Rik Houwers
By Rik Houwers

Back in 2010 Mick Ormerod, Daniel Moore and Joseph McHugh started the act Destructive Tendencies. They had only one goal: to conquer the European hardcore scene. Friday they took a new step to accomplish this. Their debut album ‘Slaves to the Darkness’ has been released and on it there are collaborations with Warface and Radical Redemption. Time to talk to Destructive Tendencies about the album and the collaboration with two raw hardstyle dj’s.

First of all, all three of you are from the United Kingdom. How did you get in contact with hardcore and how is the scene in the United Kingdom these days?
All three of us have been involved in the “harder styles” for 15+ years.  Mick and Danny met at the start of the 00’s at harder style events in UK.  Joey was doing the same back in 90s.  We all only met in 2010, pretty crazy really, only 6 years ago.

The UK scene is very niche, completely the opposite of NL and mainland Europe.  Back in the 90s it was much bigger, unfortunately it’s not had enough new people coming through listening to it to fill the gap left by the older ones moving on, having families or settling down. Don’t get us wrong, there are still really sick parties – but these will be hundreds of people rather than 1000s.  That said, one thing which makes this special is the fact we don’t have events all the time, people see a big event announced and have to wait 12+ weeks sometimes for it to arrive, with nothing major in-between.  So the atmosphere on those nights is some of the best in the world – you can really feel people have been waiting for that night, saving their money and energy for it – and they go all out to show you!

destructive tendenciesThere are so many sub categories in the hard dance world. How do you see yourself? Still as DJ’s/producers of Hardcore or Uptempo or maybe something else?
Yes there is, in our honest opinion having sub categories doesn’t bother us – except when people start associating you with one, thinking that’s all you’ve got to bring. We are harder styles producers. We always have been. Not up-tempo, nor anything else. When we started we just said to each other, let’s just make music we loved. Back then, the sound we made was new and wasn’t really what was happening at the time in the “mainstream” scene. A lot of people often tell us this marked a change in their hardcore life / experience. People who’d been looking for that more underground vibe, but weren’t personally into the darker industrial styles that you could find already for example – something that was not the typical mainstream sound which usually was based mainly around melodies and vocals etc. For us, it wasn’t a new sound – it was just what we all liked producing as DT, wanted to make and our take on ‘Hardcore’. Our first ever track was 180bpm, this album is 160bpm to 220bpm, 26 tracks and only 4 of them are “up-tempo (220bpm+). We’re continuing to be Harder Styles just like always!

There are complaints that the Hardcore these days is not evolving, what’s your opinion about that?
It depends what they refer to as evolving, Hardcore is always evolving in terms of its reach and appeal to people. So many huge huge non Hardcore parties have Hardcore closing sets etc.  Everyone going nuts, new people getting involved in the scene and making it grow. Many events are sold out this year, in record time. It’s becoming less “underground” if underground refers to who is listening / being exposed to it.

 If evolving is referring to its “sound” then perhaps the thing we see the most online complained about isf “up tempo” as not evolving. This ‘sound’ that’s often quite stripped back from your typical tracks, has meant a lot of new producers have started to make music and unfortunately poor stuff does get made and released. It might be stripped back, but the quality and professional sound of the elements to the track just aren’t well made a lot of the time. It’s pulled the quality people associate with up-tempo down and that that’s reason we think this sub genre gets hated on so much, in the case of these poor tracks – its justified. That said, it has brought a lot of new people into the scene, that’s worth remembering.

Let’s also be clear here – EVERYONE starts somewhere – everyone should be allowed to get creative. This must continue, new people starting producing, but they should realize that to make music takes time. You don’t just make a stripped back sounding track and expect it to be as good “quality” as music that people have been making much longer. It’s a big learning curve.  But with today’s rush rush to be the next superstar the years and years of knock backs from labels doesn’t happen like it used to, so poor stuff gets released, or just released anyway even on the artists own channels into the digital world.

 We had loads of tracks knocked back from labels. Went back to the drawing board and started again. Over several years, even the first track we had signed This Is Your Moment vs. our newer stuff it’s easy to hear the quality difference. It’s something that comes with time.

What’s the reason for choosing this name for the album? Does it have a deeper meaning?
Hehe, no deeper meaning other than what we hope people will take it as. The three of us love what we do; love the music we make and the whole scenes “darker” image / sound compared to societies most popular music that’s on TV and the Radio etc. So yeah, we’re slaves to the stuff, it’s ingrained in us. 

Destructive Tendencies
How was it to showcase your album on one of the biggest hardcore events and how did the crowd respond?
Wow, well it was of those times as a producer and DJ you have to take a step back some days later to actually take in what the fuck just happened. It was a truly amazing moment for us. We’d been working hard on the album and having played the main stage the previous year we wanted to take it up another level, with an actual album showcase for everyone and us. The day had been crazy already – the world’s biggest radio station BBC Radio 1 came to do a documentary on Dominator. They did an interview with us and were so taken aback by what we had to say about our friendly scene and about how we from the UK had come to play there, they decided to stay. It’s called The World’s Most Extreme Festivals – Dominator. You’ll see UK prime time DJ Chris Stark come to Dominator as a stranger, wondering what the hell it was he was hearing – to at the end, be standing on the main stage as we performed and saying it was one of the best experiences of his life! This is a guy whose show goes out to millions of listeners every day, interviews A list people around the world and even once dated Mila Kunis!

