Photo: Eric Scott Russell
Since 2006, the three-member group The Glitch Mob has been blowing minds and melting faces all over the world. Last year they played Salt Lake City for V2’s Get Freaky in front of a massive crowd of over 700 people. They were also recently at Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where I got to catch a little bit of their performance. With their new EP, We Can Make the World Stop, due out on July 12, The Glitch Mob has been endlessly promoting and touring all over the country.
On July 1 The Glitch Mob visited Salt Lake City once again and took the crowd to a realm of pure bass. The packed show was amazing and the group out-did themselves with the production. Aerial acrobatics by Selkie kept the crowd captivated throughout their set. Opening act R/D set the mood for The Glitch Mob with his seductive beats and mesmerizing on-the-fly mixes that had me in awe during his entire performance. The energy from the stage flowed over the crowd like a waterfall of bass. Before The Glitch Mob and R/D’s mind blowing sets, I was lucky enough to sit down with the three members of The Glitch Mob, Ed Ma (Edit), Justin Boreta (Boreta) and Josh Mayer (Ooah) to talk about their upcoming EP and their live show.
SLUG: I saw some of your set at EDC, what was playing EDC like for you guys?
Edit: That was probably one of our biggest shows—definitely top five.
The cool thing about Insomniac is they don’t hold back on production, so for us it’s the best way to experience our music.
SLUG: You guys are known for your light shows and huge production, what do you say to people who call it cheesy or a gimmick?
Edit: There’s always going to be haters, we’re just trying to put on the best show that we can, if that’s cheesy to someone that’s fine.
Boreta: It gives people a way into the music. It can actualize the
Edit: It’s all a part of the creative process, it’s an art form in itself to come up with the stage set up we have. Hopefully tonight we’ll be able to get people lost in the music, it’s a part of the experience
SLUG: Tell me a little about We Can Make the World Stop, it’s releasing July 12.
Boreta: We wanted to write some music to continue the vision that we had with the Drink the Sea record. It’s kind of a continuation of that, but it’s also experiments and all sort of different things, textures and feelings from the record. You can tell it’s us, but it doesn’t sound like that album at all, it’s really just the next step in what it is we’re doing.
SLUG: With your last album, I understand that you were trying to tell a story, did you guys do the same with this new EP?
Edit: I think that’s just kind of the case with all our music in general. It always just starts with an emotion or a feeling. We’re always essentially just trying to tell a story with our music. How do you tell a story without words and lyrics? That’s something that as The Glitch Mob we’re always going for.
SLUG: You guys just worked with Ed Banger records, how was that?
Edit: Yeah that was great, Busy P is a great dude, big fan of our stuff, and we’re obviously huge Ed Banger fans as well. We got to tour with Busy P out in Australia as well, too, we spent a lot of time with him, Uffie, Mehdi, Brodinski, and all those guys on the Park Life National Tour.
SLUG: Did you guys learn anything from them?
Boreta: Busy P is really good at soccer.
Edit: No, actually he’s not, Mehdi’s good at soccer, Mehdi’s really good at soccer.
Boreta & Edit: Yea, Busy P is not so good at soccer.
SLUG: Did they teach you how to play soccer?
Boreta: No, I’m terrible at soccer probably could have beat them at Street Fighter, but maybe not.
SLUG: Is there anything you guys learned from Busy P that you’ve been applying to your music practices?
Boreta: No, we were just hanging out.
Ooah: Yea. He’s also just been a big influence with all the things he’s done starting Ed Banger records, working with Daft Punk, he is just a big inspiration to us.
Edit: He’s a real prolific guy, he’s just inspiring to be around, I don’t think there’s anything specific that we pulled away from him necessarily, but he’s just a really inspiring figure.
Boreta: He’s really humble, a really nice guy. If you didn’t know him and met him at a coffee shop, he would just talk to you, hang out.
SLUG: Do you have any upcoming productions with him?
Edit: There’s definitely been talk. I think on his end he just wants to wait for the right thing, but we’re definitely always talking about collaborating again on something.
SLUG: Do you guys have any other collaborations coming out that we should know about?
Boreta: Yeah, we’re doing a remix for Phantogram, of their song, “When I’m Small.” We haven’t quite finished it still, but they’re hopping on the tour with us in Florida, we’re really big fans of them. It’s cool to have everything come full circle.
SLUG: I’ll be watching for it. So what about your music production, is there a certain formula that you guys have when you go about it or is it just organic and natural?
