GTA's Van Toth Talks Ghetto Tech House, Bedroom Studios, and Laidback Luke
Every musician dreams of making it big.
Of course, it doesn't usually work out that way -- unless you're Miami-based electro duo GTA.
Matthew Toth and Julio Mejia, AKA Van Toth and JWLS respectively, have been working together for only about a year and half. But already, their work has been featured by EDM giants and Laidback Luke has made himself their mentor.
We here at Crossfade recently caught up with Toth to get the skinny.
Crossfade: How did you get in touch with Laidback Luke?
Toth: Just through his forums. Online, he has these forums that he has people post up their music and he'll check them out and give feedback. We posted a bunch of different songs, and he contacted us privately and said, "Oh, you guys are really good, some of the best stuff on the forum," and he wanted to sign us to his publishing label that he has, so we just went ahead and did that. And he's sort of mentoring us now.
How does it feel to have someone like Laidback Luke as your mentor and reach out to you?
It's crazy. I don't know, it's just such a big name that's really supporting you and helping you with your music and stuff. It's unreal.
How do you and Mejia's personal styles differ from each other and how do you blend them together in the studio?
We both really like all kinds of music, like all kinds. Rock, hip-hop, a lot of Latin music as well. His stuff is more, I wanna say, ghetto, and my stuff is more tech house, but together we just kind of fuse everything and do a little more big room.
So would you say being from Miami has left a mark on your sound?
It kind of does, just because it's such a big Latin community. We're both from the Latin background and have Latin families. We like a lot of tribal, Latin stuff and we incorporate that a lot into our production, but still try to keep it not Latin at the same time. It's just a mix of everything what we try to do, but it's definitely a huge influence.
What gets you stoked in the morning when you wake up?
I love the fact that my studio is in my room, so I can just wake up and start working on stuff.
Do you ever just wake up in the middle of the night and have to get to work right then and there?
Definitely a lot of ideas come at odd times. A lot of it's kind of random, mostly in the middle of the night. But I've never actually woken up and been like, "Oh man! I need to so work on this right now!" It's usually more like, "Alright I won't go to sleep until six o'clock in the morning because I've been working on this song all night."
From where do you draw inspiration?
It's more listening to other artists and other artists' tracks, and it could be random. I love electronic stuff, I love trance, I love everything... If I really love a song, I'll listen to it forever and then I'll just pretty much make a song that's sort of like it, but in my own complete way, and it usually just sort of ends up being the complete opposite of that idea that inspired me, but it's still somewhat incorporated into that song.
Who are some of your favorite producers?
I just saw Frankie Rizardo, which is a tribal house DJ from the Netherlands who was really awesome, I love all his stuff. One of the big guys is Sander Van Doorn, I love all his stuff. Like sort of moombaton kind of stuff I love Muchi, between him and Julio honestly that's like my favorite moombahton producers. It really depends, there's a lot of stuff out there, so many things that I like.
If you could open for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Me and Julio both agreed on System of a Down. We both love them, we know pretty much every lyric to all of their songs. That and some old salsa people, which is kind of random as well but it's some of the stuff we really like.
It's good that you stay pretty well-rounded.
It kind of sucks because some people have told us, like mangers and stuff, "Sometimes it's not so good that you have such a variety of stuff everywhere, it might be too much of a mix of everything." But we're getting really good responses and we try to go all over the place ... it's been working for us, even the big DJs seem to like it a lot so why not just keep going with that?
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.