This fierce force is one of the most discussed acts in 2015. They bring brutal hardcore with kicking deep bass. Everybody in the scene seems to love them. This year they did claim the throne and hit the number 1 spot of the hardcore top 100 with their track ‘Sounds Become One’, together with Partyraiser. They are fucking up the mainstream, they are from the United Kingdom, they are Destructive Tendencies! Early this year they did host their own party in club Time Out, Gemert. They did play a 5 hour set! All this greatness made us decide to have a chat with Mick, Daniel and Joseph. At Beat the Bridge Kingsdaynight we did decide to meet them! Let’s have a chat with Destructive Tendencies!
Hey, guys! 2016 is already a great year for you guys, how are you doing after all, this madness?
We are doing really well, we still can’t believe about all the great response we get from the people in The Netherlands. We hope to get this support for the rest of our careers because it’s crazy!
Let’s get back to the start, how did you come in touch with hardcore music?
It’s was 13 or so years ago, we did visit Qlub Tempo in Hemkade, Zaandam, we fell in love straight away. The flames, the show it was amazing. Totally different level then back in the UK. I thought this is what I want to do, when I am here, in Holland.
So you guys were there as a visitor, when did you guys decided to be a DJ/Producer?
I decided to be a DJ in 2004, when I went to Hemkade. I met Mick, we did both love hardcore music, we had a some bookings which we played together under a different alias. We then started producing under this alias as well. In around 2010 we met Joey, he’d been performing and producing under his alias for a number of years like us. He started back when I was at school I think ha-ha (Jokes) – or was it pre school (ha-ha)
In 2010 you guys formed Destructive Tendencies. The formation consists out of three people, Do you all have different roles? Or do you work together all the time?
Yeah we really hit it off in the studio together, all had the same goals – Its pretty rare for us to have a disagreement – even now we can probably count on one hand when we’ve had a disagreement – and we all can’t even think of a time we have actually fell out, as we just don’t. It terms of working “together” Joey lives in south UK, Daniel & Mick close together in north UK. So aside from physically standing next to each other all the time we are all working as DT most times, most days. Its really important to surround yourself with positive people. Get rid of anyone negative in your life – they just drag you down, that’s a secret I think to our success.
Not one part of DT is the most important, especially these days, we have to focus 100% on everything – not just music, but our brand, our fans, our merchandise, our gigs / tours and have to deal with the day to day things you can imagine right down to early morning admin on a Monday straight after a big weekend. This machine doesn’t stop – ask our girlfriends – the phones don’t leave our hands most times we are awake.
But now Joey is more an MC right? Or does he also produce a bit in the studio?
When we started DT we knew not only did our productions have to show the people our take on hardcore, but our performances had to show it as well. 3 of you behind the decks week in week out would of been a bit much – so right from the start we capitalised on the fact Joey had actually started in the music scene by being an MC – way back in the 90s. So he’s the perfect one to front us when we perform. It makes a huge difference in our opinion – really getting the crowd going and hype – even in the depths of an early morning. So that is why we get told after every event people can feel the energy increase when we come on stage. Aside from that, yeah course Joey produces, he also DJ’s as well! Your more likely to catch him DJing at DT if its not all three of us at that booking for whatever reason.
The Hardcore music scene was very underground in the early-years. People seem to understand it now, which is a good thing in our opinion, the scene is growing every day. What is or was the trigger for this movement, in your opinion?
That’s a really good question. People didn’t now how to look at it, especially outsiders. But the people who love hardcore went total nuts, just like we did. Now it’s indeed more ‘acceptable’ we see more events, artists, fans. Some people call it ‘mainstream’ but we think it’s really good for the scene to get to the next level. We receive snapchats everyday from Holland – recently our tracks where blasting out as people were revising for an exam in a school ha-ha! That sort of thing just wouldn’t happen in the UK, its not spread enough.
We see many improvements producing wise, more people listen to hardstyle, rawstyle and hardcore and besides up-tempo hardcore is doing amazing. What are your thoughts about this?
This is a really interesting subject matter. One we debate quite a lot with colleagues / fans / friends. In the digital age more and more people are jumping behind the computer and making tracks – its a fantastic thing to think about all these people learning the trade and hopefully providing the stars of the future. But it has a big downside. People in today’s age want everything now – if that’s fans wanting to know the release date the second you post a preview to new producers sending tracks that just really are not up to standard. Id say from the amount of promos we receive around 10% or less actually, make us get that excited feeling we try and give ourselves when we produce. We need that, its what makes us remember those days on the dance floor – if I track doesn’t make me want to jump out my chair and go nuts in the studio – then I won’t really entertain it.