Boreta: We change the way we make music every time we attack a different project. It’s a part of the whole creative process for us. Since there are three of us, we can do everything differently. When we wrote this new EP, we all wrote a bunch of sketches. We wrote a song a day for a couple weeks, so we then had a huge batch of songs. We took little pieces from all the songs and kinda pieced them together into something new. Next time we do something we probably won’t do it like that, it’s fun for us just to reinvent the process each time.
Edit: The formula is have a good time, all the time!
SLUG: That sounds pretty awesome, I would like to live that way. What do you guys think makes The Glitch Mob different from other groups?
Boreta: We don’t really fit into any genre or any particular movement of any style of music. It’s just us being music geeks and being technology fans and trying out new stuff. We like to try out different tempos, like we’ll make a song that’s 50 bpm or 120 or whatever, just what sounds cool, just because it really goes back to the sound and feeling for us. So I think that as far as electronic music goes, we don’t really fit into any particular box, which we like.
Edit: We’re also not intentionally trying to be like “Oh we don’t want to be like that or sound like this.” We’re not trying to be intentionally ultra weird or anything. I think we’re just making music.
SLUG: It seems that people are always trying to define your sound. Does it bother you at all or is it more intriguing?
Boreta: It’s super intriguing! I think coming from a music fan’s perspective, which we all are, when you want to categorize music and then share it, you need a way to do it. One of the coolest things about music is the way it allows you to connect to other people—“you gotta hear this new thing, it sounds like this,” or “Wow I heard this and I need more music that is like this,”—but you gotta have ways to categorize it, and then have channels to search through. I think having genres is really useful, we embrace all of it really. That’s also why we don’t call ourselves any specific thing. I mean, we’ll travel around and some people will call us dub-step, and we don’t think that we’re dub-step, but that’s ok if that’s the way someone wants to interpret it. On the cover of bowler weekly they called us an electro group, we just saw that and we were like cool, we’re an electro group—if that is what makes sense to that journalist, then cool.
SLUG: I know you guys aren’t on a label, do you believe that in this day and age, labels might be outdated?
Edit: I think it all depends on what kind of artist you are, like the XX on a label, it’s obviously apparent they’re not the kind of artists that are going to go on Facebook or Twitter interacting with fans and stuff. They just make their music and they just need a mechanism out there to get it out for them, which in their case it’s obviously done wonders for them. So I think record labels still serve a great purpose in exposing artists. For a band like us, we have a very grass roots and devoted, committed fan base, and we interact with them on a very personal level. For us and with the fan base we already have, it doesn’t really make sense for us to be signed to a label. We can do it all on our own, cultivate it on our own and do it the way we want to do it.
Ooah: We’ve done everything on our own for so long at this point, that we’ve gotten really good at it.
Edit: It’s kind of like, what’s the point? Why even be signed? There’s not really an indie label out there that we feel could do a better job than what we’re doing, and there’s not really a point to be signed to a major label because essentially all they would just be is a bank loan to us.
SLUG: Are you still being motivated by the same reasons you started out with?
Boreta: No, absolutely not, it’s been interesting because we never meant to, it started off as a DJ collective and then it turned into a laptop mash-up band.
SLUG: How do you feel about music production becoming more accessible and easy to do with devices such as the iPad?
Edit: I think it’s a great thing, obviously there’s gonna be some music that’ll be middle of the road, but I think it’s a great thing when people are making music.
SLUG: For the fans who are completely baffled about what it is that you guys do on stage, could you give us a quick break down?
Edit: The way it works is there is three stations, we have the roland v drums, lemurs and are basically all plugged into one computer.
SLUG: Has there been anything you’ve seen on tour that was a life changing experience?
Edit: Definitely, the whole thing really. The fact that this is what we do for a living, we don’t take it for granted, we’re very grateful.
Boreta: Last year a girl sent us a letter and told us her friend who was a big fan got into a really bad accident that was supposed to leave him incapable of walking. She asked if we could send him stuff, which we had no problem with. During his stay in the hospital, we sent him music and kept in contact with him through email. A couple of months later, he
surprised us at one of our shows in Reno on hand crutches walking. That was cool.
After meeting these guys, I have to say not only are they incredibly talented, but they’re also very humble and that’s something as a fan I always hope for. Be sure to check their tour dates, to catch the Glitch Mob experience live, it’s imperative to life in my opinion. Don’t forget to get their album when it comes out July 12, you definitely won’t regret it!