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Community Highlights: Meet Guss Aviles of Intergalactic Audio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Guss Aviles.

Hi Guss, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m the CEO and founder of Intergalactic Audio – an audio and production company based out of Los Angeles. I’m originally from Miami Florida, and I’ve always been really into music. I grew up in a really eclectic household: my aunt loved old rock and roll, classic rock, and psychedelic stuff. My mom was a classical pianist, and my grandma loved listening to Gypsy Kings and Latin-infused stuff. I played in bands in high school and did the whole punk rock and metal thing. I played guitar and bass in a screamo band for a while. I eventually got tired of the band drama and the ups and downs of dealing with so many people, so I decided I wanted to get into recording and become a sound engineer. My aunt had just bought a Macbook Pro, and I thought it was the most beautiful computer I’d ever seen. She bought it for photography and told me if I wanted to record music I needed a. mac. So naturally, I needed to have one. I was also looking for jobs at the time, so I walked into an Apple store to look at the computers that I couldn’t afford and I ended up walking out with a job interview. So I worked at Apple in Miami for a while, I was 19 when I first started. Started out in sales and quickly moved into a tech position working at the Genius Bar. When I moved to New York, I continue to work for Apple, I started to get into Ableton and music production. I also started to get into DJing, but I didn’t really know any other DJs at the time.

Around that time, I was going to Burner events with my girlfriend and started attending Disorient parties, which I where I started to really get into the underground music scene. Once I met people who were pursuing the same thing I was, it just started to feel much more real. After that, we moved to San Diego where I bought some equipment and started playing shows. I landed a residency at the Red C Lounge, which is where we started FUTURE Wednesdays in downtown San Diego. Eventually, we moved over to The Kava Lounge. From that weekly event, a lot of opportunities opened up. From there, I started doing live sound while at the same time working at a startup building high-end headphones. While my DJing was maturing, my ear sonically was also maturing through working in QA and building headphones with MrSpeakers (now Dan Clark audio). Eventually, I felt like I was spreading myself too thin. At the time, I had like five different sources of income, so I had to narrow things down. I ended up getting an IT job at a company called MindTouch (a software company in San Diego) where I was able to just focus on work and riding motorcycles. I found a lot of release from being on the road and fell in love with the ride. I started to become kind of reckless and got into a serious accident. I broke a lot of bones throughout my body (clavicle, six ribs, cracked my L1-L4, and shattered my foot). They put a lot of titanium in my foot – I have twenty screws and four plates in it. I spent a lot of time in the hospital and at home recovering, laid out in bed, thinking about my life choices. I had a nice place and a good job, but I wasn’t really happy because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. Since I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was music. When I booked my first show back from my accident, the event was almost perfect– there was car parking, showers, vendors and art cars. The only problem was that their production and backline was absolutely terrible. There were stages pointed at each other, there wasn’t enough sound, and the stages that were up didn’t sound good at all. The stage that I was booked for was getting their power from an art car that ended up driving away and leaving the DJ rig unpowered. I was having a good time, but all I really wanted was to get in front of a system and feel the bass and be engulfed by the sound. I actually called my mom then and there to tell her “I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to buy a sound system. I’m not going to cut any corners. I’m going to go for a VOID system and spend as long as it takes to figure out how to buy it.”

As I dove into the project, I brought in one of the founders of FUTURE, Chris (Mr Ruxpen), and my old roommate Ryan who had been running an underground parties for years. We decided to work together to figure out how we were going to lock in the system. The first step for me was getting in front of a VOID rig because I had never actually heard one in real life. I finally stumbled across a flyer that said a VOID system would be running, so I went to LA to go check it out. I instantly fell in love with it. I couldn’t believe how close I got to the tops and how clear it sounded. Absolutely no harmonic distortion, and the bass was so fast and clean that I had a religious experience in front of it. After that, I quit my job in San Diego and moved to LA because I knew that’s where I needed to be to start this company. It took me longer than I expected to secure a good job, so I spent about five months driving for Lyft like a maniac. I was taking meetings in the car and doing my pitch to whoever I was driving at every chance I got. Finally, I was able to secure a job that allowed me to save up some funds to invest into the company. I moved into a loft in downtown LA in the Arts District and was ready to launch Intergalactic Audio when COVID hit. All of a sudden, there was no point in owning a sound system if we couldn’t take it out and play it. No events were happening. So, we began to shift our focus to livestreaming. We saw plenty of people cutting corners with streams and we wanted to do something different. We didn’t want to compete for weekend timeslots, so we decided to bring back FUTURE Wednesdays in the form of a stream.

