GTA Talks Show Preparation, Death To Genres, Remix EP & More [Exclusive Interview]
Thirty push-ups and a shot of tequila each: that’s all the preparation Julio Mejia and Matt Toth need to throw down a killer set, to turn from laid-back, unassuming 24-year-olds into the scene-stealing DJ and production duo GTA. We at FITA were lucky enough to sit down with the guys before their set at Mysteryland USA. We discussed their Death To Genres lifestyle & now EP Series, their history, and much more in this exclusive interview!
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW + MUSIC:
FITA: Welcome to Mysteryland, very glad to see you guys here. So, what’s the history of GTA, what’s the meaning behind the name?
JWLS: Well, GTA started as Grand Theft Audio about 5 years ago. We ended up getting in trouble with that name so we ended up changing it to Good Times Ahead, and pretty much the whole idea behind that is what we stand for at our parties, we just want people to have good times, and that’s what we want to do with our music too, have good vibes at our parties.
FITA: So you guys are from Miami and you’re currently touring around the states. What city or state goes the craziest?
JWLS: I mean, the whole east coast, man, it’s always crazy. We’re from Miami and every time we play around New York, Philly, Boston, DC…
VT: Pretty much anywhere on the east coast always goes crazy and I guess, I don’t know if its cuz we’re from the east coast so we understand the whole vibe, but we always have crazy shows up here. We have tons of fans out here. Not to say the west coast isn’t dope, but I guess cuz were from here its special. Even though we moved to the west coast now so, we’re trying to get ‘em from the inside.
FITA: So how do you prepare for a set?
VT: Yeah we’ll have a few drinks, just trade music a bunch, play music back n forth, figure out some tracks we think’ll be good. Especially if we’re in a certain city that we know has a big song from a new artist or something, we definitely try to rep everyone’s hometown.
FITA: You got any surprise edits for tonight?
VT: Eh we might have a few.
FITA: Anything unreleased?
JWLS: Maybe even unmade – we’re probably gonna work on a few edits tonight.
FITA: What time do you play, 7 right? We got an hour and a half for you to cook something up.
VT: We’re usually making edits up until like a minute before we have to play and I’m just running up to the stage.
FITA: What are the top 5 songs on your iPod, that you listen to everyday?
VT: The entire Kendrick album…
JWLS: I’ve been listening to the Flying Lotus album You’re Dead, that counts right? What else…I’ve been listening to Ludacris too, for some reason, I love old Ludacris. I’ve been listening to Roll Out – that’s a classic.
FITA: You guys recently dropped DTG Vol. 1, what are you guys currently working on now and is there a favorite track on that album?
JWLS: Well on DTG our favorite track to play out is definitely Break Your Neck, we usually start our sets with that and it’s just super high energy and gets the crowd amped. It’s loud and in your face and always gets people pumped.
VT: It’s a good way to start off, it’s like “AHHH”, one thing after another, it leads to a mosh pit….
FITA: Well I’ve seen you guys play live and you definitely span as many genres as possible, so can you go into further detail on the Death To Genres mission statement & lifestyle?
VT: It started off more for us when we were getting into this whole thing, everyone was pretty much being labeled as “oh this moombahton producer, this trap producer,” everyone was being placed into one category. And we understand why people do that – pretty much every producer we know loves making all types of music. It ends up being people labeling them as such and a lot of their fans get kinda like pissed off when they try to go outside of that. So with that whole thought process, if we start out saying were gonna make everything, and to expect us to make everything, everyone’s gonna expect us to make anything, and there could always be surprises, and we can be super creative in any kind of way.
FITA: Do you have any comfort zone, in terms of a specific genre you prefer to work in?
VT: Probably just electronic music in general, like the big three – the slower moombahton and twerk stuff, and then there’s the housey kinda electro house and techno, and then there’s trap, the higher halftime tempo. And it’s pretty much now broken up into different tempos.
JWLS: We try to make stuff obviously for the clubs and our sets but we also like to make stuff we can just vibe to on a car ride home, stuff we can chill to. Doesn’t necessarily always have to be party mode.
VT: Like that song Smokers Unite.
JWLS: Like our song Smokers Unite, with Paul Wall, super chill slow trap kinda stuff. It’s different from what we usually do, but that’s what we love to do, we like to challenge ourselves to do different stuff and have people appreciate it for what it is.
VT: And we also happen to like smoking.
FITA: So what has been your main inspiration or motivation?
JWLS – I mean to be honest, just other producers. Like watching young kids on SoundCloud just kill it and do their own style. Everyone has their own style nowadays, you can pretty much tell what producer’s what, and that inspires us to just keep trying new things, always expanding our palette, trying to play different stuff as well as make different stuff. Guys like Pharrell do that all the time, he can make a rap beat as well as he can make a funky disco beat. Diplo too, Diplo’s really good at doing that, guys like that really inspire us.
FITA: If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
JWLS: Pharrell, J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Mr. Carmack, mostly just people who think outside the box, weird shit.
FITA: You’ve remixed Kaskade, Rihanna, do you have a favorite remix you’ve made?
JWLS: Recently our favorite one so far to play is the Rihanna remix, it’s been doing pretty well. Yeah man we love making all kinds of stuff and mostly the stuff that goes off at festivals and stuff like that, Diplo’s 6th gear remix…
FITA: What can we expect from you guys in the near future, Vol. 2?
JWLS: Vol. 2 is coming soon, we have a remix EP for Vol. 1 coming out pretty soon too, we have dope remixes from homies, we got Skrillex on it, we got Kill The Noise on it, we got Crookers on it. It’s gonna be a massive remix EP. We also are working on different collaborations, we were just in the studio yesterday or the day before with RL Grime, the day before that we were there with Diplo, we’ve just been working with a bunch of different artists. We’ve been super excited about pretty much everything, this whole year’s been super progressive for us music-wise, so it’s pretty cool to look forward to that, this year we’ll have Vol. 2, maybe Vol. 3 too.
FITA: Alright so lastly, if you could have any super power what would it be?
FITA: You guys were meant to be a duo. Thank you guys you’ve been a pleasure.