Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]

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Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]6E258AEB46AA40EFB93BCEB4B99FD32E

Electronic music consumers over the last two decades would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an individual who’s impacted the dance music event space harder than Gary Richards. Since the 1990s, Richards (also known musically as Destructo) has taken his talents miles above their subterranean roots, largely helping shape the Southern Californian rave scene, relentlessly seeking new ways to secure dance music a more tangible, industry-wide foothold. From championing a quaint little get together, now known as Electric Daisy Carnival (incepted under the ‘Magical Mickey’ masthead, from when the event series bore Richards’ earmark in the ’90s), to hatching the now-legendary HARD Events, which bred the still fervently attended Holy Ship! and HARD Summer, he’s exuded a visionary’s proclivity for predicting (and propelling) the next electronic it thing oozing the je ne sais quoi that really makes an event stand above the rest.

Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]Destructo3

Richards not only has a promoter’s penchant for garnering the excitement needed to get ideas off the ground, but a masterful musician’s tact to make them stick. A desire to liven up a scene subject to cyclical staleness served as the impetus for Richards’ most recent brainchild, branded AMFAMFAMF (All My Friends).

“The landscape is very competitive,” Richards said of picking up shop in 2017 after a decade at HARD to breathe life into yet another new endeavor. “There’s a lot at stake now and business people don’t want to see new things pop up. But dance music’s all about new and fresh and that really can’t be stopped.”

Though, despite the daunting nature of starting over in one of the most volatile industries in existence, the All My Friends event train gained almost instantaneous headwind, perhaps due to Richards’ own reputation preceding him. The first edition of the company’s cornerstone party, FriendShip Cruise, amassed thousands for its four-night maiden voyage aboard the Celebrity Equinox to the Caribbean. With it, came a colorful stream of genre-traversing acts, from Boys Noize to Busy P, RÜFÜS DU SOL to Rico Nasty. Richards’ seemingly curious curation must have struck a resounding chord, as the 2020 cruise is already 70 percent sold out.

Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]Destructo1

In addition to a stint captaining Def American’s A&R sector under the emphatically accomplished eye of pioneer producer, Rick Rubin, driving innovation in the music industry is in Richards’ DNA. His father, Barry Richards, a concert promoter and prominent radio personality of the late ’60s and early ’70s, made sure his son’s sonic sonar was firing on all cylinders before he hit puberty, ensuring his kids got to catch everyone from Rick James to Black Sabbath. Barry himself is known for helping to introduce progressive rock to East Coast radio stations in his time. Quite ironically and somewhat timelessly, Barry certainly imparted his intuition and curative periphery to his son, as they stood on the precipice of a consequential musical uprising Barry never saw coming. Barry, it seems, believed Eminem when he quite comically announced “Nobody listens to techno,” on 2002’s unforgettable “Without Me.” Little could Barry have known at the time that Gary would famously sample the line years later for for his 2015 club sensation, “Techno.”

“My dad was always like ‘Don’t mess with that [electronic] music cause no one likes it,’” Richards said. “20 years later, he called me up and was like ‘Hey, what’s a Major Lazer?’”

Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]Destructo2

With this perpetual irreverence for convention as a promoter/organizer, so comes Richards’ success as DJ-producer, Destructo; a success which can be characterized as a career-long dedication to discovering strange new ways to merge the house and hip-hop domains, which historically has been tough to do properly, even despite the two genres’ inextricably shared origins. Richards maintains his success as a musician is innately linked to his success on the business side of the coin.

“I think when you’re just a concert promoter you’ve never really been in the artists’ shoes, so you don’t really understand the nuances—especially DJing electronic music,” Richards said of his entrepreneurial edge amidst a capitalism-catalyzed sea of eager competitors.

Gary Richards on where he’s been, what he’s learned, and starting over, premieres ‘No Retreat’ with Loge21 [Interview]Destructo Busta Rhymes Fkin Sht Up

Securing collaborations with rap icons like Ty Dolla $ign, YG, Yo Gotti, and Busta Rhymes, Destructo’s music soon became something of a G-house archetype: flippantly feel-good tracks for a night out up to no good. However, his latest record, a Dancing Astronaut exclusive, strides outside the hip-hop-predicated mold of his most notable works, for what Destructo himself dubs his “hardest-hitting track yet.”

“No Surrender” is a bass-driven battle cry primed for the perennially raucous festival frontlines. Bolstered by Parisian bass house duo, Loge21, the track employs Richards’ own thunderous, Sparta-inspired vocal cut. Destructo isn’t asking this time; he’s just cutting to the chase and coaxing listeners directly to dance floors.

