The powerhouse party duo that is GTA are on their way back down under to bring the good times thanks to touring powerhouse BBE. To prepare for this, we were lucky enough to get the chance to have a chat with them about their career, production and their favourite Australian artists.
[TSAU] Looking back on your career it seems like one of the real tipping points was the feature on Diplo’s Express Yourself EP way back in 2012, with Move Around. Then following up on this the next year with Boy Oh Boy. How did all of this fall together, and what was Diplo like to work with?
[GTA] Man that seems like so long ago! Hah. Yeah so Diplo had hit us up on email after we had sent him a few tracks and had asked if we wanted to work with him. At the time we hadn’t ever worked with an established artist and especially one we looked up to so we were very nervous. He came out to Miami and we went to pick him up in my shitty car and brought him back to my shitty small studio/bedroom where the 2 of us had to sit on my bed because no other chairs fit haha. But Diplo was so awesome and humble! He loved every part of it and we made Move Around that day. A few months later we had been out in LA and we went to his studio where he proposed this idea to make a bootleg of Missy Elliot’s Work It and that’s how we made Boy Oh Boy!
[TSAU] In 2015 you guys really hit prominence with the Death To Genres series, with the stand-out track Red Lips with the iconic Sam Bruno vocals attracting a tonne of attention, and a remix from none other than Skrillex. What was the creative process like coming into this song, and the whole DTG series?
[GTA] Our creative process is very random. Sometimes we start with chords, sometimes drums, sometimes Julio will start idea, and vice versa. Ideas for songs just kinda happen randomly and we kinda just go with the flow. We had come across this vocal from Sam Bruno and we loved it so much. We had some time off in Amsterdam during the summer of 2015 and spent days and nights finishing Red Lips, as well as a ton of other tracks that were part of DTG! Fun Fact: Diplo also happened to be in the other room of the studio we were using during that week! So we were hanging out there as well haha
[TSAU] While we’re on the topic of your creative process, how do you guys work as a duo? What’s the distribution of work like in terms of both the production and the DJ side of things?
[GTA] Like I said we both kinda share the work and sometimes Matt or Julio will start an idea and then we’ll both work on it from there. For the most part, Julio can create chords and melodies a bit easier than Matt can. And Matt knows more about the technical side of things so he usually mixes the tracks. So we usually play to our strengths but still, there’s been plenty of times where we both do it all! We really just try and keep track of our open projects and work together as much as possible but also work separately to keep things moving forward!
[TSAU] Jumping forward to the present, it’s now been almost exactly one year since your album, Good Times Ahead dropped, and it seems you’ve spent nearly every waking moment since then on tour, how has the year been? What’s your secret to maintaining momentum through months of tours and shows?
[GTA] This year we have been working a lot more on the production side of things. We got to produce a song on Vince Staples’ album – Big Fish Theory – called ‘Love Can Be’, and we’ve also been working with more songwriters and producers for each other’s projects. Though we tour a lot, we try to stay healthy and take some time off when we need it. We’re pretty used to touring a lot now, but every now and then we’d take some days off and relax at home or work on music.
[TSAU] We’re lucky enough to have you guys on Australian shores in late October, so in the lead-up to you guys touching down here we wanted to ask who your top 5 Australian producers are at the moment, and what Aussies you guys would really love to work with?
[GTA] Some Australian producers we love (in no particular order) are Quix, What So Not, Wax Motif, Cutsnake and of course Flume! As far as collaborations we’d love to do something with Flume or Ta-ku since we really love the hip-hop influence they have in their sound!
That’s a wrap on that one. Don’t forget to score yourself a ticket to come along and join the party, there definitely are some Good Times Ahead. Pick up your tickets to the Sydney show here!