Blending their styles: Zatox & The Purge on their first ever collab, Killswitch 


In this interview, we sit down with Gerardo (Zatox) and Manuel (The Purge) to discuss their individual Hardstyle journeys and their collaboration on the track "Killswitch. Gerardo talks about how he got into Hardstyle in the early 2000s and how the genre has evolved since then. Manuel shares his own journey, which started as a fan in 2006 and eventually led to his own music releases as The Purge in 2017. The two also discuss how they met and decided to collaborate on "Killswitch," despite having different sounds.

Gerardo and Manuel also reveal their plans for the future and how they plan to stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving Hardstyle genre. This interview is a must-read for all Hardstyle fans and anyone interested in the world of electronic dance music.


Gerardo, can you tell us a bit about your Hardstyle journey? You’re a real Hardstyle legend, when did you first get in touch with the genre?
Hello everybody ! I got in touch with Hardstyle around 2000/2001 and in 2003 I had my first release a and my first gig that was in London 

Gerardo, how has the Hardstyle sound evolved since you started out?
Well, in the beginning, It all was more like techno or very similar to what today people call “Hard techno”. Now I think hardstyle is one of the most evolved genres and every 2-3 years it is still evolving and changing in complex ways. For me is also a pleasure, after so many years to still be in the game and to keep on being part of this evolution

Manuel, when did your Hardstyle journey start? 
My Hardstyle journey started around 2006 as a fanboy and became actually a job in 2017 by starting to release my own music as The Purge.

Manuel, you recently blew up, what sets you apart from other artists?
Thanks for the words still feel unreal what’s going on lately, I don’t really have a word for this but I just try to be myself as much as possible and let my creativity doing the rest, what I really like to do is to don’t focus in one particular direction but I try to just produce what comes from my mind during the day, sometimes can be happy vibes, dark vibes, more softer or super hard you know, I just don’t want to put limits on myself. That’s I think what really makes my signature.


"I was a huge fanboy of Gerardo since I started listening to Hardstyle"

When did your guys’ paths cross and how come that you guys decided to collaborate together?
G: Manuel has always been a huge Zatox fan hahaha… and when he became “The Purge“ I congratulated him for what he was actually doing in the scene. He immediately asked me to collab, so I showed him a lil scratch of Killswitch and he said: What a banger!! Let's do it!!!

M: Well I was a huge fanboy of Gerardo since I started listening to Hardstyle so I know him for a long time, but we started to have more serious contacts during the pandemic in 2020 and started to talk about music, life etc and we discovered that we have similar vision on many aspects which gave us the right vibes in between to actually start to talk about making a track together. We had a great time together working on this track which we hope the fans noticed as well.

Your sounds are quite different, how did you make sure to blend them together in Killswitch?
G: Wasn’t that difficult as we both actually had the same vision about the track. The only pain was that in the beginning when we only had that female vocal line of which I wasn't very satisfied with as I was missing a real punchline. So I decided to call Dave and in a couple days the problem was solved ahah!

M: Yes that’s true but we actually managed to combine both sounds together by coming closer with each other which I think is always the best formula when you work on a track together with someone else. In the end Gerardo had many years of experience which was an easy job for him to understand my vision and I have known Gearardo music since the start of his career so it was also easy for me to know what could work and what couldn’t work, we both love to experiment with music at the end.

How was the production process, did you run into any obstacles?
G: We changed the reverse bass part several times, switched kicks, modified drops. But in the end we managed it .. like i said before the only obstacle was the vocal but we found the perfect solution also for that ;)

M: Well we had a clear vision of what to make from the start so we started first to send over some stems with each other and after that went to his studio for couple of days to finish together the track, we actually add another version without the current vocal from Dave but we think that now is even better and a complete track.


You’re both Italian, do you think that there is still a difference between the Italian and Dutch Hardstyle sound or is that a thing of the past? 
G: Italians are the best… in every form. There is no way to compete with Italians… especially on pasta ahaha LOL I’m just kidding. Of course, there are differences, we are more focused on party tracks, trying to be more easy with song structures.. On the other hand, Dutch Hardstyle is more focused on melody and uplifting breaks.. I think we both learned a lot from each other and that's the amazing thing about this music

M: Yes I think there is, just like every country music can change a bit in terms of style, of course the end result will always be Hardstyle but I have my own Italian taste for sure.

How do you see the Hardstyle genre evolving in the coming years, and how do you plan to stay at the forefront of these changes?
G: Lately i’m really focusing on a new style... something that has hard techno and an early Hardstyle feeling but in a new and fresh Easy. In April I'm going to release an EP of 3 tracks that are totally about this kind of style ..

M: I think lately Hardstyle is evolving very fast and in many ways it is hard to say which one it will be, I just really hope that artists will keep making their own sound with love and uniqueness that's the most important hope that I have. I don’t have a real plan on how to stay relevant. I will just keep being myself and I hope that my fans will keep loving my music like they did till now and to stay for as many years as possible just like Gerardo. 

 Finally, can we see you guys perform together anytime soon?
 G: Yes we are going to perform b2b at Mysteryland where we're gonna play our next collab for the first time! !

M: Yes we will play for the first time together at Mysteryland, maybe time for a second collab? :P

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