AMFAMFAMF recently announced dates for both its Seattle and LA dates— Seattle will see a July 4 affair with Chris Lake and Justin Martin in tow, while LA’s October 19 – 20 event roster still remains a mystery. Though, as Richards’ newest festival property continues to build brand equity within a heavily diluted electronic events circuit, Richards’ is already sure of All My Friends’ longevity, noting it is one of his most important entrepreneurial accomplishments so far. “With that it’s the same Gary, just a different name,” says Richards. And if the last 20 years of dance music events are any indication—if it bears Gary Richards’ name, it’s going to be a hit.

Learn more about AMFAMFAMF’s Seattle and LA dates here.

Audien walks us through his favorite jams ahead of Holy Ship! [Exclusive]

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Audien walks us through his favorite jams ahead of Holy Ship! [Exclusive]Audien Press Shot

A new year is approaching, and with it comes the 12th Holy Ship! edition. Setting sail on January 5, guests will be treated to an array of top tier talent from all over the dance music spectrum; from low-end madness offered up by 4B, JAUZ, and QUIX, to slices of techno by Nicole Moudaber and beyond. The sold-out voyage is primed to be another jewel in shipfam’s history.

Anjuna wunderkind-turned-legend Audien will be gracing the Holy Ship! decks as well come 12.0, injecting euphoria into the the dancefloor via melodic, big room progressive cuts and other multiflavored cuts. Digging deeper, we asked the rising star to tell us about what’s inspiring him these days through music. The following ten tracks, he states, are “a collection of songs I’m thinking about recently, whether that’s in my car, or on a flight, these are guiding me through life.”

1. Audien ft. Liam O’Donnell – Rollercoaster

“This is my brand new song, and let me tell you, it went through so many different versions. It was truly a test, but I’m so happy with the results and I needed you guys to hear this. It’s just another piece to the puzzle.”

2. Sub Focus & Dimension – Desire

“This is probably one of my favorite songs ever. Seriously, guys, listen to this. It’s amazing. I honestly wish I made it.”

3. Louis The Child – Better Not

“This song is so stuck in my head lately. I personally think it’s the biggest song of 2018. Really happy for them because they are truly talented kids through and through — no gimmicks, just good music and good vibes.”

4. Audien & Arty – Never Letting Go

“Arty and I were actual brothers in another life; I believe that. We’re really similar, and I love his work still after 7 years of following him. So glad we could do this together and I have a feeling it’s not the last song we do together.”

5. 3LAU ft. Ninja – Game Time

“Justin killed this song. Honestly it’s one of my favorite things he’s done. Shit bangs for real. Put it on in the car. Justin always showed me his new music in his car on a drive in Vegas, he would always jack the volume up and my mind just melts. Sadly I didn’t get the car test with this one, but in my own car it hits good.”

6. SAINt JHN – God Bless The Internet

“This is a relatively new artist that I think deserves tons of recognition. His music is not only super hard, but I’ve been relating to it lately in my own life. He’s got skills.”

7. Silk City ft. Dua Lipa – Electricity (Alex Metric Remix)

“This is just a vibe, nothing more to say here. You’ll see.”

8. Axwell – Nobody Else

“I love that Axwell went back to the basics with this. It’s clearly him throwing it back to 2010, 2009 era of house and dance music. It’s totally awesome and it sounds sick live.”

9. Hybrid Minds – Lost (Pola & Bryson Remix)

“Pola and Bryson are SO GOOD. GUYS. THE BEST. Listen to all of their music. If you dig liquid Drum & Bass, you will literally adore these guys. Just listen to the drop in this song it’s bananas.”

10. Pola & Bryson – Unsaid

“This is the first P&B song I heard, and I knew immediately that they were making special music. This one is incredible. Play it in the car not on laptop speakers.”

11. Craving – First Feeling

“This is a really weird throwback, 2010-ish. This song used to mean a lot to me. I was in college for that one year I went, and I used to listen to this on repeat. It definitely inspired me back in those days.”

12. Kylie Minogue – Get Outta My Way (Kris Menace Remix)

“This is actually where I got the idea for Leaving You, people know me for those 1/8th note piano melodies, as I’ve done it a few times in songs. Just wanted to point out my inspiration! This remix is old and timeless.”

13. Audien ft. Michael S. – Leaving You

“I was reminiscing recently about my career, and this came up as a bold highlight. It really was the one that got away. I’m still so proud of this song and it still bangs. I’m probably not supposed to say that about my own music but whatever, I’m doing it!”

