First and foremost, we, The Dankles, would like to thank GTA for taking the time to answer these questions for us and letting us get to know them a bit better. This Miami-based duo fuses two different musical backgrounds for an explosive result that is taking the EDM world by storm lately. Spitting out anything from salsa beats to Moombahton and House, we caught up with GTA mid-tour with Laidback Luke, and had the chance to catch their set in New Haven, and even hang out with them for a bit after the set. Let’s get a glimpse into their world….
VT – Matt Van Toth
JM – Julio Mejia
Q: What city would you guys have liked to play in on the tour (that you didn’t)? What would be your dream city/venue to play a set in?
Both: “City on the tour? Probably Montreal, we’ve heard a lot of good things about Montreal.”
VT: “Me personally, Ibiza, that’s my dream.”
JM: “Me too, Ibiza, you go play there and you’re the real deal.”
Q: Favorite memory of the tour so far?
VT: Toronto. Toronto was dope. It was very similar to this crowd tonight (in New Haven). They were eating everything up that we were playing and they loved it, it was amazing, just energy the entire time. And from all the US dates, here (New Haven), I think so far has been the best one.
JM: Yeah, New Haven. We didn’t expect that either we were like ‘Oohh, Connecticut, cool’, and it ended up being the best US date of the tour so far.
Q: Where do you guys see your sound progressing to in the future as a duo?
VT: Well, tonight we played one of our new tracks, it’s called “Booty Bounce”, we were just making that on the bus. It’s something that you can play at any set for anyone. We like to make progressive, really happy stuff too. We try to be different than everyone else. We try to make something that similar to what everybody likes, but not exactly. Not to the point where people would say, ‘That sounds like Avicii’, we’d rather it be, ‘They sound sort-of like insert big name here (D.Guetta/Avicii, etc.) but with a different spin on it’.
Listen : Falcon (Original Mix Sample) – GTA
Q: Do you guys play any pranks on each other on the bus?
JM: Yeah, actually, they make fun of me all the time. They say I don’t go and hit on girls, but I’m the only single person on the bus. It’s like a daily thing.
VT: There are ground rules, absolutely zero pranks in the bunk cabin.
Q: Would you guys ever use completely unexpected elements from other genres outside of EDM in your tracks? Like some country twangs or smooth jazz breaks?
VT: We have house tracks that have complete salsa beats. We’ve made complete salsa beats just for some of our tracks from scratch. Most people just sample from like really, really old songs. He (Julio) knows a lot about that stuff because he’s been playing the trumpet for years. I’ve been playing the guitar for years, so the both of us, we’re really into kind of everything. We try to incorporate a little bit of everything into what we do.
JM: We incorporate a lot of stuff, I mean, nothing too crazy like country though. That’s just outlandish. Personally, I don’t like country, but, we incorporate hip-hop into our songs, R&B, whatever. We try to incorporate everything that we like, but nothing too off the chart like polka or country.
Q: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment thus far? And what would you guys like to accomplish in the future?
VT: Support from some of our favorite producers ever. Like Tiesto, Diplo, Major Lazer, Craze and Bangladesh. Actually, Flying Lotus also dropped our track with Diplo and Elephant Man (“Move Around”).
JM: Our biggest accomplishment thus far has definitely been this tour. As a producer, all you want to do is go out and play your music. And this tour is pretty much like we get to be out and play to everyone.
Q: What is your favorite track as a duo to drop at a live set?
VT: There’s so many. Some of our bootlegs, especially of Tiesto’s Allure “Show Me the Way”, every time we drop that all we hear is the crowd going absolutely insane.
JM: I think we have played Gianni Marino’s remix of “Tom’s Diner” at every single venue we’ve been at on this tour. We feel amazing when we play one of our original mixes or mash-ups or whatever, as long as it’s OURS and everyone goes crazy for it, we feel like ‘damn, we made this beat’, and that in itself is an accomplishment.
Q: When can we expect an EP?
VT: I have a solo Van Toth EP that’s with “Ai Novinha” and “Tongue Twist” out on Mixmash. They told me its out on June 17th, but we’ll see about that.
JM: We’re still working on our GTA EP. It’s going to be out on Mixmash.
Q: After having played in so many cities and venues with different technical set-ups, what would you guys say is your preferred set-up?
VT: We are literally the simplest, most uncomplicated ever. We have just a computer, with a regular keyboard and a mouse. We have a MIDI board, and that’s really all we need, oh, and FL Studio, Fruity Loops. We used Ableton for “Booty Bounce”, but everything sounds so well in FL 10.
Q: What kind of knowledge and experiences from this tour and working with Luke will you guys take with you and utilize in the future?
Both: Reading crowds definitely. Also, learning how the Northeast reacts to the music and the club scene up here because it’s really different from down in Miami. And just learning from Luke’s work flow in general; how much he actually works, and how much effort it takes to actually be on his level is unbelievable. He doesn’t drink ever, he will play a set and then get on the bus and just work on other mixes and deadlines that he has, he also barely sleeps, maybe 4-5 hours tops, a crazy work ethic. He even trains for Kung-Fu, I don’t know how he has time for all of this. It’s motivational to see someone work like that.