Since 2006, the trifecta of digital musicians known as The Glitch Mob has gone from pioneering the beat scene in its hometown of LA to now selling out festival stages all over the world. After rocking the Sasquatch! Music Festival over Memorial Day Weekend, the group is en route to Reno for another high-energy show this Thursday, May 28 at the Knitting Factory.
Comprised of individual artists Ed Ma (edIT), Justin Boreta (Boreta), and Joshua Mayer (Ooah), The Glitch Mob’s performances highlight a deep synchronicity between members, which they achieve using the custom-made Blade Stage, which doubles as their instrument and the main on-stage aesthetic. If there’s anything Glitch Mob fans can attest to, it’s that the visual side of the performance is equally as stunning as the music.
While attending Sasquatch! Music Festival 2015 in George, WA last weekend, I sat down with The Glitch Mob to find out what it’s like creating epic digital symphonies, how the view is from the top of the EDM scene, and more.
Compared to playing huge shows and festivals, how do you feel about hitting the more intimate Knitting Factory in Reno? Which size shows do you prefer?
Boreta: Each show has it’s own vibe independent of the size. Last night we were just down in Portland at a medium-sized venue. Playing at somewhere like the Knitting Factory is great because we really get to see people’s faces and hop down into the crowd and say hi to everybody.Ooah: One’s definitely not better than the other, they’re just different.
Can you guys tell me something personally about what inspires you to put out these epic, digital symphonies?
edIT:I always look at it like, obviously the three of us we’re the actual, literal Glitch Mob, but we’re merely channeling the collective voice of all the hundreds of thousands of people who make up The Glitch Mob experience. At the same time we’re telling our collective story which is what we believe to be a multi-faceted adventure saga.Boreta: I think for us creating music isn’t a very calculated process, we try to get our brains out of the way. That’s why when we wrote our last record we traveled to the Joshua Tree Desert and, you know, cleared the pallet. We never really sit down and say we’re going to make this song that’s epic, it’s more about what comes out naturally based on where we are in our lives right now, and our background of coming from a place of liking really heavy music. When we get to record in the studio we genuinely have so much fun making and then getting to perform it.Ooah: And I think to add to the flip side of that, we have a lot of intense heavy music, but we also know how to wear our hearts on our sleeve, and be able to let our emotions soar through other styles of music that are much more gentle and emotional. Part of who we are is letting our fans know that we’re vulnerable, and that it’s okay to show it.
The three of you have been together since around 2006 and you’re huge. Are there any goals you have yet to check off your list in terms of accomplishments/projects?
edIT: It’s really about the journey and not the destination.. We’re currently living the dream, I mean look at how beautiful it is sitting here at Sasquatch, out here in Mother Nature.Ooah: I think every day we get to check something new off, it’s about being grateful and not taking for granted that THIS is the goal.
Looking at where you’re at now, what advice would you have for any young artist who still has the hope and ambition to make it?
edIT:Be yourself. Tell your own story, believe in what you have to say, because there’s going to be people out there who want to listen.Ooah: Don’t worry about the other stuff going on, the whole rat race and climbing the ladder. You can’t force it, rather be patient and always keep working hard.Boreta:There’s a quote that goes something to the effect of, “Overnight successes are 20 years in the making,” and a lot of the time I think that’s true. The internet does make it possible for people to get noticed a lot faster, sometimes people just blow up, but you still have to be patient. Don’t look at the other guy in comparison and get discouraged thinking he has all these SoundCloud followers. It’s hard not playing the numbers game, but none of that shit matters. Sure it’s great to share your work and get noticed, but validation is for parking meters, you just have to do your thing and hard work will pay off.
In your journey, headlining some of the largest stages in the world, what helps you keep the down-to-earth persona?
Boreta: For us, at the very core of all of this, has always been the music. You know what’s at the top of the pyramid: hype, bullshit, charts, accolades, like cool, we don’t really give a fu** about any of that. Yeah, it’s nice to have some form of faith for your work and get recognized, but it’s really about what music can provide for people. We have a really close connection with our fans, like just the other day a girl was telling us she was really suicidal but our music helped her get through that. Those moments really make us realize our feet are on the ground, and our music has the power to illuminate the dark tunnel for somebody, just as it has for us. We’re just honored to be apart of the musical conversation, that’s really the mantra with everything.