With their return performance slated for the weekend ahead we took the opportunity to catch up with the ever rising talents to find out more about the album's recording process, how it has evolved their sound and how they're enjoying the busy schedule that success brings.
Oh and here’s a tip: we recommend you check out their recent Rinse FM show, there's no player to embed owing to licensing issues but you can download and listen the podcast via Rinse’s site here.
So... the news about your debut LP on Domino has just broken. Last time we spoke you had literally just begun work on it and signed to the label. How have you found working with Domino?
Bob Moses: Working with Domino is great. We’ve become good friends with a few people that we’ve worked with there - they are all just music lovers who really care about music. It’s such a nice environment to be in as an artist, really supportive and fun, and we already feel very at home there. We couldn’t be happier.
How long did you end up spending working on the album in the end?
We worked on the album for about a year, all told. But it’s hard to say because ideas come up all the time, some probably started or were inspired before that. We also played about 80+ gigs during the time we worked on the album, so it was a lot of work to say the least! Great work to have though and we really loved the process of making it. It’s a tough one, but a rewarding one.
Where was it recorded?
We recorded it at our personal studio in Brooklyn, NY. It was written mainly there and in hotel rooms on the road. It was mixed by Spike Stent and David Wrench in England and Wales respectively and we were lucky enough to go in for a few days with Spike in his studio in Downtown, England, a few hours outside of London. That was a fantastic experience and we really learned a lot from being in the studio with him.
"An album is different than EPs… you can make more of a statement and because there is a bigger whole, you can do things that go off into the farther reaches of what you want to say because if you go in one direction, you can bring it back home on the next track."
Can you tell us a bit about your working process in the studio?
Working in the studio is a very fluid process that is very diverse. Sometimes we are there separately, usually working on small things or starting little ideas but most of the time we are there together and most of the time it’s just us bouncing back and forth on ideas. Tom plays something and Jimmy says, “do this, do that again, don’t do that part it wasn’t so great…” etc, or vice versa. Sometimes Jimmy is sitting at the computer editing reverb swells with Tom saying, “more here, less there, more there, do it again, more like this…” and sometimes it’s the other way around.
A lot of the cool sounds we came up with for the records were from one of us slamming away on a midi keyboard across the room and the other fiddling with the parameters of whatever plug in or synth we had it connected to, so we were connected only through what we were hearing and in this way were sort of playing together to find sounds. And then sometimes we’ll just pull back the song into a keyboard and a guitar and vocals, working on certain phrases of lyrics or working out how the melodies should go. Sometimes we just listen to new music or have long philosophical conversations, and we always try to stay focused but also to let the sessions go where they need to. Sometimes you can sit there for hours and get two lines of lyric and others you can spend 4 hours and get a tune 80% of the way there. There really is no rhyme or reason to it, which can be frustrating at times, but it’s great because it’s a very diverse process and it keeps things interesting.
Last time you talked about recording music as fishing a kind of journey of mystery and discover, what did you find in the writing process for the album?
Music is like fishing, for sure. We found this to be the case with this album as well. And we also finished a whole bunch of songs that never made the final cut. Just yesterday we were looking through our libraries listening to stuff being like “wow, that was really good!” But for some reason it just didn’t work 100% with what we wanted to do. It’s a constant process of searching and discovery and from what we’ve heard that never really changes no matter what stage of your career you’re in or what sort of project you’re working on.
How involved are you still with Scissor & Thread's Francis Harris, the album’s with Domino but you’re playing under their banner here... Is he still someone who you call up for advice and feedback?
We are still great friends with the Scissor and Thread crew, although because we are all so busy we don’t get to hang out that much. We try to play together whenever possible, as that is a good chance to get to hang out and catch up! We always try and stay on top of what Francis is doing and yes, we chat every now and again for advice and feedback, as well as trying to help them in any way possible with new artists they are developing. They’re great friends of ours and we’re very grateful to them.
Has your life changed since moving onto this stage of career, with a new album to promote and a busy tour schedule are you enjoying these changes?
Life has just gotten busier and busier, really. But we absolutely love what we do, so it’s great. We are getting more and more used to being journeymen - we don’t really feel like we have a home the same way we used to. We were actually discussing it the other day - we haven’t really been in one place for more than 2-3 weeks in several years without getting on a plane. It’s fun, but also tiring and challenging. But we’re just super grateful to be able to have the opportunity to make music and travel around playing it for people who it has hopefully had a positive impact on. It’s always been our dream and having it come true, well, there’s nothing greater than that really.
How do you think your sound has evolved during the recording process?
This record is the next step for us. We felt more secure and confident in the sound we’ve found over the last few EPs and we just wanted to do our best to write the best songs we could within that aesthetic and also to push one step further. An album is different than EPs… you can make more of a statement and because there is a bigger whole, you can do things that go off into the farther reaches of what you want to say because if you go in one direction, you can bring it back home on the next track. So there is definitely some exploration on this album and some of the good old Bobby Mo vibes… we’re really proud of it and excited for the world to hear it.
You played for us for the first time last November last year – how did you find London as a place to perform have you any observations to different spaces and how they feedback into your performances?
We love playing in London. We love being in London. It’s an amazing city, an inspiring city for music and culture. We have great friends here and have flirted with the idea of living here someday. The crowds have always been great in London and it’s one of our favorite places to play, for sure. Our gig last time at fabric was awesome and the crowd was super fun and interactive and full of friends, so we’re super excited to be back.
What are you looking forward to most about your next visit to us in EC1?
Playing a legendary club in a legendary city. Jimmy’s been going since he was a teenager and has danced into the wee hours of the morning... or the afternoon a few times. Really looking forward to reconnecting with our friends Frank & Tony and hopefully getting fish & chips with mushy peas in while we’re at it.