New producers and labels really need to take a step back and remember why they are making / releasing the tracks. Is it because the sound they produce is the best it can be? Or is it because they want accelerating onto that stage and want to say as fast as possible they been signed / released the latest new artist. Unfortunately I think today a lot is the later, really poor quality stuff being made and released because everyone’s after doing things first and quickly rather than better quality and slower. I dont mean BPM slower, I just mean the time spent on things and more importantly the quality.
New producers seem to be scared to be told “no” or don’t get told “no” when they should and its clear to see from the things we get sent, including signed stuff!
Partyraiser & Destructive Tendencies - Sound Becomes One
Another example about this whole “now now now” attitude, we had one particular new producer, who I would say is at about 4% of the level needed to release something, really early days – just putting basic sounds together. Really good to see them starting, they are only very young. We’ve given them lots of feedback, including things like the track being out of key, how they need to lock themselves in the studio for years to learn how to produce. Two weeks later we are sent their next “Track” which again is out of key etc. We tell them again really politely that this isn’t a quick fix, this is fundamental understandings of music you still haven’t learnt (like being in key etc) and to go lock themselves away for months and months. They sent another track a week later. This isnt us publically try to slate new producers, not at all. But just trying to highlight new producers urgency and desire to get signed and send a track now, now, now, really overshadows quality these days and people are not willing to just “learn”.
We don’t profess to be the best, most certainly not. But we had many knock backs from record labels, including Hardcore Blasters our current label who knocked us back and told us to return when we had tuned our sound. We did that, got a record deal out of it, but it took years – years to perfect it on top of all the years of production we had across us already. We didnt just make a new track and send it two weeks later, we disappeared for nearly a year making the next demo to send them. Best bit is, we’re still learning! You never stop, we’ve enjoyed hours of the stuff Promo has been doing, including the AMAZING video with Catscan on the 909. We are ALWAYS learning. Check them out if you haven’t.
In 2012 you won the ‘This is Hardcore’ contest with the DJ Mad Dog – Agony remix, in 2013 you guys did remix ‘Skull Dominion’ by Rotterdam Terrorcorps. After that the popularity did rise really fast. Looking back on all of this, what was the real game changer for you guys? What did make you guys so popular these days?
It was indeed a few things. Partyraiser playing our track at the mainstage at Dominator in 2012. Indeed the contest that you mentioned. Also Angerfist was posting about our kick on social-media. Kutski had us on BBC radio one (he was the first dj in the world to play one of our tracks). It’s hard to mention one particular things as there were lots. But we always say Partyraiser & Kutski are the first DT supporters!
Talking about producing, did you guys learn to master the programs by yourself? How did you master the studio-software? Were did you start for instance? And who did support you? (which software)
Joey did a course many many years ago at Manchester Midi School and is self taught since then. Mick & Daniel is mainly self taught over the years – alot from Joey as hes got the most experience out of us all when it comes to this. We use Cubase and also Ableton mainly. Just purchased a Mac for the first time so will get stuck into Logic as the clip distortion in there is lovely.
You guys use a unique deep kick, how did you come up with this idea?
It’s the sound that we like to hear! We really love the kick of the RAW-Style genre. Our kick is actually a bit similar and inspired on this. It’s a really low kick, we like it. We didn’t intend to make something like this at the first time, but when we were at the studio we tweaked until we came up with this ‘deep kick’. But yeah making each element of the kick we have really fine tuned in recent months and you’ll see on our album out later this year some seriously bad ass kicks! Also making lots of different sounding kicks. We always aim to do that to keep us interested.
Together with Partyraiser, you did produce the track ‘Sounds Become One’ which did hit the number one position at the Masters of Hardcore top 100. This year you guys produced another banger to close Masters of Hardcore called ‘Fuck the fame and fortune’. How did you guys meet?
The first time we actually met was when we booked him for our own event in the UK. Hes been a fav dj of Mick / Dans for a number of years. We spoke over the internet a bit and sent over our first track “This Is Your Moment”. He hinted he might play it at Dominator and pleased to say he did in 2012, I was stood right on the mainstage filming. We thanked him a lot and every since then its grown into a true friendship.
