"We spent a minimum of 100 days in Los Angeles on research trips, probably more," he says of production, which began at the height of the US's sub-prime financial crisis in 2010. "Out and about, all night long with weird people, strange cops showing us around, a lot of first-hand research. We spoke to FBI agents that have been undercover, experts in the Mafia, street gangsters who know the slang – we even went to see a proper prison. These poor buggers in the middle of the salt flat desert, miles away. It was eye-openingly depressing."
"LA is this embodiment of 20th-century American desires: the houses, the gardens, the tans, all slightly fake. It's the end of the western world – the suns sets and then it's tomorrow. But the industry is movies or, equally phoney, real estate. It's people trying to escape their pasts and reinvent themselves. If GTA IV was a classic New York story, this is the endpoint of the American dream."
The second interview is with Sam Houser by The Sunday Times, which sadly is behind a pay wall (though I'm sure you can find it around in other places) but you can read a summarised version of it over on EuroGamer.
Meanwhile over on The Scotsman they talk about GTAV's budget and how much it is projected to sell in the first year alone, with some quotes by Aaron Garbut in there to, but what's most interesting about this article is that it confirms the map size:
The new game revolves around a satirical recreation of southern California. With players able to switch between three protagonists, the 49-square-mile world boasts a welter of activities, such as scuba diving with sharks and hijacking trains.