Gary Richards (music executive)

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Gary Richards
Destructo at HARD Summer 2013 in Los Angeles, CA
Background information
Also known as DESTRUCTO
Born (1970-12-31) December 31, 1970 (age 44)
Washington, D.C., United States
Genres Electronic
Occupation(s) Music executive, DJ
Years active 1991–present
Labels Interscope Records, Boysnoize Records, OWSLA

Gary Richards (born December 31, 1970), known by his stage name Destructo, is an American music executive, concert promoter, and DJ. He is the founder and CEO of HARD Events,[1] a concert brand that has put on popular music festivals since 2007, and which was acquired in 2012 by Live Nation Entertainment.[2] He has performed professionally as a DJ under the name DESTRUCTO [3] for more than 20 years, having toured around the world. He is credited with being a leader in the Electronic music business in North America, and through his events, has helped bring artists like Deadmau5, God Lives Underwater, Basement Jaxx, and Justice into the spotlight.[4][not in citation given][5][not in citation given] Richards was included on both Rolling Stone's "50 Most Important People in EDM"[6] list and inthemix's list of the "50 Most Powerful People in EDM,".[7] In 2013, he released his second EP as DESTRUCTO titled Higher [8]

Early life[edit]

Richards was born in Washington, D.C., growing up in the music industry with a father who worked in radio and concert promotion.[9] By age 10, he was already attending concerts by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper. His family moved to New Orleans, LA, and then to Myrtle Beach, SC, where he worked as an on-air Radio Personality. The family then moved to Los Angeles, CA, where by age 18 he was booking his first shows and performing as a DJ.


Concert promotion and A&R[edit]

Entranced by the early 1990s warehouse scene, Richards organized his first major music event titled "Magical Mickey's Holy Water Adventure" at Wild Rivers (water park) in Irvine, CA in 1991.[10] He followed that by presenting "RaveAmerica" at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA on New Year's Eve, 1993.[11] For the next two years, Richards produced monthly events including what would become the first two "Electric Daisy Carnivals."[12] After promoter Pasquale Rotella to used the name "Electric Daisy Carnival The Electric Daisy Carnival or "EDC" is now the largest North American electronic music festival and dance music event. Richards soon began hosting a weekly event of his own called "The Sermon"[13] and helped bring attention to many L.A. nightlife hotspots including The Standard Hotel - Downtown. Developing a reputation in the music industry as having a good ear for music and launching new artists with his events, Gary Richards was handpicked by Rick Rubin to handle A&R duties for the Electronic music division at Def American Recordings,[14] where signed and developed Lords of Acid, XL Recordings, Messiah, Digital Orgasm, Harthouse Records and God Lives Underwater.[15] He went on to establish his own record labels Nitrus Records and 1500 Records[16] which released music from Kill The Noise, Whitey, David Holmes, Uberzone, Dub Pistols, Ugly Duckling, and the critically acclaimed Depeche Mode tribute album For the Masses.


In the mid 1990s, Gary Richards began performing as a DJ under the name DESTRUCTO.[17] He is quoted as saying that the DESTRUCTO name derives from "My goal to play the hardest and most gnarly techno out there. I'd blow up the sound system and the mixer at clubs if I could. I wasn't only into Kraftwerk and Daft Punk; I loved Metallica and Black Sabbath as well. So when I performed, it was aggressive and had to be banging." He has released remixes for Depeche Mode, Major Lazer, YG, White Zombie, Digitalism, and others. In 2012 he released his debut EP titled Technology.[18] He has performed around the world for more than a decade, sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in Electronic music. Destructo's second EP titled Higher was released on June 10, 2013 via OWSLA/Boysnoize Records and features remixes by Tommy Trash and Brodinski.

HARD Events[edit]

As the music industry continued to change at the turn of the century, Richards returned to his roots as a concert promoter, launching the very first HARD Events festival in 2007.[19] The festival's success soon lead Gary Richards and HARD Events to become a major player in EDM concert promotion,[20] and by 2010, the company was hosting 3 major music festivals, as well as numerous club and theater shows across the United States.[21][22] It is estimated that HARD Events draw a cumulative audience of more than 100,000 people per year to its events.[23] Past performers at HARD Events festivals include Deadmau5, Skrillex, Underworld, Diplo, M.I.A., Justice, A-Trak, Steve Aoki, Busy P, Boys Noize, N.E.R.D., Crystal Castles, Digitalism, and many more.[24] In 2012, HARD Events was acquired by Live Nation Entertainment with the intent of expanding its music events into new international markets.


