Interview: GTA Speak on Touring with Rihanna, Their Success, and “Epic Mashleg”

gta-dad-interview

JWLS and Van Toth are two names that every festival-goer, DJ, blogger, raver, label executive, and European Rihanna concert-attending fan will be familiar with by now. Together, the two Miami-reppin’ producer/DJs make up one of the most explosive and positively versatile acts, GTA. With numerous massive bangers (pardon my clichés, but that’s just the best way of describing it!) like “Hit It!,” “Turn It Up!,” and “Booty Bounce,” GTA has already amassed a startling collection of labels in their camp including Tïesto‘s Musical Freedom, Chris Lake’s Rising Music, Diplo‘s Mad Decent, A-Trak‘s Fool’s Gold, Laidback Luke‘s MixmashT&A Records, Steve Angello‘s Size Records, Sony Music-owned juggernaut Ultra Records and now Skrillex‘s OWSLA. The duo recently upped the ante again taking on a supporting role as they toured Europe with pop star Rihanna. The duo didn’t have much time going between venues, but we did catch them for a quick phone call.

So you guys are currently in Europe, what’s been your favorite show so far?
Well, Lisbon was pretty awesome, the crowd was really interactive. It was a great show all around, everyone was jumping around, getting crazy. Definitely Lisbon.

And you guys are doing this as support with Rihanna, how did that come about?
It was really through our management. They work in the same offices as Jay Z‘s Roc Nation and through that, they put our name in for support, recommending us to do it and it’s been obviously a great opportunity. When we heard about it we were actually in Europe already for the first time, so we got the news about a week before we came home. It was very like “oh by the way, you guys are going on this Rihanna tour for two months and ten days,” so it was pretty crazy when we heard that. We obviously couldn’t pass it up either way, it’s been an amazing opportunity, and we’re really grateful for it. It’s crazy because it’s far from where we were not so long ago, y’know?

Definitely, and deservedly so. So I have to ask you now, what’s Rihanna like?
Well, we met her in the nightclub for the first time, actually, and she was pretty nice. She told us she liked our stuff and that she wanted to hang out more. So then we’re at the club and they asked us to get on and spin for half an hour so she saw us spin and she liked it more; it was awesome.

I can imagine that would be. Just one more thing on Rihanna before we move on. Rihanna has been very open about her pot use, so have you ever smoked with Rihanna?
No! [laughing] Not yet, we haven’t. I don’t know, maybe one day!

So now that you’re performing all over Europe and the U.S., if you could choose any place in the world to have a show, where would it be?
Hmm, we don’t know but we’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo. Tokyo, definitely. We haven’t been to Asia yet at all.

Who would you bring to support you guys?
I don’t know…ohh probably our man Diplo or Major Lazer.

Funny you should mention Diplo, because that’s related to my next question. You guys have blown up pretty quickly starting with your first release last year via Diplo’s Mad Decent sub label Jeffree’s and now you’re touring around the world with Europe. So firstly, congratulations on that. Secondly, besides yourselves of course, is there any one person you can attribute your success to?
Well it’s really just anyone that has supported us. Whether it’s DJs playing our stuff out or the new fans we’ve gained from just traveling. We were just fortunate enough to met the right people at the right time. We were in the right place at the right time, at least that’s how we always explain it really because you know without the support we’ve gotten from everyone, none of this would be possible. It really happened through word of mouth and all of that. So we’re really thankful for everyone’s support and everything that’s come from it. Obviously our work ethic has been a big part of it and we work really fast, and we’re able to do a bunch of other stuff as well by putting it out there and letting it do its thing. Again though, we’re very grateful for all the support we’ve gotten from everyone, it makes all this possible.

That’s really great to hear that you guys are cognizant of all this as it can be easy to forget i’m sure. You mentioned doing a lot of different things and one of those things is all the different styles of music you guys have released. Moombahton, big room house, trap, all kinds of stuff… so if you had three words to describe your sound, what would they be?
Oooh good question; probably hard, different, and cool.

And one of your biggest tracks to date was “Booty Bounce”…can you guys make your booty bounce?. . . Can you make it clap?
[laughing] Yeah man, we practice everyday! At least once a day!

Haha! So what you’re saying is that the next time we see you, we’ll see that booty bounce?
Haha! Maybe not, depends on how many drinks we’ve had right?!

What’s are your drinks of choice?
Well, we like beer, not really spirit drinkers. We enjoy Stella, Newcastle, Coronas. So beer.

Okay okay, now I have to ask you, there’s this mashup that’s been floating around this summer, have you guys heard it?
The epic what?

Epic Mashleg, have you heard it?
Ohhh…yeah… yeah we’ve heard it.

What do you think of it?
Ugh…I don’t know. Y’know at the time when we made “Hit It!,” that was way before any of this sound got big, I guess. It’s funny to see how many how many people are inspired by that same sound and everyone’s trying to put their take on it. There’s always a fine line between being inspired by and copying, y’know? Like with this particular sound, we think there’s only so much you can do with it and everyone wants to put their take on it, even though they all sound the same. The whole sound together is really just one distorted kick and like one big lead sound, so there’s only so many ways you can do that without sounding like you’re copying someone else. I think people just need to expand and try something else.

Definitely, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I know you’re running out of time so i’ve got one more question for you, Do androids dance?
Uh, yeah! Everyone dances, everything dances!