RB Deep in the Mix: Jeremy Olander on Vivrant Radio
February 14, 2019
February 14, 2019
Everybody is remembered for something.
No matter what we do, our actions will ultimately define who we are. Politicians, artists, writers, heroes, and villains all leave legacies behind. So what’s DESTRUCTO’s legacy? One hell of a good time for hundreds of thousands of people.
The Los Angeles-based DJ began building that legacy in 1990 after leaving his very first warehouse party with a tune firmly embedded in his head. The song was 808 State’s “Cubik”, and he craved it so much that he immediately ran toMelrose Avenue record shop, Street Sounds, to buy it.
Our hero didn’t leave the store with just a 12-inch of “Cubik” though. DJ Barry Weaver loaded him up with numerous records and he was eager to immerse himself in the revolutionary sounds of early ’90s techno. There was just one problem though. “I got home and I realized that I didn’t have a record player,” laughs DESTRUCTO with a smile. “I was so amped on the music it didn’t matter. I went out and bought a turntable, and I started going back to those warehouse parties every Saturday.”
However, simply going to the parties wasn’t enough. DESTRUCTO’s passion was so intense that he needed to throw his own. At that point, “The Sermon” was officially born. Donning a priest outfit, he’d host the 6am weekly party after the warehouses had died down early Sunday morning. He needed a DJ though, so he took on the role, getting people to dance after hardcore partying all night. “It was fucking out of control,” he declares. “My goal was to play the hardest and most gnarly techno to keep everyone awake. I’d blow up the soundsystem and the mixer. We’d break shit. I wasn’t only into Kraftwerk and Daft Punk; I lovedMetallica and Black Sabbath. So when I performed, it was aggressive, and it had to be banging.
Living up to his apropos moniker, he never deviated from his initial goal. After organizing the now legendary “Magical Mickey’s Holy Water Adventure” at Wild Rivers in 1991 and “Raveamerica” on New Year’s Eve at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1992, he dove into an A&R gig as Rick Rubin’s “Techno Boy” at Def American Recordings. Simultaneously, he released his first track, “Rain Dance” in 1994 complete with Indian chants and a Gumby sample. Furthering his success as a DJ and promoter, he launched multiple L.A. hotspots such as The Downtown Standard at night, while breaking new acts like God Lives Underwater and Basement Jaxx by day. As the music industry continued to change at the turn of the century, DESTRUCTO returned to his roots launching the very first HARD Festival in 2007. Appearing on subsequent HARD festivals to this day, DESTRUCTO cultivated an incendiary live set that merges heavy metal bombast and propulsive, potent techno. It’s unlike anything out there, and he takes it into the studio for his proper debut in 2011.
The artist describes his enigmatic sound best, “I call it ‘metal-techno-disco’. I’m trying to do something different when I go into the studio. I’m able to create a new sound channeling everything from 1991 to tomorrow. Electronic music is about creating a vibe, and it’s got to make people dance at the end of the day. My formula is to keep it electronic, techno, a bit heavy, but also funky.” That formula fuels his first official single, “Technology”. The song crescendos from blazing synths into a hypnotic sample before dropping into heavy techno euphoria. When it drops on Boys Noize’s own label, it’s going to light up dance floors worldwide. “I knew if I was finally going to release a song it had to be a banger,” reveals DESTRUCTO. “I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound and what I wanted it to do to the crowd. I always talk about techno as ‘Technology’ so the sample fits perfectly. It’s the beginning.”
Another track, “Stand Still”, employs a synthesized voice that carries a darkly catchy hook as the swells build into another dance epic. They’ll both undoubtedly soon be staples of his critically acclaimed, headturning live show “When it’s time to get on stage, I give it everything I’ve got,” he exclaims. “I put on a show and make the crowd go crazy. I’m never going to half-ass it. I was always the behind-the-scenes guy. Now that I’m in the front, I don’t take it for granted. I know how lucky I am to have this chance, and I never want to disappoint. The ball is in my hands.”
This year alone, DESTRUCTO has rocked crowds alongside Rusko, Diplo, The Bloody Beetroots and Fatboy Slim as well as performing at international festivals WEMF and Australia’s Stereosonic. To kick off the New Year, he’ll helm the inaugural and epic HOLY SHIP!, which sets sail from Florida to The Bahamas and back. With a rocket-pack strapped to his back, DESTRUCTO’s mission is to conquer dance floors all across the globe. “I want to make people really dance,” he concludes. “I’m not talking about doing a little shuffle but genuinely rocking. I want them to bang their heads and have the time of their lives.” Ultimately, with his album on the way and massive performances on the horizon, DESTRUCTO is doing exactly that – giving fans the time of their lives – and that’s one hell of a legacy.