Grandtheft Talks ‘Australian Sound’, Diplo and the ‘EDM/PLUR’ Culture

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Grandtheft Talks ‘Australian Sound’, Diplo and the ‘EDM/PLUR’ Culture

Another great artist to hit our shores for the first time on his ‘Keep It 100’ World Tour ­­ Grandtheft, an established producer and DJ who’s released tracks under Mad Decent and Spinnin kicked off his Australian tour last Friday night in QLD. He followed this up with two shows in one day (one of these shows being sold out), on his birthday nonetheless, in the land of the Kiwis. His recent remix of Calvin Harris’s hit single ‘Summer’ with Diplo has garnered over three million plays on Soundcloud (over two pages).

There is an abundance of trap worthy tracks and mixes on his own Soundcloud page from the supported track of the tour to ‘Pretty with Her Eyes Low’, to a remix of Subfocus’s single ‘Close’. We were also lucky enough to get our very own curated mix via Triple J Mix Up Exclusives with Nina Las Vegas. The tour continues but before we get down and dirty on the dancefloor to his set, Grandtheft gave us a glimpse into music and tour life, collaborations and a couple things in between.

SR: It’s been such a progression from the start of your touring days with Team Canada to your first World Tour for ‘Keep It 100”. But you’ve definitely built up some touring cred back home (Canada) and in the U.S. (Vegas, Tomorrow World, L.A & the upcoming Mad Decent Block Party to name a few). What has the crowd been like in Europe? Is it everything you imagined it to be?

G: Europe shows were amazing! Such great crowds. Razzmatazz in Barcelona was so so fun and so was Social Club in Paris.

SR: Can you tell us a story of the craziest thing that has happened to you at a gig? Fan based or otherwise? Are they crazier at home or overseas?

G: Ahhh there are so many. Crazy shit goes down all the time, of course. A week ago, I played a massive show at Red Rocks Colorado with Zeds Dead and a MASSIVE LED wall fell flat over in front of them and smashed during their set. Thankfully, no one was injured but it was insane. All the venue people were telling them to stop playing but my dudes kept it going for the 10k fans. So crazy!

SR: The ‘Australian sound’ has been making some big waves internationally. You repped a couple Aussie tracks on BBC with Annie Nightingale (What So Not, Wave Racer remix for Flight Facilities). What was your first introduction to Aussie music in general? Any Aussies you’d like to collaborate with in future?

G: I put some in my recent Triple J Mixup too. I have always loved a lot of Aussie bands and producers. Great stuff coming out these days. I love What So Not, Flume, Wave Racer but also Rufus, Slumberjack, Peking Duk, Shazam. I don’t know what makes up an “Australian Sound” but I find a lot of the above artists super melodic… musical stuff that I really get into.

SR: Speaking of collaborations, you recently teamed up with Diplo for ‘Pretty with Her Eyes Low’ and then again for the remix of Calvin Harris’s track ‘Summer’. What’s the story behind your intro to Diplo?

G: No crazy story there ha. We make beats together sometimes.. He’s got a great ear. I love writing with him and we will have more jams out in the future. We had fun making the Summer remix. Always plenty of lols in studio with this guy. You’ve made some absolutely killer tracks on your own and with other producers now and forever.

SR: What makes a good collaboration and what do you love most about teaming up with other producers?

G: I love making music with friends IRL in the studio ­ not as much over the internet. Its fun to collaborate and talk music and to trade tricks and learn from one another. I usually really enjoy the process. It’s sometimes more fun than being holed up in studio by myself all the time

SR: ‘EDM’ has become massively lucrative in the U.S. With the culture going mainstream, come the teething problems. Example: the media hype behind the drug induced tragedies at these big festivals and also some questions of authenticity with ghost writing, to name a couple. What’s your take on the hype and development of the modern day PLUR/EDM culture? Anything you would do to change it?

G: I think that, overall, it’s great. Kids at these festivals and shows are having more fun than anyone I have ever seen anyone have. Ever. That rules. It’s a positive culture that embraces everyone. Even weirdos. Especially weirdos. The drug stuff can be scary. Openness and education is important in terms of protecting young people from overdoses. In terms of authenticity.. the ghostwriting and faking DJ sets… I think it will right itself. The media and fans are taking note of this stuff and people will decide for themselves what they want out of the music and the shows. That said, I try not to concern myself with all the hype or criticism of the culture. I just strive to make the absolute best tunes I can and put everything i have into my live shows.

SR: Have you had that “I’ve made it” moment yet? If you haven’t, what does that moment look like to you in your head?

G: I have had them all the time over the past year. I can’t believe I get to go to new cities and new countries to play my music for people. It’s so amazing. I still can’t believe people even listen to my stuff and get excited about it. I just always wanted to make a song that was someone’s favourite song. Like one person. And now I get tweets from people all the time saying my song is their fave, that it motivated them to do this or that, or got them through the week or a tough day… That’s all I need.

SR: BBE (the touring company bringing you out) are renowned for their knowledge about the best spots to eat around Australia (along with their tour management prowess). I know you appreciate a good feed. Do you have your eye on anything in particular when it comes to Aussie cuisine?

G: I DO enjoy a good meal haha. It’s one of the great gifts of the touring lifestyle… Hunting down amazing eats and trying new things. I stop at nothing to find the amazing spots. BBE folks and I are going to get on great this couple weeks. I am adventurous and not picky ­so I will leave most food choices up to these great tour guides 😉

SR: What’s one thing that your Aussie fans would be surprised to find out about you?

G: That I am, in fact, the offspring of a kangaroo and a koala bear #rare

SR: What’s one thing you know about your Aussie fans?

G: They are enthusiastic on the internet.. When I announced the tour, my Aussie/NZ fans responded loudly and in numbers! Haha and I have had a lot of people hitting me up excited about the shows and stuff. Not having been to this part of the world yet, that feels awesome and has me really damn excited for this tour.

Catch Grandtheft at these upcoming dates including this Fridays show at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney

Newcastle – July 23rd @ The Argyle House
Adelaide – July 24th @ Apple Bar
Sydney – July 25th @ Oxford Art Factory (tickets)
Perth – 26th @ Shape Bar


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