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Event Review + Exclusive Interview | GTA Takes Irving Plaza 11/23/15

Hope your Thanksgiving break was filled with endless noms, Black Friday deals and some awesome shows, because mine sure was! What I witnessed this past Wednesday at Irving Plaza was the epitome of lit, as a pair of goons that are currently on their “Goons Take America” tour decided to “Take Irving Plaza“. These goons are of course, GTA, and man, did they TAKE Irving Plaza-

Photo Credit: @weareGTA

Photo Credit: @weareGTA

I had the pleasure of kicking it back with them and chatting it up during the beginning of Wax Motif’s set, and you can read the full interview below where we discuss a medley of things: their new ‘Death To Genres’ EP, Game Of Thrones, their guilty pleasure albums- you name it, we talked about it. After I said my farewell’s to the boys, even more hyped for their set than I was before, I met up with the rest of my friends to have what was to be a killer night, and it definitely was. The very versatile Wax Motif went IN as he dabbled between some rap, house, future-house and some bass-heavy house for his set and completely had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. There couldn’t have been a more perfect opener for GTA. He dropped some classics, like ‘Deep Down Low‘ by Valentino Khan and Tchami‘s ‘Promesses‘, and then started getting a little heavier on the bass by dropping some AC Slater and HI-LO‘s ‘Crank It Up‘. Then as the set was drawing to a close, in prep for GTA, Rich The Kid and K Camp, Wax got the trap arms pumping with dropping some rap and trap, dropping RL Grime‘s ‘Kingpin‘ and A$AP Ferg‘s ‘Work‘ (cue the signature “Balliiiiiiiin”). However, the track that truly blew me away, considering I’ve been waiting to hear it live ever since I heard it featured in his b2b NightBass set with AC Slater, was the was the Chris Lake & Matroda Remix of SNBRN‘s ‘California‘. You could say I had very happy feet when it was dropped because I could not stop shuffling and getting my groove on.

Photo Credit: @waxmotif

Photo Credit: @waxmotif

Time for a change of pace with some rap and trap from Rich The Kid and K Camp! Truthfully, I wasn’t too familiar with any of K Camp’s or Rich The Kid’s tracks prior seeing them but after their performances, I definitely started to be. They had the floors of Irving Plaza shaking as everyone was jumping and going absolutely in-SANE, to the point where people needed to take some breathers because of how hard everyone was going. Now, on to the men of the night, the moment every single person in Irving Plaza was waiting for…

Photo Credit: @weareGTA

Photo Credit: @weareGTA

The visuals were getting trippier and tripper and two goon-ish little characters came on screen, clearly representing GTA and were mimic-ing their movements, which was so so dope. The intro of GTA & Valentino Khan‘s ‘Break Your Neck‘ started to play. This was it, the moment we’ve all been eagerly awaiting for, time for GTA. Every single person in the crowd high-key knew that they were about to break their necks due to how hard we all would go when ‘Break Your Neck’ would be dropped, but as if GTA couldn’t destroy the crowd any further, they blew our minds and dropped a VIP remix of the track. Then, because clearly our necks and bodies weren’t broken enough, they not only dropped Skrillex & Diplo‘s (Jack Ü) ‘Jungle Bae‘ but they transitioned the drop into Martin Garrix & Hardwell‘s ‘Carousel (Music Box)‘, to which I literally almost burst into tears because how flawlessly it combined together and how sick it was. It was one of those moments where the crowd wasn’t expecting that insane of a drop and we all just went “OHHHHHH!” as we all jumped around and just lost it.