14. Dominic Fike – She Wants My Money

“Dom is going to be huge in 2019. His first offering was a few months ago and he made a big boom. Also, his music is really really simple and good.”

15. Twenty One Pilots – Chlorine

“Favorite song on their new album. I’ll always dig them. They were different in a time when everything sounded the same, so I’ll always perceive them as unique.”


Find last-minute tickets to Holy Ship! 13.0 here

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Exclusive: Noizu sails through sultry seas with Holy Ship! mix

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Exclusive: Noizu sails through sultry seas with Holy Ship! mixNoizu 2400 P

The New Year is around the corner, which means it’s time for those embarking on editions 12 & 13 of HARD’s Holy Ship! to start preparing for the water-based shenanigans that await. Joined by an army of talent which includes the likes of Green Velvet, SAYMYNAME, Rusko, Barclay Crenshaw, and more, guests are primed to earn their sea legs in the most joyful of ways  — by dancing to some of the best music the dance world has to offer across multiple decks of madness.

House extraordinaire Noizu will be helping uphold 13.0’s weekend festivities, and given his record of releases through OWSLA, Confession, and beyond, he’s set to stir up quite the craze on the dancefloor. The exclusive mix he’s provided Dancing Astronaut certainly does this, charting a whirlwind, hour-long journey through jacking beats and grooving basslines that features his own works in addition to those of his colleagues. Use it as a pre-game weapon, or to cause FOMO in friend’s who’ve opted not to take part on the expedition this coming year.


Get last-minute Holy Ship! tickets here

HARD Day of the Dead delivers impeccable comeback lineup topped by Justice, Die Antwoord, and Knife Party

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HARD Day of the Dead delivers impeccable comeback lineup topped by Justice, Die Antwoord, and Knife PartyJustice Julian Bajsel Coachella C014875

HARD‘s once defunct Day of the Dead property is officially back, slated for November 3 at the event’s original home at LA Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles. While rumors have been circulating since the event’s announcement earlier this summer, and a too-good-to-be-true lineup surfacing shortly thereafter, the southern California events giant has now followed up with their official roster for 2018’s event, and its damn near just as good. Headlining DOTD’s comeback edition is Justice, breaking out their live stage rig for one final outing, exactly six years to the day after the Parisian legends headlined the inaugural Day of the Dead. South African rave-rap pioneers Die Antwoord and Knife Party also top this year’s lineup, along with a stacked cast of supporting acts.

House heroes Thee Mike B, J. Phlip, Jack Beats, and Shiba San also make their way onto this year’s billing, along with Lee Foss, Cashmere Cat, and DNMO among others. Tickets for HARD Day of the Dead on sale September 27 at 12:00pm PST.

HARD Day of the Dead delivers impeccable comeback lineup topped by Justice, Die Antwoord, and Knife PartyDay Of The Dead 2018

A HARD Day of the Dead poster has surfaced… but it may be too good to be true

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A HARD Day of the Dead poster has surfaced… but it may be too good to be truePrydz Mau5 Hard Dotd

UPDATE: HARD has confirmed this lineup is not the official lineup


Los Angeles electronic events giant HARD recently made headlines with the return of their once defunct Day of the Dead property, bringing the festival back to its original home at LA Historic Park this November. The news set the rumor mill ablaze, speculating which HARD alumni might make their return for the festival’s re-inauguration, and now a lineup poster has surfaced. At first glance, it looks like one of the most stacked dance billings of the year, though upon closer examination, some minor fractures in the unconfirmed lineup may reveal this one is too good to be true. No harm in putting our eggs in this basket for the time being and hoping it actually materializes though.

The rumored lineup features a rare 2018 performance from Skrillex — fans might remember the last time Sonny Moore rested the Skrillex project to link up with Boys Noize for Dog Blood in 2013, Moore’s comeback performance was at none other than Day of the Dead. Boys Noize is featured on the lineup as well, and anytime Skrillex and Boys Noize are in the same hemisphere, there arises a glimmer of hope for Dog Blood fans. Gesaffelstein is tapped as a DJ headliner and a Bixel Boys reunion in the undercard are some red flags. Again, this could either be the greatest lineup of the season or a certified fake. Deadmau5, Kaytranada, Bloody Beetroots live, and Baauer all make appearances on the rumored roster as well, with a grip of additional dance music power players. For Day of the Dead’s highly anticipated return to LA, we’re betting HARD pulled out all the stops — fingers crossed this one is confirmed official.

