Photo Cred: Gregory Rothstein
We got to sit down and talk with The Glitch Mob at North Coast Music Festival before they destroyed the Chicago crowd with their incredible live set up.
How did you guys come together to form The Glitch Mob? Any interesting anecdotes there?
It just happened organically through the love of underground bass music years ago. We were all living in California getting involved in some underground events that we would get booked to play as separate DJ’s. We would end up getting booked on the same lineups then eventually started playing back to back sets which lead to us all getting booked to DJ one set together. Then we came up with the name The Glitch Mob for the crew as like a collective kind of thing. Then over time it’s turned into what it is today. So it’s really just a natural progression from DJing to writing and performing all as one.
What was it like putting your monster of a live set up together?
Just the programming of the software itself was about a nine month process that we were involved in. We come from a very DIY background where in the past we had done a lot of the stuff ourselves. Before this we built the light show and figured out how to program it. This was the first time we were really able to brainstorm with experts on this whole thing. There were people who specialized in all the different elements which allowed us to do a lot more with this custom stage instrument called “The Blade.” It’s many interlocking systems. There’s an audio system, a visual system, drums, and touch pads. It’s all really made so that we can perform our music and physically get into it. The whole thing is designed so that we can be up there really playing the sounds as we feel them. It was a really long and complex process and it also didn’t end with the first tour. It’s continually being evolved and updated. Almost every show we’ll program something so its like a living breathing organism that is constantly changing and will continue to change. The benefit for having a system like this for us is that it allows us to really go up there and play the music the way that we hear it. The flip side is that it’s a huge risky operation because it’s all completely custom and it brings a lot of room for errors into the whole thing. There’s a lot of points of points of failure but it’s more exciting for us that way. We like to push it and experiment. That’s what we’re all about.
You guys put out your first album together “Drink The Sea” back in 2010 then “We Can Make the World Stop,” in 2011, how has your aesthetic for producing, creating, and writing music changed from now to “Love, Death, Immortality” and your even more recent EP?
Song writing for us is all about growth and constant evolution. The first record we really just went into it wearing our heart on our sleeve kind of making this really personal and heartfelt super psychadelic listening record. With this last record we decided we wanted to make something that would really translate in a stadium or arena setting and tell a very epic story. That was the main primary difference. For this next record we’re going to write we have no idea where it’s going to go. That’s always part ofthe process. It’s all about exploration and we’ll see where it takes us.
Fans don’t normally hear vocals on Glitch Mob tracks, what was the inspiration to get some vocalists for a few tracks on this latest album?
There’s no real reason behind that. We just explore and try new things all the time. There’s no calculation of why, it’s just what we feel is like going to tell the best story and push the song where we want it to go. This time we wanted to try some different vocal ideas and things like that. Who knows maybe next time there will be zero vocals. It’s just one of those things. For us it’s like another instrument.
You recently did a remix for Metallica. How did you guys go about tackling the task?
Metallica is one the biggest metal bands of all time. It was a true honor to do it. Whenever we do remixes we really try to figure out how to take a good song and make it better as well as make it our own. This remix was actually pretty challenging. I think like the first few days we were working on it the song sounded pretty bad, we shooting straight blanks. But after a few days it kind of all came together. It came about through the X-Games where we both played. They hit us up and asked us to do a remix of one of their songs and then the rest pretty much fell into place.
From your experiences, what advice can you give to young aspiring artists today?
The biggest thing is to be yourself and tell your own story. Often times it’s really easy to just follow trends and do what everyone else is doing. There’s totally nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do but there is something really powerful in being yourself and having a unique story to tell. Believe in what you have to say and that people will want to listen to it. With social media and internet it’s really easy to compare yourself to people. There’s a video by Ira Glass that explains how you consume a lot of music and you have really good taste but your talent isn’t there yet. So it’s easy to be defeated when they think their music isn’t at the level they want it to be at. People have a really short attention span sometimes. A lot overnight successes are ten years in the making. Do it because you love it and do it because you want to explore music and say something. The best way to have a long lasting stint in music is to find that place in yourself that really loves and enjoys what you’re saying.
If you could say anything to your fans right now, the rest of the glitch mob, what would it be?
Thank you, we love you for being apart of this journey. More music and more adventures to come.