You can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge music by its name. Case in point: Destructo. While Gary Richards may have a name that invokes pounding bass and gnarly riffs, in truth he is anything but that. Richards has been in the music scene for more than twenty years, and naturally, his music has changed over the course of that time. The founder and CEO of HARD Events, he’s the man behind shows like Holy Ship, HARD Summer, and HARD Day of the Dead. Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to talk to Destructo about his new hip-hop/house music album and his current Ship2Ship tour.
Richards was introduced to music at a young age because his father worked in the music industry. Following the popular music trends of his time, he listened to classic and progressive rock, then disco and funk. Eventually, he found hip-hop and electronic sounds like Kraftwerk. He got a pair of turntables and started DJing hip-hop and breakdancing.
That led to me going to warehouse parties in LA and hearing underground house music. When I heard that I just knew that was my thing. And then I just kinda latched on to that and stuck with it ever since.
The name Destructo comes from his early DJing days, when he’d try to mix Metallica into his sets. Now he’s gotten a bit smoother and groovier and you won’t catch him including any Metallica. “I’d rather groove it than bang it out and have people going mental. It’s just not my thing anymore,” he said. But don’t get him wrong. He likes all kinds of music. For example, when in chill mode, you might catch Destructo listening to Massive Attack. Maybe he’s listening to Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin or The Beatles. “There’s always something different for different reasons,” he explained.
I classify music as two things: either it’s good, or it sucks. To me the genre doesn’t really matter. I guess I’m affiliated with electronic, but I like whatever is quality, you know?
BLENDING HIP-HOP AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC
So now, twenty years into his career, he’s come full circle but with a new and modern twist. Destructo’s newest release, West Coast EP, pairs house music and hip-hop together. After hearing a few house tracks with hip-hop vocals, Destructo attempted to play a set where he could blend the two, but realized pretty fast there there wasn’t a ton out there. He produced the song West Coast, which picks up samples from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
After I did that, I kinda realized I should probably just get a real rapper in here instead of trying to sample vocals. I hooked up with Warren G and that led to Ty Dolla Sign and it just kinda spiraled.
Though the EP is still relatively new, the reaction from the his fans and Holy Shippers have been incredible. They shout out song requests from the new album and are very involved in his shows.
Packed between his two Holy Ship! cruises, Destructo is on tour with Anna Lunoe, Motez, and T. Williams. They’ll be at Foundation Nightclub in Seattle this Friday, then play at the Whiskey Bar in Portland on Saturday. What can you expect? Well, his signature fruit icon pineapples, of course. But also quality house music from start to finish. Bring your captain’s hat, your tropical shirt, and get ready to hear some tunes you’ve probably never heard before and will leave you saying “Holy ship, I don’t know what that was, but I loved it.”
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