A HARD Day of the Dead poster has surfaced… but it may be too good to be trueHard DOTD Runored Lineup Dancing Astro

Featured Image: HARD Events

Good Morning Mix: Relive Valentino Khan’s set from HARD Summer 2018

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Good Morning Mix: Relive Valentino Khan’s set from HARD Summer 2018Valentino Khan 3 White Rabbit

Summer and festival season might be approaching their close, but aren’t going down to easily. Artists across the dance music board are operating at full throttle, maintaining extensive tour schedules until the final moments and keeping the heat alive musically with an array of fresh singles and numerous gig recordings. Valentino Khan is one of those juggernauts keeping energy levels up, and he’s just granted fans with an expeditious release of his HARD Summer set.

Though the festival itself passed by not too long before Khan shared his hour of throbbing, house-based beats, it easily stands as a highlight of the season for the performer. The producer puts himself and his tastes on full display, whipping his young audience into a frenzy with his raucous brand of electronic. He also threw in a few choice originals from the season, including “Deep Down Low.” Originally broadcasted live on Insomniac Radio, his time behind the Green decks is officially immortalized for all to enjoy.


Photo credit: White Rabbit

Stream HARD Summer 2018 sets from Diplo & Dillon Francis, Marshmello, Mija, and more

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Stream HARD Summer 2018 sets from Diplo & Dillon Francis, Marshmello, Mija, and moreHard Summer

HARD Summer 2018 has come and gone — the festival’s first year without founder of the HARD brand Gary Richards (a.k.a. Destructo) at the helm — and all seemed to go as planned. Recruiting some of today’s top talent in house, future bass, dubstep, and hip-hop, the weekend featured some powerhouse back-to-back sets from Dillon Francis & Diplo, Zeds Dead & Jauz, and A-Trak & Baauer. Travis Scott celebrated the release of his new album, Astroworld, and Mija dropped another set that completely embodies her “Fk A Genre” mantra.

With more sets from Marshmello, Ghastly, Louis the Child, and others, this weekend marked the beginning of a new chapter for the HARD organization. Check out some of the top sets of the weekend below.

Diplo b2b Dillon Francis:

Travis Scott:

Zeds Dead b2b Jauz:

A-Trak b2b Baauer:



Louis The Child:


Big Wild:



HARD announces annual Red Rocks takeover with DJ Snake, Virtual Self, and more

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As the festival circuit and the weather start to warm up, west coast festival goers know it’s getting close to HARD season. The LA-based electronic events giant has announced the official lineup for their sixth annual Red Rocks event slated this year for August 2 featuring a headlining performances by DJ Snake, Virtual Self, Mija, GG Magree, and Hekler. HARD generally offers their Red Rocks lineup as a primer ahead of their flagship summer event billing, usually around the time of Coachella. If this year’s Red Rocks talent roster is any indication, expect HARD to deliver another top-notch lineup later this month.

Roping together a well-rounded bill of exciting electronic talents, HARD comes through with a characteristically bold lineup ahead of their return to Morrison, Colorado. With Porter Robinson returning to HARD Red Rocks and longtime friends of the brand in DJ Snake and Mija topping the bill, expect this year’s event to exceed the hype.

Ticket and event information for HARD Red Rocks 2018 on August can be found here


Gary Richards’ FRIENDSHIP cruise is already sold out, because of course

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Destructo Press

When electronic music maven Gary Richards announced his newest event, FRIENDSHIP, would be setting sail from Miami all the way to Coco Bay in the Bahamas, the wave of excitement in the dance community was high. As Dancing Astronaut first reported, the man also-known-as Destructo’s new venture would be backed by his own, and newly minted, AMFAMFAMF banner aboard the Celebrity Equinox December 11–15.

Now, AMFAMFAMF announced that cabins are no longer available for its inaugural sailing. Despite no lineup yet unveiled, 3,000 FriendShippers placed their trust in Richards’ ability to man the FRIENDSHIP’s maiden voyage and make it one to remember. FRIENDSHIP sold-out within less than 48 hours — because of course.

Richards has undoubtedly built an irrefutable reputation in the industry over the years as the founder of HARD Events and the current president of LiveStyle. As such, FriendShippers can expect some of the best international music acts aboard the ship, and though the lineup will surely prove to be an impressive feat, the four-night venture promises immeasurable beauty in itself.


Holy Ship! releases 2018 recap video

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Holy Ship 2018-20