Bangers after bangers after bangers, mosh pits and crowd-surfing is the only way I can describe how the rest of their set went, as the duo stuck to their signature motto “death to genres” and played everything ranging from trap, rap, moombahton, some sexy-funky moombahton, jungle terror, electro-house and even some sassy throwback R&B pop to which all of Irving Plaza turned into a Beyoncé music video. Every girl, and even some guys, became FIERCE AF when GTA played Ciara‘s ‘1, 2 Step‘ and Chelley‘s ‘Took The Night‘. Literally the highlight of my night was seeing this group of guys singing along and letting their inner Beyonce out (shout-out). As I previously wrote in the GTA event preview, I promised and swore that if GTA played their collab with WiwekWhat We Tell Dem‘ that I quote, said, “you best believe you can catch me losing it if it gets dropped during their set“, and it’s safe to say I stuck to that promise. It was as if the inner animal within got unleashed, and it wasn’t just me, but everyone else clearly felt the same as Irving Plaza turned into a jungle full of wild animals going insane to some jungle-terror. Of course, it was only appropriate that the boys dropped tracks off of their new, just-released EP, including my personal favorites ‘Blow Up‘ and ‘LCA. As if the night couldn’t have gotten any better, they also brought out Flosstradamus. Yup, no words needed further, but all I could say was Irving Plaza was left in pieces after GTA took the stage.

Photo Credit: @bri_katz

Photo Credit: @bri_katz

GTA are by far the chillest, funniest, coolest and most humble pair of dudes in the game, and it was a pleasure meeting them and discussing their new EP, which explains the mysterious cryptic countdown they had last week on their website, and overall how the “Goons Take America” tour has been thus far. No, GTA does not stand for “Grand Theft Auto” as you would of probably assumed, but instead, it stands for “Good Times Ahead“, and they could not have been more on point with that because these boys are all about good times. See for yourself:


TFM: Let’s kick it off with a generic question that I’m sure you guys have gotten a lot. A lot of people think of Grand Theft Auto when they see GTA, but it stands for Good Times Ahead. What made you guys choose that?

Matt: It’s actually really funny, no one’s ever asked us that!

TFM: What?! Really!

Matt: Nah, I’m totally kidding [laughs] but I got you though!

TFM: You did get me! (***sidenote: I’m also really gulible, so of course I would’ve believed that.)

Matt: But yeah, it stands for Good Times Ahead. The way it started was that we were very young, and we were like “Oh, it would be so cool if our name was “Grand Theft Audio”!”

TFM: Do you guys like the game Grand Theft Auto?

Matt: Oh yeah, we play it all the time! We were like “yo, Grand Theft Audio would be such a cool name” but it ends up that the game, GTA, actually made a record label called Grand Theft Audio so we had to change that, but we still wanted to stick with GTA. So we thought of Good Times Ahead *shows me the tattoo on his arm of “Good Times Ahead”* because we’re all about good times and everyone should just be looking forward to things since that’s all that’s coming to you. So yeah, that’s the story behind that!


TFM: Very deep! So, your new ‘Death To Genres’ vol. 2 EP – congrats on that! Tell me a little bit about it and the tracks off of it:

Julio: Personally, my favorite track would be ‘LCA‘. I think that one is such a big festival track, and we actually started playing it during festival season. We tried it out at a bunch of different festivals and every time we played it, we had such a massive response towards it. But yeah, this whole EP is a continuation obviously of the “Death To Genres” volumes and it’s kind of where our heads have been at for the past 4-5 months, where we worked with guys like Wiwek and Sandro Silva from Amsterdam. We wanted to make something that would be pushing the boundaries for everyone. For example, with ‘Blow Up‘, the track we did with Wiwek, we wanted something like moombahton because everyone was doing that jungle-terror festival stuff. So we were like “let’s do something different”, something more like sexy-slow music, so that’s exactly what we did. Putting out the EP was amazing.

TFM: Awesome! *looks to Matt* What was your favorite track off the EP?

Matt: Hmm, I like ‘Hell Of A Night’. We’ve always wanted to mix our style with more of a European dance-music breakdown kind of thing, which we kind of accomplished with that. I also love ‘Goons‘ and ‘Blow Up‘, and they were actually tracks that were 2 or 3 years old. Half of these tracks are more older stuff that we kind of revitalized and finally put out, and experimented with.


TFM: You guys emphasize a lot on “death to genres” and you guys aren’t tied down to one specific genre. But is there one at the moment that you guys are kind of dabbling with the most?

Matt: Dance music in general [laughs].

