The ClubPlanet Interview: GTA

The ClubPlanet Interview: GTA

by DJ Ron Slomowicz
11.20.2015

Death to genres. That is the call to action of Julio Mejia and Matt Toth, the dj/production duo known as GTA. Their productions and live sets are a mix of electro, trap, rock, hip hop, and everything in between. What ties it all together is not on their DGAFOS attitude but their energy and passion for entertaining the crowd. “Intoxicated,” their collaboration with Martin Solveig was brilliant mash of styles which conquered the clubfloors worldwide and even reached the top 5 of the UK pop chart. Their ‘Death to Genres’ EPs are essential listening as is their recent collab with Laidback Luke and Aruna “The Chase.”

RS: Big questions, are you getting intoxicated yet?
Julia Mejia: I am intoxicated right now.

RS: How did you hook up with Martin Solveig for the track?
Matthew Van Toth: He hit us up on twitter and told us that he liked our sound and what we were doing and asked if we wanted to go to the studio and make some stuff. We are big fans of Martin and met up in LA and now we have “Intoxicated.”

RS: So you guys were actually in the studio with him?
Matthew Van Toth: Yes

RS: What is he like to work with on a keyboard?
Julia Mejia: He is so good at the key board and so good at making melodies and writing lyrics. He is a real song writer and working with a talented person like that is on another level. Working with a prouder and a song writer are two completely different things and it’s pretty inspirational.

RS: I love your EP because it is all over the place, how do you define your genre or do you?
Matthew Van Toth: We don’t and we try not to. We have our little slogan “death to genres” and it’s about being able to do whatever we want creatively and not being held to one little thing which happens to a lot of producers. We just came out with our new EP called “Death To Genres: Volume 1? and it has tons of different stuff and all different kinds of sounds.
Julia Mejia: We pretty much have the mentality of anything goes and we really want people to enjoy music for what it is and not for the label or what it is on paper. For us it’s just about having good times listening to stuff that you love. Good music is good music and that is how we see it and that’s what that song is about.

RS: I love that because so much stuff gets categorized and I’m over here and you’re over here etc. How did you find Paul Wall?
Matthew Van Toth: We actually started working with Scoop Deville who is a hip hop producer and we were in the studio one day and he said that his friend Paul was going to come through. He got a call and it was Paul Wall on the phone and he asked us if we wanted anything from In-N-Out. Sure enough Paul Wall walked in the door with a bunch of In-N-Out Burger for everyone, we were like holy shit this is Paul Wall. We were working on a beat already and he really liked it and he all of a sudden started writing to it and got on the mic and that is how that was done. It was crazy.

RS: Are you afraid about any blowback from having a track just about smoking weed?
Matthew Van Toth: No, everyone smokes weed and if you don’t that’s your choice.
Julia Mejia: I feel like weed is popularized now so I think that it is okay. I’m pretty sure if we would have done it a couple of years ago it probably would have been unacceptable.

RS: I can totally see Snoop Dogg on that track because when I think of smoking weed he is the first one that comes to mind.
Julia Mejia:
We need a Snoop Dogg remix!

RS: What is coming up next from you guys?
Matthew Van Toth: We are already working on our next EP which will be out in a few months. We have tons of festivals and tours coming up and obviously Ultra tonight so just music, mixes, shows, sweatiness, ear loss, and fatigue.

RS: On your EP you have this rapper Stush who I think is sick. I remember her from the Groove Armada days, how did y’all hook up with her?
Matthew Van Toth: We actually did that collab with Wiwek and we have a few more with him but he had worked with her before and he had an idea. The collab that we did with him was originally a remix of a Missy Elliot’s song. We thought it would be cool to take all the Missy Elliot parts and put in an original vocal. He said he had this girl Stush and she was super excited. She sounds amazing and it is so dope.
Julia Mejia: It was pretty much just through email and she turned it around so quickly, literally in 2 days she had a full verse and we just laid it in there and it just fit. It is a pretty cool tribal track and I think that it is good mix of both of our flavors, it has that jungle terror sound but also that festival level volume.

RS: Are there any more collaborations that we should look for?
Matthew Van Toth: We have a ton, we have one that we are working on with Skrillex and Ape Drums that the internet has been blowing up about and we have one with Flosstradamus and Lil Jon which has also been blowing up as well. We also have two more tracks with Wiwek, some stuff with Wookie, we just put out that one with TJR and we started one with Yellow Claw and there are some with Diplo.

RS: I see your Instagram and twitter and it sounds like you guys are on the road a lot, how do you stay healthy and sane with that kind of schedule?
Matthew Van Toth: We just try not to eat too crazily, we exercise a bit and we play video games and take time off to just do nothing and keep the mind straight.
Julia Mejia: Yeah we try and go home at least every two weeks to spend some time at home and that is pretty much how we keep sane. We tried touring for months at a time and it was tough.
Matthew Van Toth: There may have been one less person in GTA if we would have kept that schedule.

RS: At the end of the night which hurts more- your ears from the sound or your eyes from all the camera phones?
Matthew Van Toth: My ears from the sound.
Julia Mejia: Me too, I’m pretty sure I’m deaf actually, my ears hurt all the time.

RS: When you guys are mixing do you go track by track or how do you plan out your set?
Matthew Van Toth: Yeah we pretty much just go one and one, if we are really feeling it and want to go into the next track we just talk to each other. We talk to each other about when we change tempos and all of that so there is a lot of communication.
Julia Mejia: We pretty much just plan it right then and there and we just go with the crowd’s vibe. It is really just random and sporadic and in the moment.

RS: That is when you are playing live, how about when you are in the studio working on tracks? Do you fight over the keyboard?
Matthew Van Toth: Sometimes, since we are on the road so much we start an idea on our own and then we will show each other the basic idea of what we have and then we will build the track from there. We bounce ideas off of each other and just work from there.
Julia Mejia: Yeah it’s all very random and that’s pretty much how we are. We are just random people that’s why we click so well.

RS: If you could go back to when you were 18 years old and give yourself some advice what would you say to yourself?
Julia Mejia: Don’t get that cafeteria pizza man get that salad>.
Matthew Van Toth: Work harder and don’t be lazy.

RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Matthew Van Toth: : On behalf of GTA thank you guys so much for all of the support. Go check out our “Death to Genres: Volume 1? album if you haven’t already on ITunes or Beatport. For real thank you so much, if it wasn’t for you guys we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing.
Julia Mejia: Thank you so much, this is a dream come true and we get to put out music and do what we love because of your guys, we are so grateful.
Matthew Van Toth: Stay in school, don’t do drugs, listen to your mom, pay your bills and do your laundry.




Interview conducted during WMC 2015.

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paul wall     aruna     diplo     flostradamus     in-n-out     laidback luke     martin solveig     scoop deville     skrillex     snoop dogg     stush     wiwek     wookie     yellow claw     gta

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