“Gangsters Paradise” Amazura, NYC May 9th, 2015

Gunz For Hire Live Interview by: Matt Lynch

Written/Edited by: Lauri Partanio 

Matt: Adaro, you canceled future gigs for a while due to your unfortunately painful sensitivity to noise ear trauma, what's it like coming back after your break in March? What advice can you give to fellow and fans to prevent ear damage like you've experienced?

It was great to come back, you know, I was out for over after a half of a year, I had a lot of support from fans online and also at parties, like pictures of flags, and people supporting me; other colleagues playing tracks by me, really cool. To come back at Decibel was one of the best moments ever, and now I don't play as often anymore as I used to, but everything's going good now with my ears again, it was like a sensitivity. What I can advise to people going to parties? It's to put ear protection in, ear plugs measured to your ear, and just lookout for your ears. And also all the guys wanting to DJ and produce; your ears are your main material, so always be careful with them.

Matt: Ran-D, how has Adaro being out of the studio effected Gunz For Hire?

Ran-D: Well it's a project that we started with the both of us and we immediately said, “if that's going to stop, we're going to stop Gunz For Hire because its also a bond between friends, and you're not gonna do by yourself.” It's something we started together, and that we would end together. But I’m really happy to be here tonight and do Gunz For Hire together, it's awesome.

Matt: In 2009 you released the track “My Name is Hardstyle” featuring Adaro vs. Ran-D, how has your music progressed to your latest track “May God Be With You All” which is now Gunz For Hire?

It progressed quite a lot. To be honest, the scene in Holland is changing quite a lot, it's becoming more raw. Our music has always been on the raw side of hardstyle, but its developed more towards the more raw stuff, even. So yeah, and I think besides that, productions are way better than back then and different kicks, better song design, better mixing.

Matt: In 2013, DJ Mag top 100 poll, Gunz For Hire managed to snag the 63rd spot, while Adaro you occupied the 75th spot, and Ran-D at number 100. How did this feel to be ranked amongst some of the greatest DJ's in the world?

It's a big honor. Although the hardstyle scene isn’t as big as the main stream dance music, you see that the people really dedicated, almost all people who like hardstyle will vote that they live for the music. The hardstyle DJ's are in the list among the commercial DJ's who are way more popular among the whole world. You can see the hardstyle scene is the most dedicated.

Matt: What are some differences that you have noticed between the American Hard dance scene and the European Hard dance scene?

The thing is, there's not so much a difference. The cool thing is actually, no matter where you travel all over the world, culture is really different, cities are different, people are different, but then you come to a hardstyle party, and it's like coming home. Everyone's partying; it's always madness with hardstyle. What I have noticed, is that people over here are really thankful when you come over. For them, obviously, if you're living in Europe, especially if you're living in Holland, and countries that have more hardstyle parties, it's more common to go to a hardstyle party. Over here, it's more special to go to a hardstyle party. So what I see, is that people are really dedicated, and they're giving all they got, and when a track hits a break, everyone's like “WHAAA!”, that's unique, that's pretty cool, that gives you quite a lot of adrenaline.

Matt: How was Gunz for Hire formed?

Actually, as all of you guys know, we made a lot of collabs together, and one day I said to Thijs: I think we should start a live act. And he was like “Nah man,” and I was like “Yeah man, we have to do it.” Otherwise, there wouldn't be any difference between preforming Ran-D and Adaro, and it seemed like a logical choice. Finally, I convinced Thijs, and we started the project and then we had to figure out the look and feel, the name, stuff like that. We wanted to do more than just two DJ's behind a laptop, we wanted to have a higher entertainment factor. So we had some brainstorming sessions, about what we wanted and after evolving sessions, the whole Gunz For Hire project came out.

Matt: What inspired the masks that make up Gunz For Hire?

In the beginning we wanted to do makeup actually. We wanted to look different, makeup is a lot of mess if you have to switch from one gig to another so I think it was The Prophet that said “hey maybe you should wear some masks, man” so we started the search, and we came about these masks and it actually added to the idea of gangsters wearing masks.

Matt: Gunz For Hire, what can we expect in the future?

In our home country we stopped for a while, and we only were playing shows outside of the Netherlands, but we're officially coming back to the Netherlands at Defqon.1 and Craft (big festival in Amsterdam). We're going to start a Dutch club tour again in the fall, and we're going to make a lot of new tracks for it. And especially for this little tour in the USA, we have 2 new tracks inspired by the tour. One for New York called “Brooklyn” and the other for Los Angeles called “This is Los Angeles”. So we're definitely making a lot of new stuff in the studio- new stuff's coming up. And also, the act is going to have a new look and feel, we're going to do that for the first time in October in Holland, and we're also going to show it to the world.

Matt: Who has influenced you the strongest in the music you produce today?

Adaro: Not one person, I’m influenced most by old hardcore music, because that’s what I grew up with.

Ran-D: If I would have to name a producer, I would have to say Zatox. When I started playing hardstyle, he made it ages ago, he was one of the founders. I was always into the raw stuff, and I always played his vinyl's back then. I started when I was 18, I would say Zatox, he's a hero.

Matt: What's it like being in “The Greatest City in the World”? Would you come back to New York?

Yeah anytime, it's awesome, really, it's fantastic. For us, of course we know NY, we're big movie fans, so we know New York from the movies. But you do recognize a lot of stuff, the way buildings are. A lot of impressions, it's a great city.