Head of Content
Fresh off a massive set at this year's Creamfields, Darren is preparing to make his return to Ministry of Sound after a 15 year absence.
Darren will be kicking off his Hard Generation UK Tour at Ministry on Friday 3rd September. He'll be joined in The Box by Gammer and Code Black, playing wall-to-wall hard anthems.
Before he returns to Gaunt Street, we called him up for quick chat.
MoS: Firstly, thank you for taking the time to speak to us, and we want to know to start us off where in the world are you right now and what was the last gig that you played?
Darren Styles: I’m in my studio at home right now. The last gig I played I’m still on cloud nine about as it was Creamfields on Friday night. Never seen a vibe like it at a festival, that’ll be a tough one to top on the festival circuit.
What have you most missed about clubs during the height of the pandemic?
Of course I missed out on the usual things like connecting with the crowd and the atmosphere of playing live, but one of the biggest things I missed was road testing tracks to a live audience. In the past I’d make a track during the week and play it at the weekend to see if it had legs to be a future release, but I (and most other artists) had to release tracks blind during the pandemic, so I literally had no idea if the fans would feel the vibe on the tracks. That was something I’d never experienced before. That’s one of the reasons I started the Hard Generation podcast, so I could let people hear new music from me and gauge the reaction online.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Artists like Slipmatt & The Prodigy still remain one of the biggest inspirations to me. Not just for their music, but also their work ethic and the longevity in the scene. Slipmatt in particular is someone I still look up to this day. I get daily inspiration from the radio too, I’m always listening to new artists and get loads of ideas from genres other than dance music.
Favourite genre of music that isn’t your own?
It’s gotta be 80’s synth pop, there’s nothing quite like it!
Top 5 favourite DJs?
Slipmatt, Da Tweekaz, TNT aka Technoboy & Tuneboy, Camelphat and Carl Cox.
When is your next release?
My next release is the long-awaited release of Man On The Moon, my collab with Stonebank. My re-work of the classic track Need To Feel Loved with the amazing Jelle van Dael on vocals was released just over a week ago too, so that’s available right now if you want to give that a stream/download.
Oh that’s none other than our cockapoo Nessie, the real VIP in our house.
You're making your big return to Ministry on September 3rd, what is your favourite thing about our club?
It’s been well over a decade since I last played (I actually can’t believe it’s been that long), but it’s got to be that soundsystem in The Box. It’s the one thing that all DJs that play the venue can’t get over, it’s legendary and I can’t wait to be back.
When was the first time you ever played at Ministry Of Sound?
I’ve only played once before around 2006 and it was back in the days when UK hardcore was massive, so I’m looking forward to coming back with my new sound.
What can you promise fans ahead of your return to London on September 3rd with the Hard Generation crew?
it’s the launch of the Hard Generation tour, which has been over a year in the making. I’m joined by my buddies Code Black, Gammer & Callum Higby (alongside others) so musically it’s going to be one of the best dates on the tour. Kicking it off with a bang! We’ll go through the spectrum of hard dance, so it’s going to be a memorable night in one of the best venues in the UK.