We predict that hardstyle is going to take over America in 2014. Who can resist those monster kickdrums and psychotic drops? It is truly the ragiest, mouth-frothingest EDM genre around. In anticipation of Dutch hard dance brand Q-Dance touching down in the USA with their Sound of Q-Dance event (October 5 at the Shrine in Los Angeles), we're profiling some of the biggest DJs playing at the fest. Now when your friends ask you six months from now if you've heard of Headhunterz or Psyko Punkz you can be all, "Duh. Who hasn't?"
If you like your EDM superstars to look like creepy masked serial killers—and really, who doesnt?—then you will like Gunz For Hire. While other hardstyle DJs are cavorting through magical fairy forests or crafting elaborate melodic trance breakdowns, the Dutch duo of Randy (Ran-D) and Thijs (Adaro) are making the sort of super evil sounds that we haven't heard since the days of Nasenbluten and Bloody Fist. It's pretty easy to imagine these dudes have Saw just running in the studio 24 hours a day. Their promo video for Q-Dance Los Angeles is them punching out some lady. It's terrifying to imagine that one day these two dudes will have kids. (See below.)
Gunz For Hire are so hardcore, they only ever play for 30 minutes. Because if they played for a full hour, kids would be totally passed out from dehydration and getting punched left and right. This is some trenchcoat mafia shit—like if Cradle of Filth and Slipknot had a little hardstyle demon Chuckie baby. If you don't believe us, then watch this video below. Except don't show your parents because they will send you away to a church retreat in the deepest wilds of Montana to find yourself. And please don't forget it's all a joke—Gunz For Hire are just two jovial dudes from tiny villages in Holland who like Mickey Mouse. Or are they?
THUMP: When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Thijs: I wanted a job in the entertainment industry behind the scenes. But it became the opposite way! Randy: I wanted to be a surgeon. It didn't work out, because I couldn't really handle the "cutting flesh" part.
Teach us a phrase in your native language and tell us what it means.
Vanavond gaan we naar de klote! Tonight we're gonna get fucked up.
How did you choose your DJ name?
We had long hours of brainstorming with Rudy Peters, our manager, and we came up with the idea of Gun For Hire. Of course, we needed to make the name unique, so Gunz For Hire.
Where did you grow up and what is it like?
Thijs: I grew up in a small village in the south of Holland, called Schaijk. It has a population of around 7,000 people, and I still live there today. It was a perfect place to grow up. If I ever get kids, I want them to grow up here too.
Randy: Same here, a small village called Lobith. It's near the German border. That's where I started DJing with vinyl (and later producing tracks). Good memories. I once got a written letter, on behalf of the whole neighborhood, to "Please keep it down." I did terrorize them a little with heavy beats in the middle of the night...
Who is the best cartoon character of all time?
Thijs: Mickey Mouse. I'm a fan of the traditional Walt Disney work, and Mickey Mouse was the first.
Randy: Eric Cartman by far.
What is your favorite quality in a raver girl?
Getting absolutely mental in front of the stage. We love to see the dedication in front of us.
What are you going to be for Halloween?
Masked serial killers.
If someone never heard hardstyle before, what track would you recommend they listen to and why?
There are so many amazing tracks. We can't pick just one. Some people like the raw sound and some people like melodic. Our suggestion is to pick a few artists and listen to their discography on YouTube. A few examples besides Gunz For Hire are Digital Punk, Noisecontrollers, Wildstylez, Headhunterz, and Psyko Punkz.
What is the scariest thing you've seen at a hardstyle rave?
I saw a fat guy's hairy, sweaty butt crack once… Scary shit man.
Who is the hardest person you know and why?
Our manager. Hahah, sorry Rudy!
There are a lot of brands in the hardstyle space. What is Q-Dance known for?
Q-Dance is known for crazy high-end production events. If you want to experience something unique, go to a Q-dance event with Gunz For Hire in the line-up.
Are you ever simply just too tired to be hardstyle?
What's your best dance move?
Randy: Haha! My shuffle. Some might not know what I'm talking about. Check out the videos of our set at Qlimax. You will know what I'm talking about. [
Ed.: Fast forward to 3:31