Julio: I feel like we’ve been doing a lot of future-house type of stuff. I don’t know, I just feel like that’s the kind of vibe we’ve been listening to. We’ve been listening to a lot of Gregor Salto mixes and Chocolate Puma mixes and that kind of stuff works really well in a club scene, especially the New York scene, surprisingly! I f*ck with that, we both f*ck with that, but tomorrow we could be into country music so you never know!

Matt: Oh, It’s happening. We’ve already made a reggae song and a full salsa song.

TFM: Wait Julio, weren’t you in a salsa band? I feel like I heard that somewhere.

Julio: Yeah! High school going into college.


TFM: Haha, so how has the tour been so far?

Matt: Julio lost a kick-flip competition to Wax Motif. He did however win an NHL hockey playstation competition.

Julio: We have a playstation on the bus! Actually, you know what? My winning team was the New York Rangers and I won the contest. I won $20. We also had my manager try to hand out some GTA stickers in Times Square in a bear suit. But yeah, the whole tours been awesome. We’ve been on the road for about 3 and a half weeks and it’s a bus tour, and it’s our first headlining bus tour. It was amazing, just going across mostly the east-coast and seeing how everyone is reacting to all the new music.

Photo Credit: @waxmotif

Photo Credit: @waxmotif

Matt: It’s unreal to us- that we’re actually doing this on our own and doing our own bus tour. This feels like we’re kind of real artists.


TFM: Aw, congrats guys! For your set tonight, you’re obviously gonna drop tracks off the new EP. Is there any one that you’re really looking forward to seeing the crowd’s reaction to? Or any new tracks?

Matt: Yeah. We actually have a VIP version of ‘Break Your Neck’ from our first EP. So we have a special edit of that that no one has really heard before, other than the previous shows on the tour. We’re gonna open with that one, and we have some new tracks. We have a new one with Rich The Kid that we made on tour, too.


TFM: What’s one thing that people probably don’t know about you guys? Like a hidden talent or a secret obsession?

Julio: I’m short. Most people think I’m tall though…I’m totally kidding [laughs]. I look just as short in person as I do anywhere else.

Matt: My guilty pleasure album is Maroon 5 ‘Songs About Jane’.

Julio: Mine is N’SYNC.

TFM: I think Julio’s wins. N’SYNC over everything man! [Julio laughs]

Matt: I agree, I agree, it’s a good one.


TFM: Alright, so let’s say the world is ending. And you have to pick 3 other DJ’s to basically squad with and survive with, and essentially just put all your trust into them. Who would you pick-

Matt: *immediately answers* Skrillex.

Julio: YES.

Matt: Diplo.

Julio: YES.

Matt: [pauses] I’d say Mr. Carmack.

Julio: DAYYYUM! Mr. Carmack would be good!

Matt: Let’s do Mr. Carmack and Kaytranada together, is that possible?

TFM: Yeah! They can take shifts.

Matt: Yeah!

Julio: Mr. Kaytranada would be their name.


TFM: Alright, so for our last question, we’re gonna do a lightning round of questions, like pick this or that. Would you guys be cool with that?

Julio: Yeah let’s do it!

TFM: Okay- Tacos or Pizza?

Julio: Pizza.

Matt: Tacos

TFM: Puppies or Kittens?

Julio: Puppies!

Matt: Kittens!

TFM: Damn, you guys are very different.

Julio: Yeah I know!

Matt: I actually hate him. [Julio laughs]

TFM: [laughs] Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones? You guys watch either?

Julio & Matt: Game Of Thrones.

TFM: *high-fives all around* Literally it’s my favorite show.

Matt: Yes! Have you read the books? If you ever have the time and wanna read something, you definitely should.

TFM: Oh definitely! Okay last question, Drake’s Hotline Bling or Hello by Adele?

Julio: Oh man.

Matt: Wow.

Julio: I’d have to say Hotline Bling.

Matt: Yeah, I actually haven’t heard Hello by Adele.

Julio: It’s actually a really good song, shout-out to Adele!

TFM: So dope meeting you guys, thanks for chatting with us!

 ~ ~ ~



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