This past weekend we had the opportunity to sit down with producers Matt Toth and Julio Mejia leading up to their epic performance on Perry’s Stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois. The pair, more commonly known as GTA has been on an absolute tear in the past year, performing at major festivals across the map, from Ultra Music Festival in their hometown to Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas and everything in between. With an eclectic sound that refuses to be categorized and discriminated upon based on genre, GTA has been captivating the world of electronic dance music. Finding yourself at a GTA set will lend your eardrums to trap, hip-hop, electro, and everything in between, taking you on a musical journey from beginning to end.
We sat down with the duo to discuss what it means to be performing at Lollapalooza, their favorite moments from the past year, and significance of ‘Death to Genres.’
Growing up in Miami, you used to work and attend Ultra Music Festival. Now you are on the other side of things, performing at Lollapalooza. Can you describe what that means to you?
Matt: It’s unreal. We were in Miami just learning how to produce music and hanging out, just doing this as a hobby. So it’s crazy how quickly things can escalate just in the blink of an eye […] Just turning around to playing some of the biggest festivals in the world. People dream about this shit and we are doing it. I still really can’t believe it.
Julio: Yeah and we really just started out as fans too. Everyone we look up to, even when we were little kids […] It’s just amazing. It is an amazing experience and we are so grateful for everything that has happened for the past three years.
Matt: Yeah it is pretty crazy. We used to go to Major Lazer shows and see Diplo up there and we were like “Oh man! He’s so cool” and all this stuff and now he texts us stupid memes and shit all the time. It’s unreal.
You mentioned Diplo and coming from the fan side of it. Is there any one you meet backstage or on tour and you are absolutely star struck?
Julio: One particular person that I can remember off the top of my head – I used to listen to Korn a lot when I was younger and I met Jonathan Davis at a festival I went to and that was crazy. I was just like, “Do you realize I bought every single album of yours?”
Matt: Yeah and the position we are in, we are just so lucky that that is even possible. To be backstage at Coachella and you’re standing next to the lead singer of the Chili Peppers. Like, wow. “I CRY TO YOUR MUSIC!”
You have put out releases through Mad Decent, Tiesto’s Musical Freedom, Calvin Harris’ Fly Eye. What are some collaborations down the pipeline, whether it’s wishful thinking or the wheels are already turning?
Matt: We are constantly working with Diplo all the time. That was always a dream to work with him and we have been working with him so much already. Skrillex too. We were just with him a few days ago in Portland. We have been in the studio with him a few times, just hanging out. There’s just so many. We have been working with Flosstradamus as well. Pharrell as well we have been in the studio with. You know, just hopefully finish out some of the stuff we have been working on.
Julio: Yeah we are also trying to work with a lot more vocalists too; rappers, R&B singers, anything. We really just want to work a lot with talented people and being in an industry where that is flourishing right now […] There are so many cool and up-and-coming dudes who are just good guys and we just really want to work with them. We just worked with Juyen Sebulba who is another up-and-coming producer. Awesome tracks. Yellow Claw […] just a bunch of kids who we are fans of. We just want to collaborate and make cool music that everyone will enjoy.
What does “Death to Genres” mean to you?
Julio: “Death to Genres” is really just the mentality that you have about music. It’s just everyone should be open minded about it. A lot of artists, specifically producers, get pigeonholed in to making a certain kind of style or whatever. For us, we really enjoy all kinds of music and we really want to emulate that through our tracks. You never really know what to expect. And at the same time we really just want it to be viewed as good music. We don’t really want to have people think “Ugh this is house music and it’s cool but its not what you guys usually do.” I want people to really get that feeling of “Man, this song really makes me feel good.” And just base the type of songs that they like off of that […] Rather than reading labels and being like “Well if it’s house I wont listen to it.” Its just being open minded. That’s all.
Matt: Open your mind. [Whispers] Death to genres.
So much has happened in the past year. What has been some moments that have really stood out?
Matt: The way we just started the whole year. We played OMFG in San Diego on New Years Eve and we played the 11:30 to 1 AM slot through the ball drop in an arena of 8,000 people or so. 20 minutes in to our set we shut off the music to do the whole ball drop thing and we played this crazy track and everyone went nuts with the whole new year. It was just one of the craziest shows ever.
Julio: It’s just been getting progressively crazier and crazier as the year has gone on. We have done Ultra in our home town which is a big deal for us.
Matt: Yeah that’s what got it started for us. To be able to play that […] [laughs] In the middle of our set I’m standing on the speaker and I see some of my high school friends in the crowd. It was really incredible.
Julio: We have done a bunch of cool festivals we would have dreamed to play last year and now we are doing it. Coachella, Lollapalooza. It’s really amazing and we are just trying to take advantage of it and enjoy the ride.
You’ve mentioned in the past that the whole relationship stemmed from a shared love for System of a Down. What is your favorite SOD song?
Matt: One of the ones I really love is “Aerials” and the outro of the album. Its just some weird, I don’t even know. It sounds like some weird aboriginal flute shit. I just really love every album. I know every word.
Julio: I would say “Chop Suey.” That was one of the first SOD songs I have ever heard. Mr. Jack is really good.
If we were to catch you out in the crowd at Lollapalooza, who would you be watching?
Matt: Gessaffelstein. The Arctic Monkeys. Flume. Childish Gambino. Anna Lunoe. We were just in the studio with her the other day. Shout out Anna! Super cool chick.
Julio: Cage The Elephant. Yes dude, Flume. I saw him at Coachella for the first time and he was just incredible.
Any thing you want to leave your fans with?
Matt: Follow us on Twitter! Or Facebook! We got some new music coming. Some new remixes in the works. One for Skrillex’s “Ease My Mind,” Destructo ft. YG’s “Party Up.” We just put out “Hard House” with Juyen Sebulba a few weeks ago. It will make your eardrums very happy.
If you haven’t familiarized yourself with GTA now would be the time to do so. Their sets are some of the most energy filled sets I have seen all summer and are constantly mixing it up.
Check out “Hard House” with Juyen Sebulba below.
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