Title Album details
West Coast EP

Select remixes[edit]

Year Artist Album Details
2015 Warren G feat. Nate Dogg Regulate (DESTRUCTO & Wax Motif remix) Producer, Remixer
2014 YG "My N***A" (DESTRUCTO & Wax Motif remix) Producer, Remixer
Henry Fong "Stand Up" (DESTRUCTO remix) Producer, Remixer
2013 Giorgio Moroder "Chase" (DESTRUCTO re-edit) Producer, Remixer
Depeche Mode Soothe My Soul (DESTRUCTO remix) Producer, Remixer
2012 Rob Zombie Thunder Kiss '65 (DESTRUCTO remix) Producer, Remixer
Strip Steve Astral (DESTRUCTO remix - Boys Noize edit) Producer, Remixer
2011 Digitalism Reeperbahn (DESTRUCTO remix) Producer, Remixer
2010 Major Lazer Bruk Out (DESTRUCO/Uberzone remix) Producer, Remixer
2009 Rick James Super Freak (DESTRUCTO remix) Producer, Remixer


  1. ^ Roberts, Randall (2012-06-27). "Live Nation adds Los Angeles' Hard Events to its playlist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  2. ^ Rys, Dan (2012-06-27). "Live Nation Purchases Gary Richards'HARD Events". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  3. ^ Salamat, Neda (2011-10-24). "Destructo aka Gary Richards: 'Steve Aoki Was Like, Why Don't You Call it Hard On? Like, I Got a Hard On for LA'". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  4. ^ Sherburne, Philip (2012-06-27). "Live Nation Acquires L.A. EDM Promoter HARD: Will the Mainstream Get More Ravey?". Buzzmedia. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Gary Richards, Power Player". 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  6. ^ Castillo, Arielle (2014-03-17). "50 Most Important People in EDM". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  7. ^ ITM HQ (2013-03-25). "The 50 Most Powerful People In EDM 2013". Sound Alliance. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  8. ^ Music News Desk (2013-04-30). "Destructo to Release New EP this June". Broadway World. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Gary Richards, on his not-so-‘Hard’ luck, ignoring his dad’s advice about techno music and whom he wants a photo with at Hard Summer". 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2013-02-15.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  10. ^ "DJ Destructo Archives". 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  11. ^ Ching, Albert (2009-07-15). "Orange County Rave Scene History Lesson". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  12. ^ Joseph (2013-08-02). "Gary Richards and the History of HARD". Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  13. ^ "Artist Interview: Destructo". 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2013-02-15.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  14. ^ Hochman, Steve (1997-08-16). "They're Ready and Raving to Put Techno Label on the Map". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  15. ^ Pratt, Mark (2012-01-05). "Hard's Gary Richards on Holy Ship! Electronic Music Cruise January 6 to 9". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  16. ^ Romero, Dennis (2009-10-09). "Interview: Promoter Gary Richards, Organizer of This Weekend's Hard Party at Terminal 5". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  17. ^ Polonsky, Sarah (2012-09-12). "Gary Richards (DJ DESTRUCTO) Joins VIBE Social Media Week LA!". Vibe (magazine). Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  18. ^ Switlicki, Lukas (2012-05-08). "Destructo HARD Fest founder talks Business and Technology". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  19. ^ "HARD SUMMER Music Festival 2012". 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  20. ^ Mason, Kerri (2012-02-03). "Dance Music's Most Influential Executives". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  21. ^ Buerger, Megan (2012-11-02). "Gary Richards of HARD Events on the Future of EDM and Coachella's copycat cruise". Paper (magazine). Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  22. ^ Baltin, Steve (2011-12-14). "Trent Reznor Taps HARD Promoter For 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Events". Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  23. ^ Romero, Dennis (2009-11-02). "Gatecrashers Hit Halloween Dance Parties: Nearly 100,000 Attend, About 50 Arrests Made". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  24. ^ Baron, Zach (2010-09-13). "HARD Fest on M.I.A.'s Free New York Show: "We Don't Really Want to Be Involved"". Voice Media Group. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 

External links[edit]