INTERVIEW: GTA & Good Times Ahead on their “Goons Take America” Tour!


Thanksgiving Eve in Manhattan is a particularly special night where the rowdiest ragers can burn off some calories before stuffing their faces with food the following day. This year, GTA took the liberty of bringing this inadvertent workout to Irving Plaza on Wednesday, November 25th, accompanied by Wax Motif, K Camp and Rich the Kid on their “Goons Take America” Tour. Before shaking down Union Square with their addictive booty-bouncing beats, EDM NYC contributor, Liz Tillman, caught up with Julio Mejia and Matt Toth of GTA to get some inside details about their tour, new EP, “Death to Genres: Volume 2,” and even their holiday wish list. Check it out below!

GTA NY.13Photography Courtesy of GTA

You just released a new EP, “Death to Genres Vol. 2.” If you could kill off one genre of music what would it be and why?

Matt: Really corny country music

Julio: YES!

Matt: It’s fucking horrendous.

Excellent answer!

Matt: I mean there’s good country music, don’t get me wrong. I’m not the biggest fan of it anyway, but still. Like the really bad ones.

Do you guys get a lot of country music down in Miami?

Julio: Actually we do. Surprisingly, yeah. We actually have a country festival. It’s called like “Chili Cook Off” or something like that. It’s really cool though. I’ve been there actually one time.

Matt: 99 Kiss FM in Miami plays like all country music. Yeah, there’s a bit of it.

Although you are known for wanting to destroy the concept of “genres,” you are often put into the “trap” subcategory of EDM. Can you describe any stereotypes about the “trap” scene and do you identify with any of them?

Julio: I mean one main one I guess would be that we smoke a lot of weed, and personally, I can attest to the fact that I do. So yeah, I’ll go with that. I mean personally though, I feel like we do everything production-wise. Like our music has been across the board. I mean I don’t really feel offended or anything like that by being called “trap DJs.” It’s whatever, I mean we do trap music and stuff like that, and a lot of the people that listen to EDM in general listen to trap now.

Matt: Yeah, I’d agree with what Julio said.

On this new EP you collaborated with Sandro Silva on the song “Hell Of A Night” – can you tell us about a “hell of a night” you’ve had in the past year?

Matt: With Sandro Silva himself, we were in Mexico City after a festival, and we were already pretty wasted.

Julio: Super wasted actually!

Matt: We had already had a “hell of a night.” And then we decided to take back to the hotel a bottle of Don Julio 1942 tequila, and between the three of us, and David Solano actually now that I remember, so between the four of us, we killed an entire bottle of tequila, on top of the fact that we were drunk. We didn’t know that we had a 7AM flight that day, so it was pretty crazy. We were super wasted at that point. Like, our tour manager was even freaking out like “Oh where are you guys?!” because we weren’t answering our phones. We finally answered our phones and had like 5 minutes to be downstairs before we had to be picked up to go to the airport. Me and him were like so wasted.

Sounds like a Hellll of a Night

Matt: Oh, and it doesn’t stop there. We get to the airport, and we get to the gate. We were just joking around, and there was a bar that was open in front of the gate, and I was like “Julio, –

Julio: This is at 6 in the morning by the way!

Matt: There were a bunch of people there, just normal people going about their lives, and we’re just wasted. So I say, “Julio, how much for you to take another shot of tequila right now?” And I was just joking around, I didn’t think he’d actually do it. And Julio goes, “Let’s do it!” So we went, took another shot, on top of already being probably the most drunk I’ve ever been. We also weren’t thinking that we wouldn’t have to fly very far.

Julio: We were actually flying form Mexico City to Dallas, which in reality is like three hours. We thought it was going to be like six or seven hours or something like that.

Matt: It was like an hour and a half I think it was. We thought we were going to have enough time to take a nap or something. We get there on the flight, just passed out. Like an hour later we’re landing, thinking, “Oh man! I can’t wait to get to the hotel where we can finally sleep or something!” And we ended up playing at like 3PM. So it was just a pretty ridiculous day. I would say that was quite a hell of a night.

Julio: Totally. Absolutely.

This new EP has heavy bass and hip hop twists. If this EP could be incorporated into a video game soundtrack, which video game would it be (and don’t say GTA!)?

Julio: Probably DJ Hero.

Matt: Alright, I’d agree with DJ Hero. Do they still make that?

Julio: Nah, not anymore. I wish they did!

You’ve collaborated in the studio with both producers and vocalists, how does the production process change when working with a producer as opposed to a rapper or singer?

Matt: It really depends on the vocalist. I guess it also depends on the producer really. But I feel like when we work with producers they understand the whole production aspect of it. You know, it takes a while to touch up sounds, and they understand more of how that works, whereas the vocalist who either just writes or sings. They’re kind of used to having the song already being created, and they’re just adding their part to it. So I guess that would be the main difference.

I understand you both have a mutual love for System of a Down. Is there a possibility to ever do a collaboration with them?

Matt: I would LOVE to do a collab with them.

Julio: Please…System of a Down, if you’re seeing this right now: System, we love you. We want to do a track with you, absolutely. We will pay to make that happen.

With this “Goons Take America” tour, have you thought about any plans to take over the world? If so, what would be your first step for goons to take over the world?

Matt: I mean I would love to, I mean, if they’re accepting and willing of it. I don’t want to take anyone by force. That’s not fun for anyone. But sure, I mean I’d love to take over the world, but mostly tour the world.

The name “GTA” can be an acronym for “Goons Take America” and “Good Times Ahead.” Can you name some other things GTA can stand for?

Matt: Guatemalan Techno Army.

Julio: Great Tits and Ass… Giant Tits And Ass

Matt: Great Thoughts (or Thots) Already

Julio: I don’t know. Guatemalan Techno Army is the best one.

Seeing as the holidays are around the corner, can you each tell us some things on your wish list?

Julio: A new puppy!

Matt: A new puppy? You just got one!

Julio: The last one cost me money though. I want a free puppy!

Do you like big or small dogs?

Julio: Small dogs! I actually have a little French Bulldog. I love it, I want another one!

Matt: I’m okay with animals, so I don’t know if I need anymore. It’s kind of weird, I feel like I always had such a big list when I was a kid, and now I’m just like, I just want to take care of my next rent. I’ll take that.

In your opinion, what makes New York a one-of-a-kind city to perform in?

Matt: There’s so many people.

Julio: There’s a lot of people, but also I feel like the energy is just one of a kind. You know what I mean? Like once you come to the show, you gain your fans who are just there for life. Like we’ve experienced that. Like we’ve come to New York for the past four years, and every time we come, the crowds have just been getting crazier and bigger. It’s always an honor to play here. And we’re super excited, I mean like most of our homies are from here too. Shout out to Baauer, shout out to all the people who live out here.

Matt: Fool’s Gold!!

Julio: Yeah, we love New York and hopefully we come back a lot more.


Interview by Liz Tillman



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Liz Tillman

Entertainment marketing professional by day, electronic music lover and journalist by night. Instagram & Twitter: @liztillmanny

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