And the set itself was magical – Dominator had sold out in record time, with another increase on capacity – 50,000+ with 40,000 people stood in front of us at the main stage, just as it was going dark, playing the stuff we’d worked on for so long for the first time was incredible. The stage even lifted up during the build up on one of our tracks with Nosferatu from the album, not ashamed to say we all had a little happy tear in the eye at the top and Erwin (Nosferatu) was stood front and centre in the crowd going nuts. In terms of how the crowd responded, they are so dedicated; it was a sea of DT flags and snapbacks. We wanted to make sure this was a special set for them has they had put so much faith in us and what we were about to do. We think we delivered, from the countless messages and thanks afterwards to Alive At Night voting it the Number 1 moment of the entire event. We are very proud of that. And truly thankful to everyone for making it happen, especially our amazing fans.

We’ve seen that the 1st CD of your album has already been released as a bonus CD on the Dominator Album 2016 – Methods of Mutilation. Why did you guys choose to do so?
Well it’s not quite the first CD.  It’s a sampler of 12 tracks. These tracks are across both CD 1 and CD 2 of the final album. We didn’t do it for any reason other than Dominator asking us if we wanted to do a CD and at the same time we’d been working for months and months knowing the final album wasn’t coming until October. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to give people a chance to hear some of the beats. 

Is there a specific track on the album that you are the most proud of or brings back memories?
We guess in terms of “proudest” and you making us pick one track – it has to be Angerfist collab.  He’s THE biggest artist in the world; he has just hit over 1 million Facebook fans. We’ve been fans for many many years. We’d actually been talking about making a collab for some time, but stuff happens and time is difficult to match up and manage. But we got there! Also over these years we’ve got to know each other more, this worked perfectly when we got together in the studio.

Danny (Angerfist) kindly welcomed us into his new studio, we spent a full day nailing everything we needed to. We hit it off great, wanted the same things from the track – total Angerfist vibes with aggressive synth’s and a meaning behind the track. We are all really happy with it. It definitely helped that we had grown closer as friends over the years because you get the best out of a situation and can have a lot of fun at the same time, make sure you listen to ALL the track on the album.

Tell us what you enjoyed about the journey making your album the most.
We learnt SO much ourselves working with masters like Angerfist, Tha Playah, Nosferatu, Paul Elstak, and more! They are the guys we’ve looked up to back in the 90s and 00s. They are the finest at their crafts. So much so, after working with them and learning what we had, we went back and changed/updated as much as we could on the album. It was literally like “Wow, back to the drawing board”, applying things we’d never known before after thinking we had got there already. That’s what’s the best about this job, you’re ALWAYS learning – it’s a fantastic thing.

destructive-3The album includes collaborations with Radical & Warface. How was it for you to collaborate with artists from a different type of music such as Raw?
We absolutely LOVE it. We make music we love and we love both these guys and their sound. So working with them was an honor for us. The Radical track was for his album – and when you’re doing a collab track you always tend to take influence from the artist you’re asking to be on your album. So in this case with it being Radicals we jumped in at Hardcore speeds. Joey (Radical) fucking loves Hardcore so we were all totally in the zone. We showcased it at his One Man Army show. Jesus, that was fucking nuts!

With Warface it was for our album, but we all collectively agreed to take some flavor from Raw & Hardcore. So yeah it’s got kicking rawer speed beats and brutal hardcore drops. It works so well on the dance floor. It’s probably the tune we get asked about the most in terms of when it is being released. 

Everyone works differently. You take things you like and agree with and adapt your ways of working and they do the same, from sound design to other business/personal things. It’s all a big learning curve so working with other artists, it’s amazing.

Why did you choose for a collab with Warface and Radical? And what was the difference in working together with Warface and Radical?
In terms of choosing with Radical, he asked us to make the collab; he said we can do anything, but strictly 190bpm+! We of course said yes, love his tracks! And as we said, we played it first at his One Man Army sold out show. Sick moment

With Warface we’d been speaking for a while, got to know each other and just decided to agree on a collab for our album, we had always been fans of each other’s music. They played it for the first time at Hard Bass, it got an amazing reaction.

Both work differently, so again that’s perfect for us! More chance to learn even more.

What are your opinions about the Raw Hardstyle and Hardcore crossover in general?
It should continue to happen, there’s not one reason why it shouldn’t. The gig we played at Radical Redemptions night was us playing vs. him second to last set in main area. It was THE BEST atmosphere we have ever played to, everyone was fucking losing their shit, totally and utterly fucking CRAZY! The Hardstyle crowd is so accepting of Hardcore. No one gave anyone a hard time about Hardcore being at a Hardstyle night, it’s a shame sometimes a minority people give Hardstyle a kicking if they see a set/arena at “their” Hardcore night. It’s another one of those things that we feel is pointless and energy would be better spent bashing the dance floor not the keyboard.

Which upcoming artist do we have to look out for, in the hardcore scene?
There are a lot of new artists trying to make it, but focusing on one who we genuinely think will be big, is The BeatKrusher. He is already making his mark and is a fantastic producer. Keep an eye out for him!

How did you guys celebrate the release of the album and will there be an album tour?
Celebrated by getting our life back when finished it haha, and will celebrate with MANY MANY drinks today!

Yes there is going to be a tour, it’s being worked on as we speak so stand by and follow us on social media.

So last question, where can people get their hands on this album & see you perform:

The album is out now and you can get it both physical and digital!

Cheers!!!  DT

Hardcore Blasters Store: https://goo.gl/h8qzCA
MOH Store: https://goo.gl/87IIMb

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