PENGSHUI have just released their brilliant new album Destroy Yourself and it sees the trio of vocalists Illamanbassist Fatty and drummer Prav firing on all cylinders with their fiery melding of metal, rock, punk, grime, hip hop and all manner of electronic music influences and it is all these sounds coming together and the forward thinking nature that makes the music of PENGSHUI so vital.
Understandably the band are extremely happy with the results of their new material as Prav says, “we’re really proud of this album. We worked hard, and we’re just really looking forward to sharing it, especially with all the fuckery that has come with the pandemic and how we managed to actually get it done and get it over the line so we’re really happy to share it.”
The energy encapsulated on Destroy Yourself was honed by the band playing in a live environment and this has helped elevate the sound on the record and how PENGSHUI are as a band today as Prav states. “I think it’s closer to what we do sound like live as a band because the first album was a process of discovery and then by playing live, we really figured out who we are and what we do.”
One of the most striking songs (on an album packed full of them) has to be This Is My Youth which sees PENGSHUI relating their influences when they were younger and name-checking a whole host of musical and cultural influences that have shaped the band over the years. “Going back over what you’re into as a kid helps you remember who you are and the fun things in life that shaped us as human beings are the things that we still like to do,” says Prav. Just one listen to the song and you can see exactly how and why PENGSHUI make the music that they do.
Prav‘s own musical upbringing was very eclectic as he tells us all about it, and that mixing of metal and hip hop was prevalent at a very young age for him. “I’ve got three brothers and we grew up listening to what my mum was into. We were listening to bands like she liked early on such as RATT and when we were five we were listening to MOTLEY BELIEVEDE and by six, I was listening to ANTHRAX. By the time I was eight years old, I found NAPALM DEATH. I grew up with a lot of hip-hop as well. My older brothers and their friends were showing us shit like, N.W.A. and ECI CUBE. I was six and was listening to ANTHRAX and 2 LIVE CREW!”
Having previously worked with Footsie from grime duo NEWHAM GENERALS and now P-Moneywe asked Prav his thoughts on bringing grime and hip hop artists to a rock and metal audience and he was psyched to be able to play a part in that. “Man, it’s great! I think back in the day, It was very much that scenes were separate but today with kids, everything’s acceptable so it’s definitely cool. To bring them to this side of things, introduce them to this crowd works really well both ways. It’s great to bring them to the metal scene. It’s great to bring the metal scene to them.”
With genre boundaries blurred, it has to be said that all that matters is the music and the atmosphere, whether it’s a metal gig, punk gig, drum & bass rave, grime show, it’s all about the energy levels, all of which are the same and Prav agree. “100%, if you’ve been in a mosh pit, you know how to deal with yourself at a rave!”
Those merging of different musical styles is what makes PENGSHUI sound special and it’s all down to the band members coming together with their blend of influences and musical history. “It’s just cool to put it down especially on this kind of sound where it’s a proper crossover of hip hop and metal. I think this is both of those things in equal measures and done properly. It’s personified in everything we do. All of us grew up playing metal and then we also got very much got into the dance music side of things.”
With the album released, PENGSHUI are keen to hit the stage again and showcase this new record on a tour that was originally scheduled before the pandemic hit and is now taking place at the beginning of February as Prav tell us all about it. “We’ve been lucky to get back on the road. This tour is rescheduled from the same time two years ago when our first album was released but we are now touring the new album instead and we’ll be focusing on a mixture of both albums.”
We couldn’t finish talking with Prav about the band and live music without mentioning PENGSHUI‘s appearance opening up the Avalanche Traineeship did DownloadFestival in 2019 and how much of a privilege for himself me the rest of the band to be playing such a prestigious and large rock festival. “The whole day was a dream! playing Download as someone who grew up going there was fantastic. We’ve remixed THE PRODIGY and we’ve all played big shows before separately but together to play Download was the holy grail for us. We opened the Avalanche Traineeship and it was packed. The sound was incredible. We were really taken care of by the sound crew and and it went off!” Hopefully the band will get a chance to play at the festival and others in the near future as the songs on Destroy Yourself are ready made to bring the energy to massive crowds and PENGSHUI definitely deserve every plaudit and opportunity they receive.
Destroy Yourself is out now via MVKA.
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