INTERVIEW: Guantanamo Bae

Hi G-Bae, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Busy, the minute they canceled all events, shows, and put all of my industry friends out of work, I’ve been doing everything I can to put myself and all of my friends back to what they do best! It’s given me more time to craft a signature sound, which has changed from how I jumped around trying all different genres. I’ve settled on deep house and trance.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Heartbeat Sync To Mine”?

My whole reason for getting into electronic music was from being in a state of deep depression after getting out of the military. The longer I was out of the military, the more I started to notice symptoms of depression and PTSD. But I never gave in to the urge to distance myself from others; you have to fight that with your very soul. So when my friends asked me to come to Electric Zoo in 2013, I reluctantly accepted. It was insane; people were dressed in these crazy outfits; people would walk up and compliment you just trying to make your day. I found this groovy sound that took hold of me at one of the tent stages. My friends tried to get me to see some big-name DJ, but I wasn’t having it. My buddy Ty stayed with me, and we pretty much lost it to the music for the next 6 hours. It was an out of body experience. Heartbeat Sync to Mine is sort of my ode to those moments, with a true friend, some good music. 

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

Seeing Seven Lions for sure. I was at Middlelands in Texas, he headlined one of the stages, and he had these epic drops, and everyone in the crowd was going crazy. I wasn’t producing at the level I am today, and I was so motivated by that, I knew I had to do something just as inspirational.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

I’m actually looking at doing a different music video for an upcoming release. It’s a spoof of the movie “The Hunt for Red October”. We’re negotiating to rent out a WWII submarine. One ship will be Russian, and one will be American, and we essentially shoot the same video, but it’s going to be ridiculous and over the top, sort of in the humorous way the 2000’s and early 2010 dance music scene was

How was the recording and writing process?

I haven’t done anything at this BPM before, so it was a little exhausting. I was honestly a little worried it wouldn’t come together, but once I handed it to Flakey, she crushed it. She can hit these high notes that make it sound so good. I was a little worried when she said she recorded the vocals at home; this was when all the studios were closed. But after getting it done, I realized we’re entirely self-sufficient at this point. We can make an entire track without a studio. BUT I’d much rather be in the studio.

What role does Missouri play in your music?

I grew up in a single-parent household. My dad worked two jobs, at the Union Pacific Railroad and on our family farm. He was always working, and I thought of myself as lazy because I didn’t like to go out into the fields and cut down weeds or herd the cattle. To compound that, I was constantly kicked out of my music class in grade school. So lazy, and didn’t know anything about music. But it turns out I work just as hard as him, I just do it digitally, and I made up for my lost time by continually working on my music when I’m not doing something else. 

How would you say your military background influences your writing

How would you say your military background influences your writing?I worked as a detainee guard in Guantanamo Bay, so it’s definitely influenced my background. Obviously, I get my name from the prison; it had been something that had followed me around so many years after the fact. It weighed over me emotionally as well, so I decided that I would own it one day. Not only would I be the guy who had been to Guantanamo Bay, but I would be the name. I think the military also made me more emotional in my writing. I think a lot about the emotions the music will evoke, and how that would affect me if I were in the crowd listening. Oddly enough, it’s made it hard for me to access those same emotions, but I have a great therapist who’s helped me through the worst parts of depression and PTSD.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

The single is part of a series of three single releases. Next up is from my good friend, who was a famous singer in Khazakstan in her late teens. My friend showed me her singing in this amazing contest that encompassed eastern European and Asian countries, and I knew I had to work with her. After that, I have my first track with a mix of Spanish and English lyrics called “Me Perdiste”, written by a good friend from Mexico City. They’re gonna be “lit” as the kids say these days.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

October 3rd is the release date for Heartbeat Sync to Mine; my next two tracks are coming out in close succession, not 100% sure when but it’s going to be a good end of the year for your ears.

What else is happening next in Guantanamo Bae’s world?

I’m looking at volunteering to go down to Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’m a chainsaw operator with Team Rubicon, and they need volunteers to help after the hurricane. We do eight-day long deployments, so I need to find a week to put my life on hold for that. I think it’s important those of us who are doing well take the time to help those in need, that’s my philosophy for life, and for ya boi, G-Bae.

Check for more info here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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