Destructo on the success of HolyShip! and his ongoing Ship2Ship tour [Interview]
There’s no question that Gary Richards is one of the hardest working individuals in the music industry. On the one hand, he plays the role of zealous entrepreneur and mega-party promoter as the CEO/founder of HARD Events. On the other hand, he plays the role of eclectic DJ and g-house extraordinaire as Destructo. Balancing one of these careers would likely prove more than enough to hold most of us over, but Richards accomplishes both duties (seemingly) with ease: “They really complement each other and make me better at the other job,” he says. “It really keeps my head in the game on both ends.”
Destructo’s new single, “4 Real,” features Ty Dolla $ign & iLoveMakonnen.
Richards is fresh off the January sailing of Holy Ship!, HARD’s four-day boat party that consistently sells out nearly a year in advance. There’s no real secret to the resounding success of each voyage. At the end of the day, it comes down to Richard’s keen sense for artist booking: “I really try my hardest to always book the right artists that all get along together and vibe so well.”
It’s a formula that’s resulted in one of the most closely knit communities in the dance music space. The Shipfam, as the floating festival’s fanbase is collectively known, has come to embody the ethos of the entire brand. Nowhere is this more evident than Richards’ sunrise sermon set — a staple of the Holy Ship! experience. The annual affair, which occurs from 5-8am, never fails to elicit a huge turnout. “The sunrise sermon was crazy,” Richards says, in regards to his early performance aboard the January sailing. “I think the whole boat was up there but when it was over, I decided to hit deck #5 and say hello to the shippers down there. They were very surprised to see me at their door at 8am.”
In between the January and February voyages, Destructo and crew are just as active. Last year, HARD inaugurated the Ship2Ship tour to keep the momentum between sailings alive, and this year, the tour has returned in even higher demand. “All the shows have sold out,” Richards says. “People are super excited to get together again and relive the magic.”
This time around, Destructo has enlisted Dirtybird star Justin Martin as his Ship2Ship compatriot. “Justin is the best to just hang with he always has a smile on his face and is so positive,” Richards says. “I have been wanting to do this tour with Justin every time but he needs to finish his damn record which still is not complete. What I have heard so far it will be well worth the wait.”
Mau5trap and NEST favorite REZZ has also been along for the ride, showcasing her dark brand of techno and midtempo. “REZZ is super cool and a great addition with a different sound,” Richard says. “We are showing her the ropes of touring.”
On Saturday, January 23, the crew hits Avalon Hollywood for one of the biggest stops on the tour. As an LA resident, the show is something of a homecoming for Destructo. “I love the Avalon,” he says. “My prom after party was there in high school. It’s always fun to hang with the old school LA homies that come out to rep for me.”
Over the next two weeks, the Ship2Ship tour will hit San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Washington, Brooklyn and Toronto. Tickets are available here.