I think I’ve tossed out the phrase “show of the year” a few times already this year. However, that was before I knew about “The Bang! with Skrillex, Boys Noize and more” at the Auburn Hills Palace on New Year’s Eve. This show promises to be an all out party-fest from 6:30pm to well past Midnight. If your ears have survived that and you’re looking for more, HARD is hosting an after party at 2am at the Pistons VIP Club. Gary Richards, known as Destructo for DJing, is the man behind HARD and also one of the DJs playing at the Skrillex show.
I talked with Destructo on the phone last week as he was on the way to his car after a business meeting:
MCB: When did you first get contacted for this show?
Destructo: I don’t even remember! Skrillex and Boys Noize are two of my closest allies that I work with and they are pulling it together. They hit me up and and said “hey, do you want to play” and I told them it was my 5 Year Anniversary for HARD so we should do something special. It all came together after that.
MCB: What time are you going on?
Destructo: I’m trying to figure that out. I’m flying in from Vegas and I know the venue says it opens at 6pm and I land at 4pm. I’ll be early in the night.
MCB: This is a major show for our area to get on New Year’s Eve. Why did Skrillex pick the Palace?
Destructo: I don’t know why, but I can only imagine that it (Detroit) is first place for techno. It seems like a good giveback. I’ve heard people in LA are upset we’re not doing it there. But we have to mix it up and see what you guys have to offer.
(Destructo is driving out of parking lot trying to pay – discussion on taking credit cards and offering the parking attendant Mexican currency. Can you believe $25 for parking in LA for 2 hours!)
MCB: Let’s talk about your career in electronic music, you started with the scene about 20 years ago?
Destructo: Yes, I started in 1989-1990, going to shows in downtown LA and then producing my own festival in 1991. In 1991-1992 we did the original Electric Daisy Carnival.
MCB: You’ve seen all these genres of electronic music coming and going, what do you think about the current scene herein the US?
Destructo: It’s definitely bigger and the music keeps getting better. Whatever genre it is, it boils down to in 2012 if you want to be an artist in music chances are you’re doing it from your computer. You’re also getting a wider pool of people doing it now. In ’91 there was a select few that were into it and you were getting cool shit but only from a few. Now you’re getting music from everybody. With that you get some crap but there is way more people to get it from.
MCB: What’s interesting is how you make money now compared to back then…
Destructo: I was always in the recorded music side early in my career and in 2005-2006 I just realized nobody buys CDs. It’s like trying to sell oxygen to people. I think today it’s more about getting people to come to a concert and the music is more like a marketing tool. There’s still popular people making money off a recording but the big thing is the show
MCB: Your HARD Party this year starts at 2am…
Destructo: Yeah, I’m not sure when it ends! It’s in the Piston’s VIP Club. What’s going to be really cool is Dogblood which is Skrillex and Boys Noize. This is the first time they are playing together. After that I fly back to LA then I go to Florida for Holy Ship!!
MCB: How is the scene here in the US different than other countries?
Destructo: Well, it’s a much younger scene. I think the kids in high school and college just discovered this music and it’s like a whole new thing for them to follow DJs and the scene. For other countries it’s not so new, so it’s not as fresh and exciting. To kids in America, you live in a place like Madison Wisconsin this is like the new hot shit you just found out about. It would be like if you found out peanut butter and jelly goes together just today (laughs). But most people have known about that their whole life. I’ve liked electronic music in America for 20 years, but today’s kid is just finding out about it and that actually makes it more exciting.
MCB: What are your DJ sets like?
Destructo: It depends on what event I’m booked for and when I’m playing. I try to create a vibe that takes the audience on a ride. A lot of DJs today just come on and play the bangers. I always try to play stuff they haven’t heard and get them going crazy.
MCB: When you travel and play shows like this what equipment do you bring?
Destructo: I’ve narrowed it down to headphones and a USB stick!
MCB: It’s crazy that’s all you need.
Destructo: I bring my laptop so I can change my set around, but with a 16gig USB stick I can have pretty much my entire collection. I use to lug around these crates of vinyl, then I switched to CDJ’s and with your USB you’re good to go.
MCB: When was the last time you played Detroit?
Destructo: You know, I don’t think I’ve ever played Detroit. I was there once with my brother that played in metal bands.
MCB: The crowds for electronic music are very different these days with the types of people that go…
Destructo: For me, my preferred crowd is house and techno. I like the old school, groovy smooth stuff. I used to like they heavy stuff. But, I like to DJ for the ladies and make the girls dance. I don’t like to see just a bunch of dudes jumping around. To me that’s not what it’s all about. At the end of the day, the DJ thing is like clubbing, going out and partying, it’s usually not that much fun if there's not a bunch of girls around. I’m married, but even so, for the guys to have a good time they want to see a lot of girls.
MCB: I’m going to end the interview with the first question I should have asked you, where did the moniker Detructo come from?
Destructo: Well when I first started I was kind of aggressive with harder stuff and I would break stuff a lot. I’d break a turntable or a mixer and it kind of went with my style. So I was hard at a time when things were smoother. For good or worse I’ve stuck by the name, but I think with that some people may expect something different.
Here’s Destructo’s incredible video for his song “Technology.” If you’re going to the show be sure and get there early for his set and then stay late for the HARD after party.
This Post by Mikel O.D. of