The Glitch Mob is founded on the musical brotherhood that exists between Edward Ma, Justin Boreta, and Josh Mayer. With a new album and an epic live performance, The Glitch Mob have been destroying their sets and spreading their musical message around the world. Their hard work was duly noted as they were recently called up to play at Bassnectar\’s NYE event in Birmingham, Alabama this December.
Throughout this summer, The Glitch Mob ripped through events like the X Games to festivals such as Imagine, Moonrise, and Electric Zoo. So when they stopped in Chicago for North Coast, we had to sit down with this trio of talent to learn more about their project and where they\’re headed.
What is the inspiration for The Glitch Mob?
Josh: I think it really just comes from the love of electronic music and experimenting, and trying new things. It\’s finding our own voice in electronic music, something that we all resonate with to put on the most epic dance party.
Edward: I think our greatest inspiration is the thousands of people out there that help create the Glitch Mob experience, they’re our biggest inspiration and were merely trying to help tell our greater collective story, the collective story of all the people that are out there. What serves as our biggest influence and inspiration are the stories that people tell us of how our music has impacted them and we just pour all that back into the music itself.
Speak about the Blade and how important the live element is for you guys.
Justin: The Blade is a progression of us finding new ways to perform our music. We all started off as DJs and in the early days when laptops first started being used, people were DJ’ing off CDJs and we were some of the first people in our world to play off of laptops. We come from that and at some point we decided that we just wanted to perform our own music. And as soon as we made that switch, that was really the beginning of what we now know as the Blade.
We started tilting our controllers to the audience and we spent a lot of time building and programming our show and it’s a very DIY operation. We\’re as indie as it gets, not only is it an independent label that we have but we own it, we do everything for ourselves. So the Blade is really what happened when we take the progression of the performance and we finally have the resources to collaborate with people that are specialists in live performance, there is a lot of people on the team that made that whole thing possible. For us its about getting inside the music when we play and feeling it, that’s the pinnacle of all of it.
How important are your side projects? (Boreta, Edit, Ooah)
Josh: The Glitch Mob is the main thing that we do. If we never made any music outside of The Glitch Mob ever again, that would be fine for us. It’s there as creative expression but it’s not as important. To us our common vision and sound and what we create as the three of us, as brothers is the pinnacle of what we do. And what we do as the three of us will always outrank anything we’ll do on our own, not that it’s better or worse, it’s just this collective thing and it’s just really strong. The side projects are just there when you need to make a tune on your own or try something that we haven’t done as the Glitch Mob but in the same breath a lot of the things we’ve written on our own has a lot of times turned into Glitch Mob music because we brought them to the table and we all connected with them and pushed them forward as a Glitch Mob song.
If you could change anything about the electronic scene right now, what would it be?
Josh: I would say the non-informed, non-educational aspect of partying in a sense, people don’t always know what they’re limits are, people aren’t taught what they’re limits are when it comes to drinking and drugs and things like that. It’s just because people don’t know. It’s not taught necessarily in schools, kids aren’t getting information about experimenting with drugs or alcohol and if there was something we could change it would be a better education system towards that because no matter what people are going to want to try things, experiment, party and have a good time but if people are more informed, maybe it would be a safer environment to you know.. throw down
Yeah, it’s so sad to see someone die at a festival..
Josh: Of course but it happens everywhere, it’s not just electronic music, it’s in every music scene, it’s in every aspect of life, music or not, people die all the time from drug overdoses or drinking. Electronic music just seems to get the attention from what happens in this scene. That’s the way it is right now but more education needs to happen when it comes to that stuff.
How was remixing Metallica’s “Lord of Summer?”
Josh: It came through the X Games, they booked us to play at the X Games this year along with Metallica and someone had the great idea for us to remix the Metallica song and they asked us and we were honored to be asked. It was a really cool experience, it was a difficult remix because it was a little out of our comfort zone and the song was just a little more challenging. But to get to remix them was an honor, a couple of us grew up listening to Metallica, it was fun.
Justin: The way we do remixes, varies but we try to find something that really excites us and sometimes it will be a total transformation remix and sometimes it won’t, like when we remixed the White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”, we kind of just put a layer of our vibe on top of it and left the song there, but with that [Metallica] song it’s a really long remix and a lot happens so we basically come through and took out a couple pieces that we thought we could work with and then wrote an entirely new song around it and that’s the total transformation remix. The White Stripes one took a total of three days, the Metallica one took a couple of weeks because we really started from scratch.
Considering your charity work with Haiti, how does your music go beyond the festival?
Justin: We’ve done a little bit of stuff, we’re actually hoping to go to Haiti. I had the opportunity of going to Africa and doing some musical work with Charity: Water there and it really changed my life, just getting to go there and I only went there for a week and there’s people who spend their whole lives doing that so coming back I thought, I really want to bring these guys to Ethiopia with that project or if there’s some other way to actually see how the music can carry messages and actually get to physically experience it and I think that’s really the power of music at the end of the day. It can carry a message louder, further and wider and sometimes it doesn’t even have to say it explicitly and people listen too. With electronic music, we see a lot of young kids that come to these shows and it’s crazy to think that we might be the only people that a 13-year-old would listen to if they don’t listen to their parents, so we take what we do very seriously.
What do you see as the future for the Glitch Mob?
Edward: Well honestly, we can’t unveil that to you right now, we’ve got a lot of ideas planned for the next time we come out with a new album and what the live show is going to be like but all that is Top Secret right now man, sorry.