From there, we branched out and started to focus on our livestream production. We started gaining some traction and were offered to host a stage at virtual Burning Man at Bat Country. Eventually, other crews started hitting us up to host their streams and use our space. Since then, we’ve become known as a professional streaming studio in Downtown LA. Outside of our own events IA has also been working with the breaks crew Fraktured, United by Bass in San Diego, many different independent artists, and local electronic music labels. During all of this, we have maintained a good relationship with VOID Acoustics. We picked up a set of monitors and after some time, they contacted us with a sound system that met our specs. So we were finally able to lock in the full system! Intergalactic Audio just had our FUTURE: Quasar stream on March 13th, 2021 to debut our complete VOID sound system. We collaborated with Juke Bounce Werk, Moontribe, Reid Speed, as well as a bunch of FUTURE and Circuit System residents. On top of our professional lighting and projection-mapped visuals ran by Brandon Littel, we also featured live artist Iko painting, which was really cool. There has been so much work put in for us to get to this point, and now Intergalactic Audio has just gotten started!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road at all – haha! Driving for Lyft, to roommate problems, breakups, to COVID, and my motorcycle accident were all huge setbacks. It took me a long time to heal to the point where I could move and groove and not be in pain. After my accident, I never thought I’d be able to do some of the things I’m able to do. I did CrossFit the other day and actually skateboarded a couple of weeks ago! Adjusting our whole business plan due to COVID was a huge setback. There are a couple of divisions of Intergalactic Audio. Obviously, our production side is our bread and butter because most of us are all IT guys. We want to install sound systems inside of high-end homes and nightclubs and bars. Streaming was on our list, but not at the top. When COVID hit, we decided to focus on it and use the opportunity to grow our digital following. It’s been a very crazy and humbling experience, but no, it definitely has not been a smooth road. It seems like all of the hard work we have done is starting to pay off. A lot of great things are starting to happen now that things are opening up again in the music and event world.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Intergalactic Audio?
Intergalactic Audio is an event production company. Our speakers of choice are VOID Acoustics. We also offer filming and streaming services. Our videographer Marco Garcia is a third-generation photographer who I’ve known since middle school. He was always the kid with the camera and I was the kid with the guitar– so not much has changed! IA also loves to incorporate live art and performance art. We also offer IT consulting services, EPKs, and branding and marketing for artists. There is also the AV installation portion of the business. We are gearing up to be re-sellers and reps not only for VOID but also for other audio companies that we support like Pioneer, Allen & Heath– which is all coming in 2021! When I started the IA project, I knew that I needed a collective of artists and DJs to be on board. The cool kids in town were Circuit System in San Diego – they had the same ideology and musical taste as we did when we started FUTURE. When I found them, I was like “Man, these guys are like FUTURE 2.0!” so naturally we joined forces.

The thing that I’m most proud of is our last episode of FUTURE: Quasar where we debuted the system. It was really high-production and avant-garde with all of the visual elements. Doing it in such a historical building in the Arts District with the brick background also felt very genuine. It was such a badass multi-genre lineup that was very different from what we’ve seen anyone else doing. It flowed so well throughout the night. During the livestream transitions, I was playing records on the system. For most of it, I played the Cowboy Bebop record that was just released that was given to me by a friend of mine. FUTURE has always had a kind of cyberpunk and 80s sci-fi theme, so all the nerds out there picked it up and absolutely loved it! We are all a little eclectic, so I guess it kind of makes sense. Because of COVD, we had a limited audience and occupancy in the studio. The whole team handled it very well with mask-wearing and sanitizing. We made sure everyone was tested and temperature checked. As soon as we can take the sound system out, we are looking forward to some dope events collaborating with other crews and brands. It takes a special kind of group to be able to get creative with genre collaboration, and we do a great job of making an event flow.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Shout out to Circuit System and everyone in Intergalactic Audio. Shouts to the FUTURE founder’s Joey Montano and Chris Calihan. MindTouch was also a huge part of the learning process for me and learning to work with operations, engineers, marketing, and sales. I basically learned how to run a company through my mentors Aaron Fulkerson and Aaron Rice, and creative director Jen Klabis. Big shout out to everyone there. My biggest supporters are my grandfather, mom and my aunts, so thank you for always having my back and being proud of my musical endeavors. And last but not least, my best furry friend, Robocop the French Bulldog.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Marco Garcia – Bustaphoto – Intergalactic Audio

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