The Glitch Mob recently finished up their last tour run of the year, ending with a stop at TBD Fest, Sacramento, CA’s newest rising festival, for a performance that closed out Day one of three. The trio, hailing from Los Angeles, are still reeling from the success of their second studio album, Love Death Immortality, which was released last year.
The group’s members—edIT, Boreta, and Ooah—exchanged words with NOISEPRN to dish on their nearly decade long-career, touring with Chromeo, and collaborating with Mark Johns.
Welcome to Sacramento! You guys have been in the scene for almost a decade now. What would you say has been the biggest evolution in your sound?
edIT: Our sound is constantly evolving, always, with every single album that we make. We don’t belong to any specific genre or scene, so the story of The Glitch Mob that we’re telling is constantly evolving, getting more and more refined, and shape-shifting with every album that we make. It’s tough to pin it down to one thing.
What would you say has been the biggest evolution of the electronic music scene since you started?
Ooah: I’d say the growth of it in the United States. It’s been big in Europe and other places in the world for a long time, but in the US, over the last five years or so, it’s grown into this mega top-of-the-mountain-type world of multi-genre electronic music. Genres have come and gone, changed and evolved to certain types of sounds. Certain rhythms will catch on and everyone will do that for a while. Then someone will come up with something else. It’s constantly fluctuating. The biggest thing would be how huge it has gotten to the US, where it’s like, big EDM and electronic music festivals are integrated into indie and rock festivals. Now there’s massive electronic stages and tents at these events, and it’s bled into huge commercialized and corporate events.
When we started, it was a very underground scene and it was kind of frowned upon when we first started. Ravers thought raving was cool, but nobody else thought so. The people that loved electronic music were down with that scene and warehouse, underground parties that would get broken up by the cops. Now we’re playing big festivals!
How did your Los Angeles roots shape the group?
edIT: Right now, at this point in time, Los Angeles is probably one of the most music and art-rich cities, comprised with lots of artists, creativity, and ideas. From that standpoint, we’re just in a place that’s very inspiring all the time. There are a lot of people around us making music, film, cool art, good food…we get to contribute to that narrative as well. It’s a different ball game than being out in the middle of nowhere in this remote place where you’re not really surrounded by this culture. We feed off of the creativity energy that is Los Angeles.
Earlier this year you guys went on tour with Chromeo, who’s playing this year at the festival. With such different sounds, how did you guys get arranged to tour with them, and what was that experience like?
Boreta: It was incredible. It was one of those things that happens every now and then that is really special. We’ve listened to Chromeo for a very long time and have a lot of respect for them. They’re the nicest, coolest guys ever, and although our music doesn’t sound alike, I think there’s a thread that runs through what we do and what they do. It’s very live music. We come from different backgrounds—they’re influenced by funk and soul, and we with hard bass music, hip-hop, and metal. For us to get to tour with them was a true honor. I was listening to them before Glitch Mob was even a glimmer in our eyes. They are role models to us, and they’re the most humble guys, best performers, and best musicians. It was a true honor to get to tour with them.
Great to hear. You mentioned the commonality of live elements in your performances. You guys are known for incorporating live, theatrical elements into your sets. How does the creative process for that work?
edIT: We’ve always been big on pushing music technology and figuring out ways to play our music as live as humanly possible, and also showing the crowd that we’re playing live. Just five or six years ago, when people would play on their laptop, you might not necessarily know what they’re doing, and they might not even be playing at all, but instead just pressing play and letting it go by itself. We’ve always been big on being transparent and breaking down the wall, showing people that we are up here performing our music. That’s always been one of the greatest driving forces with what we do. There’s a certain energy and connection that’s exchanged when we play our music and the crowd can see it. That’s where the magic of what we do comes to live.
Your song “Better Hide, Better Run” featured Mark Johns, an artist who is just starting her career. How did you guys get connected to work her, and do you have plans to work with more untapped talent in the future?
Boreta: The way we collaborate with artists has always happened very organically. We are connected in Los Angeles, with old and new friends that are awesome, inspiring artists. We were not planning on having any vocals—and this is almost how all of our songs happen. We met Mark Johns randomly through a friend of ours. He said that she was talented and we had to meet her, so we invited her over, started messing around with some music, and played her that song. We didn’t sit there and think that we needed to get a vocalist. We played the whole EP for her and when she heard that track, she said, “Wow that’s the one, I have this idea.” She went outside, wrote the lyrics, came back, and recorded them. Just like that. For us, that came about naturally. We’ll see what happens next with future collaborations.
What do you have in store for the next year?
edIT: We’ll be writing a lot of music. And we can’t tell you the rest…