Photo Credit to Jasmine Safaeian
It was the last day of Ultra and we entered the venue exhausted, but ready to indulge ourselves in the musical pickings of some of dance music's best. During the day, we had the chance to sit down with superstar duo GTA who spoke to us past the superficial surface of an interview and gave us, and now you, the chance to get to know their thoughts on some of the most inspiring topics they've had the chance to expand themselves in. Take a look below, and dive deep into a discussion of music and politics with GTA.
How does it feel to be back in Miami for another year?
It’s awesome. We didn’t play last year but we did two years ago and it’s a pleasure to be able to play for our hometown and the festivals we used to go to back in the day. It’s cool how it came full circle, we used to pay to come and see our favorite artists and now we get to play for our fans. This year especially as we get to close out the worldwide stage.
What’s the preparation been like for this performance?
It includes a lot of new stuff we’ve been working on this year so far. A lot of energy, a lot of GTA ID’s in there, and you know us, always a lot of good times.
What makes Ultra different from other festivals for you guys?
It’s been great we love coming here and working with Ultra as an overall organization. Coming here in 2008 originally the party was just as wild as it is now and it really helped to get us into dance music. Ultra sets the bar for festivals all over the world, and we are very proud to be apart of that. The fans and the crowds are the same kind of people for us so it has been very easy for us to vibe with the event over the years.
Tell us about the rest of your run this summer and some other festivals you are excited to be apart of.
We’re stoked to play Electric Forest this year, EDC Vegas will be insane, Paradiso an incredible time as well. We’re also doing a lot of smaller multi-genre festivals that we are going to get really weird with and play a lot of stuff we don’t normally play on the bigger stages. We’ll be in Asia a lot this summer as well I think 2-3 full trips in the next 5 months. Asia is crazy. They really just started opening up to our type of music and for example we just played in Djakarta at the Warehouse Project and it was NUTS. The crowd was super into it and it took us by shock a little bit that we have really reached that part of the world so well.
Do you find that going outside of the United States to somewhere like Asia that fans are more dedicated since the scenes are smaller?
It’s crazy man. Our first time in Asia wasn’t even very long ago, but it already has become our favorite place to play. Diving deeper into the musical culture there has been really stimulating and it’s heartwarming to see how excited people are to have us in their country. The amount of love we get out there is hard to match. We really didn’t expect to have such a following over there. It’s not necessarily present on social media so it came very much out of right field but the following there, while not conventional, is for sure special in it’s own amazing way. They’ll sing along to our tunes and we are blown away that they might not know English but they know our lyrics. Not this December, but the December before, we took a trip to Myanmar to play a few shows and at the time, we headlined the biggest festival they had to date in the country at over 8,000 people. All the promoters were close to tears because they couldn’t believe it was happening. It was so new to them and seeing the excitement and happiness it makes us feel awesome about what we’re doing.
Speaking of Myanmar and other countries in Asia who have struggled in recent history with things like freedom, democracy, and expression, do you guys find that something like electronic music can bring an aspect of life and beauty to the citizens that they yearn for?
Definitely. We all go to events and shows for the most part to take a break from real life for a bit. Taking a breather from problems and struggle in our lives we see as a really important aspect of living a healthy fulfilling life. I think more and more events can sometimes bring negative things in a lot of ways, but more importantly it’s opening the door for what music can really do in the lives of passionate human beings. We want to provide a totally different environment that is new and exciting and unfamiliar to spark people’s inner child and let that inner child run wild.
What did you creative process look like for this most recent album?
It’s our first album so it was definitely a learning experience for us in a lot of ways. We learned how to make a body of work that defines each track separately but still finds a way to flow as a project. We were touring a lot during the time we made it as well which took some time, but we were happy to take our time with it and let each piece challenge us creatively. It was something we hadn’t done before in the sense that we tried a lot of genres and collaborations we weren’t open to at one point. It came out very unexpected but it was really stimulating for us creatively and it pushed us to think outside the box in a way I think we needed at this point in our careers. We didn’t want to make the next big hit, we wanted to just have an open blank sheet of paper to work with. We enjoyed the hell out of the last two years. We think very differently about our music after this process.
When someone is leaving a GTA set, what do you want them to be feeling, saying, thinking, etc.?
Simply put, wow, that was a good time.