Not sure how to begin capturing just how amazing of an event HARD Red Rocks truly was, so I guess I will move sequentially through the night because it was all absolutely unreal! As we made our way into the Amphitheatre we were happily greeted by the sounds of the man behind it all, Destructo. Laying down my favorite set of the summer on the rocks yet filled with bass driven house tunes, leaving Red Rocks in awe. After Destructo aka HARD owner Gary Richards, it was time for Flosstradamus to bring the noise. The Hoodie Boys took the stage with fury driving home a storm of bass complimented by some great remixes and samples.
Finally it was time for Disclosure, and just as I had been told, my mind was absolutely blown! Between the use of live elements and amazing production these two gents are clearly a rising force in the industry, be sure to check out their epic set from HARD Summer below. Diplo then took the stage as plurnt as ever with his usual twerk team in tow. Dropping his usual plethora of genres and tunes, Diplo whipped the crowd into absolutely frenzy turning more girls upside down then Red Rocks has ever seen before I imagine. To close out the night Knife Party took the stage and turned it up a notch keeping everyones feet moving right until 2am!
We were lucky enough to sit down for a few minutes after his set with HARD owner, and the nicest guy in the business, Gary Richards. To say the least we couldn’t have been more impressed with what he had to tell us and his thoughts on the industry. Check out the full interview below as well as the photo album from the night, and if you reside in the Denver area you can catch Destructo live at NORAD for the HOME Denver event on September 3rd, all event info can be found here: HOME Denver presents Destructo.
MMIBTY: Welcome to Colorado! That was an amazing set you just played for us, is this your first time playing Red Rocks?
Gary Richards: Thank you, and yes this is my first time playing here. It is just so cool to look up and see all these people up on the rocks just partying and having a great time.
MMIBTY: Well, I know I am not alone when I say Colorado couldn’t be happier then to finally be on the HARD events schedule, how did you end up choosing Red Rocks?
Gary: Well I am partners with Live Nation so essentially the Denver Live Nation crew suggested that we do some kind of event in Colorado. With the knowledge I had gathered as I watched the scene for the past 20 years or so it just seemed like Red Rocks was the obvious venue. Because essentially you have six big cities for electronic music; Miami, Denver, LA, NYC, Seattle, and Toronto and I would like to have as much presence as possible in all those places.
Full interview after the jump!
MMIBTY: I love that you have Denver on the map there!
Gary: Well since I worked in the record industry, promoting and selling albums across the country, I am aware that there is an amazing scene here in Denver. With each market having its own unique vibe or sounds to an extent it seems that the kids in Denver may just be a little more skilled and in-tune with what the fuck is going on. They aren’t really the Guetta or Tiesto fans that span the globe, but often prefer their bass heavy tunes, smoking herbs, and getting their groove on. For me that is perfect, because I can bring some bassy house for my set and then bring Diplo for more bass and of course Flosstradamus as well. Appaerantly it worked because we sold the place out at the last minute, and my business partner always tells me “It doesn’t matter if it is the first show or the last, you can only sell out the rocks once in a lifetime and as long as it happens once your good”.
MMIBTY: So what have you been listening too lately?
Gary: People like Amine Edge really have my attention right now, I have him booked for HARD Day of the Dead and Holy Ship. So I guess I am really getting into the ghetto vibe, I feel that kinda bass driven house can really work well with people that may not enjoy electronic as much as say Hip-hop. For example my wife will listen to Biggie and Dre all the time but when I put on some electronic stuff sometimes its just a bit too much for her. When I play her some of the slower stuff, the more G house type stuff she likes it and can really get into it. Haha I will ask ‘wait you like this?’ and she will respond ‘yeah it’s way better then that other shit you play’!. So for HARD Summer (DL Gary’s live set above) I am playing right before 2 Chainz so I am gonna play a bunch of the ghetto stuff and really work on bringing that vibe out.
MMIBTY: How did you come up with the line-up for the first ever HARD Red Rocks?
Gary: Well with HARD Summer starting tomorrow I basically had 60 artists to choose from and I though out of these sixty people who could I bring to Colorado the night before? And on top of that a lot of them are also playing Lalapalooza next week as well. So Disclosure was definitely someone I knew I wanted to bring, then I knew I needed Diplo because he is always an essential. For me there are really four guys that make up what HARD is in my eyes; Diplo, Boys Noize, Skrillex, and A-trak. Those guys are like the backbone of HARD, and for Colorado I knew it had to be Diplo. Then I grabbed Floss for the Bass and Knife Party to really bring out the more run of the mill EDM types, but they still bring the fucking heat for sure! It’s not that I don’t always want to bring out the awesome new underground Amine Edge type artist, but at the same time I will book Calvin Harris. I even booked Deadmau5 when he first came on the scene. I will still put those names at the top as the headliners and what not, but I always like to think of a good festival like a salad. You have to have a little olive oil, a little garlic, some tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and a certain amount of balsamic and thats a festival! Like no one wants an onion salad, just like no one wants a festival or event lacking in variety.
MMIBTY: As a venue what are your thoughts on Red Rocks?
Gary: Well the challenge here was that their is only one stage. I played a show recently in NYC called Turtle Soup and that was a similar set up with just a singular stage as well, but I started out the night with some really gnarly techno. Then Yelawolf came on and rapped, then Flying Lotus did a set with a live drummer and bassist, then A-trak played hip-hop and finally Tiga played some more techno. Everyone loved it! So I think with HARD Colorado getting people out that are open to all kinds of new shit is the key. For me it is just the idea that if you are gonna do the same shit as everyone else, then why even come out?
MMIBTY: I imagine your music library is pretty diverse, can you point to any specific inspirations?
Gary: I have always loved the classics like Pink Floyd and Zeppelin, this picture of U2 over here is pretty much the main reason I wanted to play Red Rocks for so long honestly. When I was a little kid my brother and I used to listen to the record they recorded here, Under the Blood Red Sky, everyday for years. Unfortunately my brother passed away a while back but if he knew that I was playing here and sold it out he would be amazed. Because he always love more traditional rock and roll, like Springsteen and Floyd, he was always very against electronic music for the most part. So we would always get into it about music and he was always telling me I needed a live drummer or something. But as I said if he could see me playing here today he would have just lost his mind, it was just absolutely amazing for me that Bono played and here and know I have had the chance to as well.
MMIBTY: Thats amazing how so much of your inspiration comes back to that Red Rocks album from U2.
Gary: Yeah, thats why I brought the flag out just like Bono did when he played Sunday Bloody Sunday and he brought the flag out. To let everyone know that this isn’t a rebel song or war music, but that all this is about keeping the peace and the music itself.
MMIBTY: Well it has truly been an honor to sit down with you and thank you so much for your time Gary.
MMIBTY: You got it Captain!