Besides Partyraiser, which producer is still on the list for a collab? Do you have any collaborations in the pipeline?!
We have a lot of collabs going on, as you guys probably know we are working on an album! Expect some seriously good stuff this year!! Including a collab with Nosferatu, we jumped in his Area 51 studio for this. Epic times, the guy is a talented mo fo!
Talking about collabs, Lately, you guys did produce tracks together with Radical Redemption and Warface, both are more into the Hardstyle and Rawstyle scene at the moment, how was it to produce with these guys?
Yeah this was really cool. As we have said already – we are big fans of raw style. So yeah in the studio we all learnt of each other – that’s the best thing, as everyone has different ways of doing stuff. And I don’t just mean making music sounds, it could be the way its done – right down to some key board short cuts one act might use that the other doesn’t / didn’t know about. Its a huge learning curve for everyone. Its really good!
How can Hardcore artists improve themselves these days? Can Hardcore get even harder, with quality, in someway?
Faster definitely does not mean “harder” People need to remember that I think. We always like doing the opposite to everyone else, that’s what started us and that’s what we will keep doing. We just make music we like – doesn’t matter on the BPM so much. If its fat, its fat. But in terms of improving – back to our point earlier. Slow down, learning the full depths of producing and comparing your work to greats like Tha Playah before you consider sending to a record label. Get both tracks in your system, turn the volume LOUD. And flick between them both when both tracks full kick is playing. If you can hear and feel the difference, then you need to go work on it some more.
We see that Bring Us Some and Release the Kraken are doing great during live events, do you guys think that the gap between RAW and Hardcore is becoming smaller?
I don’t think the gap between these two styles is becoming different. Just because some tracks have a cross-overs it doesn’t mean that it is becoming one style. I still think that they are two completely different things. Different speeds, kick-rolls, sounds, the whole lay-out of a track is different. They will not go into one style after all.
Well we ask that because, we look through the eyes of the visitors, and we see that more people are going from RAW to the Hardcore stage in the end. Besides Radical, Warface and names like that, they also like to visit Partyraiser and Destructive Tendencies more often, we think that is also because of the collaborations and cross-overs for sure but also because RAW-style is getting rougher as well.
People are indeed jumping from RAW to the Hardcore, we see that too. But we just think these are “hard music” lovers – it’s not the euphoric fans that are coming to our sets, but it are indeed the RAW fans that visit our sets. It’s a difficult one to explain because for everyone it is different of course. I don’t think there is a triangle that people move from euphoric to raw, and then from raw to hardcore. Everyone is different, that’s the beauty of music.
Talking about sub-genres in the Hardcore scene. We think the sub-genres merge more often. DJ’s are inspiring, and collabing with artists from other scenes, for instance; Destructive Tendencies recently collabed with Warface, do you think this is a good thing? Or does Hardcore loose it’s own DNA?
There are a lot of discussions about this, but I can of course only speak for our self. I think it is good to cross boundaries, sometimes make a track slower (RAW compared to Hardcore) but as you can see Release the Kraken was doing great at Masters of Hardcore mainstage as well!
Yes, it was a crazy moment. It’s actually funny because some people say RAW-style doesn’t belong at Masters of Hardcore and at the Mainstage they go completely nuts on a RAW-style influenced track right?
Yeah, indeed in our opinion it’s still good to work together with DJ’s from other scenes or sub-genres. And as you can see after all this discussions it can still work out really well.
You guys are working on a new album, as you mentioned before. There will be some collabs on it as well. What can we expect in a bigger view?
You guys can definitely check a few previews online soon! You can expect some big collabs with artists from the Hardcore and Hardstyle scene. All people we want to work with, learn from, teach too and basically just make kick ass music ! We hope you all like it. But in terms of the album, expect a two CD album, full of brand new originals, remixes of older tracks, older tracks brought up to date and new collabs!
In the last years your fan base must have grown extremely! What is the craziest thing a fan ever did for you guys?
Yeah it’s been incredible. We really do have some of the most responsive fans in the world. We’re sat in the top 5 “harder styles” list of acts when measured how impactful their social media is, something we are very proud of but it just shows you that having fans that respond to you and interact is a really important thing. We manage all of our social media, always have, always will. And we respond to every single message we get. But in terms of craziness, I think this is ‘Tim’. He made a statue of our logo from clay. I think it was 35 cm wide and a few kilos. He was going to Masters 2015 but the security didn’t let him in with the statue. Then he went to more events with the statue, and finally at Intents Festival 2015, he passed the security and he did present it to us. All three of us had to carry it to the car because it was so heavy to carry, ha-ha!
