Day of the EDM Dead: Some 35,000 fans turned out for Hard's Day of the Dead music fest in L.A. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Thirty-five thousand electronic dance music fans made their way to the Los Angeles State Historic Park on Saturday (Nov. 3) for HARD's Day of The Dead. Attendees arrived dressed in their Halloween best - their faces transformed into skeletons, smeared with fake blood, and sporting their costumes from the previous weekend's festivities. The sold out event featured four stages of EDM acts including Diplo, Justice, Araabmuzik, Dillon Francis, Destructo, Tommy Trash, Knife Party, and Kill The Noise.
We kicked off the evening by sharing a pre-festival cocktail with HARD founder Gary Richards (Destructo) who was in the middle of getting his face painted in a full Dia De Los Muertos theme. Richards showed us two bottles of champagne chilling in personalized buckets, explaining that he planned to pop the corks and celebrate later with his Live Nation EDM counterpart, James Barton.
HARD's Gary Richards gets his face painted as he prepares for his Distructo set/teaching Live Nation's James Barton cartwheels (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
" James said that if we sold the show out that he would do cartwheels down the hallway at the office so we printed out the 'Idiots Guide to Cartwheels,' explained Richards, proudly showing off the instruction manual. "I'm not sure if he'll be able to pull it off. He has no idea how to do a cartwheel," he exclaimed, joking that enlisting his six year old daughter to demo her cartwheel abilities might be a good idea.
Araabmuzik (center) hanging with his D-Productions management team: Adrian Williams (left) and DukeDaGod (right) (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Araabmuzik was backstage with his management team, Adrian Williams and DukeDaGod (of D-Productions Management) finalizing travel details for upcoming shows. Araab told Billboard.biz he's "ending the year with a bang" by ringing in the year at Rhythm & Vines in New Zealand. DukeDaGod explained that Araabmuzik will perform at Summadayze and a few other big fests in Australia in early 2013.
(L to R): Foreign Beggars and friends: Zane Lowe, "Metropolis," Chris "Meshblorg" Downar (Less Than 3), "Orifice Vulgatron," and Danny "United" Johnson from Top Shelf Management. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
UK based rappers, Foreign Beggars, sipped a celebratory glass of champagne after their show with manager Danny Johnson (Danny "United") of T op Shelf Management. The group's Orifice Vulgatron said the trio was recording in Red Bull Studios the day before and working on a track with Switch. "Our album, The Uprising, just came out on Oct 1 on Mau5trap and we have another single coming out, "Crep Hype." The guys are set to wrap up their year in the US, Australia, London, and their first ever show in India at NH7 Fest.
Dillon Francis strolled through the festival sporting new platinum blonde locks. "I was on tour with Flux Pavilion and wanted to troll the audience. As a joke I said that we should go over and do our hair together and 'I'll look like you so when I go on stage, people won't know if it's me or you.' Yes it worked! I think I'm gonna keep the look for a while," he said. Francis was accompanied by managers Chris Paules and Matt Hwang.
Before headlining on the Earstorm stage, Tommy Trash lounged around with tour manager Andrew Mishko. Tommy, who recently moved to LA, said he's becoming immune to coffee these days and drinks many cups before shows. He bragged about the coffee in Australia being way better than in the US. "They really have the best coffee. It's on par with Italy. The problem in the States is that they burn the milk and yeah it's fine in the middle of winter but in summer, why do I have burned milk? Come on Starbucks get it together!"
Le Tigre y Los 'Stache: Soul Clap: (L to R): Eli Goldstein and Charles Levinx. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Soul Clap, who performed their HARD set with Charles Levin in a tiger costume and Eli Goldstein rocking a fake mustache, shared news of their new record label, Soul Clap Records. "We started it last month so that's the big item on our agenda at the moment," explained Levin. Goldstein told Billboard.biz that the duo just released a 7-inch record and has an EP coming out by Night Plane. "We've been playing his music for ages and it just felt right to have him be the first release on our label. We are also working with Nick Monaco from San Francisco."
Black Does Not A Costume Make: Team Justice: (L to R): Xavier de Rosnay (Justice), Kaj Oppenheim (Sound Engineer), Eric Ginnetty (Product Manager),Sebastien Sacco (Video Systems Tech), Gaspard Augé (Justice) (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Justice kept warm in their trailer backstage hanging out with other HARD performers prior to their 12:20am set. Xavier de Rosnay told Billboard.biz that while he and Gaspard Augé were excited to be on the road, they are looking forward to working on new material early next year. "We're going to finish up this tour in 10 days and then we'll stop completely playing live shows and work on new stuff. We're going to take our time and make it on our own schedule."
Skrillex (AKA Sonny Moore) congratulating his OWSLA artist Kill The Noise on a "killer set" (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
We also caught up with Zeds Dead, who joked about not having cracked the Billboard Top 40 yet; and Skrillex who shelled out massive praise for his OWSLA artist, Kill The Noise. "He f*cking killed it tonight! He brought the noise! I'm so excited about his new EP!" he exclaimed.
Wolfgang Gartner's manager, Adrian Martinez ( Undocumented Management) was palling around with Nick Oehler, who runs Wolfgang's Kindergarten Records and 30 Seconds to Mars' Jared Leto and musician Bonnie McKee.
Destructo (A.K.A. HARD's Gary Richards) DJing post face-paint (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
(Photo: Nicole Pajer)
(Photo: Nicole Pajer)