lineup came with the news that Pendulum would be returning for a full-blown live performance. It’s been a long time coming for fans, having waited for almost half a decade for a return many thought would never happen. This has naturally led to all sorts of questions about what’s next for the band beyond Ultra, so to get (at least some) answers, we chatted with Pendulum drummer and local Seattle legend KJ Sawka.

On reassembling the band:

“There have been a lot of sacrifices for the show, but it’s going to be very special.”

The planned setup at Ultra:

“The full band, all live and full instrumentation.”

Pendulum Drum Setup - KJ Sawka

KJ’s planned drum setup for Pendulum’s return, posted to his Facebook in February

What it’s like to be back together after all these years:

“I’m back with the lads! For me, it’s like we just played yesterday, these tunes are very ingrained in our heads. But the feeling is amazing after 5 years and our live system and sound is better and tighter than ever.”

Pulling double duty with Destroid and Pendulum at Ultra:

“It’s definitely pretty cool. I feel like the backbone of the whole festival. People will be destroyed then pulverized!”

KJ understandably couldn’t provide details on things like tour dates or new music, leaving it up to our own cursory sleuthing. It’s worth noting that Knife Party (Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen’s main project) hasn’t announced any tour dates past a one-off performance in Edmonton the week after Ultra. Meanwhile, KJ will be embarking on a 9-date tour with Mr. Bill, kicking off at Lucky on March 12, and running all the way through April 4. That at least leaves the possibility open for more Pendulum performances this summer, but that’s all purely speculation on our part.

In terms of new music, let’s rewind back a full year to an AMA Knife Party hosted on Reddit. When asked about the potential for another Pendulum album, Rob Swire chimed in to provide us with plenty to chew on.

Rob Swire Reddit AMA

A lot could have changed in the year since that AMA, so here’s hoping some new Pendulum music (drum & bass or otherwise) is on the horizon following Ultra. For now, we’re just excited to not only see a local favorite like KJ Sawka dominate the Ultra lineup, but also to see what he can do with that insane drum setup teased at on Facebook. The festival kicks on March 18, and will be streaming live online, so buckle up: Pendulum is back.


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Written By

Pop culture junkie, dinosaur enthusiast, and proud Managing Editor. While an avowed basshead, has been known to be ever-so-slightly trance-curious under the right circumstances.

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!