Destructive Tendencies did play many closing sets in 2015, what was the best experience of 2015?
It seems we get to play more closing sets at the main hardcore stages, which is a big thing for us! Yeah we closed Masters of Hardcore, which was brilliant, in 2015 and 2016. It’s hard to pin down what the best experience was – as there are just so many magical moments. So the most challenging, we closed The Qontinent but arrived 15 mins late due to bad traffic as we had a 3hr drive from where we had just played in Holland. Joey was on stage Mcing and Djing at the same time hahah!
Which event is still on your performing list?
Australia! We’ve been booked to play the main hardcore “Black” Stage at Defqon 1. This is a huge career goal for us! I guess for us we want to spread our sound to more corners of the world and more big stages at unique multi genre events not just hardcore events. As a hardcore artist it’s obviously amazing to play the events we do, but it’s even more special when you know there are only 1 or 2 hardcore acts even playing that entire stage / event – and your one of them. Those are some career goals we’ve set!
Since you guys are from the United Kingdom, can you explain us the difference between the UK crowds compared to the crowd in Holland for instance?
This is not an easy question to answer. The UK crowd doesn’t have so many events as the people in Holland. Sometimes they are waiting 12 months to finally see their favourite DJ’s. I think in Holland they have so many events, always sold-out, always one of the best line-ups. I think you might say that the crowd is a bit spoiled sometimes, so they don’t attend the event like a UK person does. Some of the crowd maybe attend to socialise a bit more – hang with friends, pick up girl / guy etc. In the UK everyone is there to party, from the front of the dance floor to the very back – all going fucking absolutely wild. And you notice it massively when performing the countries with the best “up for it” crowds. Raw hard style in Holland seems to really have this “up for it” crowd we find, playing Radical Redemption night at Heineken Music Hall was perfect example. Electric atmosphere.
So you think that there is an overkill of events in Holland maybe? Because the crowd is sometimes really crazy and other times at smaller events we see many locals coming to the event and don’t know a single track of you guys actually?
I wouldn’t say it’s just the quantity of events; it’s more the people who attend, do attend sometimes for different reasons. The crowd is really different from event to event. We play maybe 3-5 events in one weekend in Europe. This is a lot for the UK for a whole year! I suppose when the DJ comes to the UK, for many people it is the first time that they witness him. They are looking forward to it, so they are going really crazy. Just like you guys in Holland can remember from your first party’s right?
We understand, In Holland we can see you every week. In other countries it is really different indeed.
Yeah, I think in France, Spain and Italy it is the same as in the UK. They save their money for weeks and months waiting for that event to arrive. And when they do – boy do they fucking party!
On your social media pages, we often see that you guys do enjoy drinking a beer. What is your favourite beer? Do you have any tips for us, ha-ha!
Well Mick used to work as national beer sales man! So his car was always full of stuff. A nice pint of Amstel when we land in Holland always goes down a trick! But our drink of choice whilst on stage is a nice bottle of Number 43. Dr Peacock first showed us this, warming, smooth, perfect for those winter events outdoor heheh.
People think we drink a lot hahah (we do), because we have loads of trays drinks come up to us! Ha-ha. You have to remember the size of them, it takes three of them to make one pint (we drink pints in the UK) so 9 of those = 3 UK pints. So really a tray of beers is just one drink each for us :0
Yeah, we did mention that when you guys were drinking a tray of 24 cans during one set with the three of you, ha-ha!
Ha-ha – yeah exactly 24 of those 200ml beers = 2.8 pints for each member of DT. You can drive your car legally in UK off 2 pints haha! I think I’m just trying to make myself sound less of an alcoholic aren’t I? Ha-ha 😛
Final question: Do you guys have anything to share with us, or to tell your fans? Maybe some tips or something exclusive?
If I say anything exclusive I get troubled, ha-ha. Let me think.. Our driver is gay but his wife doesn’t know, ha-ha! (Driver: Fuck off!, ha-ha) I am happy this was not the first question because then I really stressed out, ha-ha. There are actually a lot’s of exclusive things, from artists to release dates of things. Keep your eye on our social media pages, the moment we can say we will share straight away!