ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Julio Mejia and Van Toth began as friends on the Internet.
Both were working on music projects of their own.
Then the pair decided to join forces a while ago and there’s been no turning back since then.
Mejia and Van Toth make up the electronic music duo We Are GTA.
The pair is working on a new album and will be in the Duke City for the first time on Saturday, March 22. Here’s a little of what they had to say about music and their career.
ABQJ: How did you both begin the duo?
GTA: Well originally we had our own projects, and we were just internet friends who sent music to each other to get some feedback. Once we actually met in person and worked on music together, everything clicked and we just continued working together.
ABQJ: You cross various genres within your music. Was that something you set out to do since the beginning?
GTA: Well it wasn’t like we were thinking of making something “not genre specific,” we just wanted to make music we loved. One thing about us is that we’re fans of a lot similar kinds of music as well as fans of each other, so we just wanted to keep it interesting between both of us by making all kinds of music we love, rather than what’s cool on the radio or whatever. Now we try to do everything (pop stuff included), and its been working pretty well for us.
ABQJ: Who were some of your influences — musically?
GTA: We were both really into metal music growing up, listening to things like Korn, Mars Volta, and System of a Down. That eventually included rap like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and guys like that. That then led into electronic music which at that point we were into producing, and that’s pretty much where all of our musical influence comes from to this day.
ABQJ: What’s it like when you are in the studio or writing music?
GTA: We usually just sit down and throw ideas around for a couple of hours. Once we agree upon a beat or melody or whatever, we just emphasize on that one idea. Sometimes if we’re away from each other we’ll send over ideas via email or Dropbox, and we work on some parts of a song individually.
ABQJ: Why do you think people are drawn to electronic music? What drew you to the genre?
GTA: Well we’re drawn to it because of the many influences electronic music uses. As producers, we love playing around with the idea that electronic music can be different in endless amounts of ways. We think that maybe that’s why other people are drawn to it too. Or maybe its another fad? Who knows, the important thing is that people are enjoying themselves listening to this kind of music at this point in time and its amazing to see more and more people gravitating to electronic music everyday.
ABQJ: What’s the best thing about what you do? Do you have a routine before or after a show?
GTA: The best thing about performing is watching people scream and jump around to music that WE made, and music that WE enjoy! We’re so glad people like our taste in music. Usually before a show, we like to do 30 pushups and take a shot of some tequila. Its been a tradition lately hahaha! We wind down by doing another 30 pushups and we’ll usually go and meet up with some of the fans and take selfies and whatnot.
ABQJ: You’ve been able to play in some incredible places. If you can choose, is there a show that sticks out in your mind?
GTA: We’d say Johannesburg, South Africa during the “Diamonds World Tour” with Rihanna. It was the first time we got off stage and the whole stadium (about 70,000 people) was chanting our name! That was one of the most exciting/humbling days of our lives!
We Are GTA
With What So Not
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 22
WHERE: The Stage at Santa Ana Star Casino, 54 Jemez Dam Road, Bernalillo
HOW MUCH: $15-$25 at holdmyticket.com or 886-1251