2014 has offered the Bob Moses guys another opportunity with Domino honing in on the pair’s deeply percussive tracks hinting at a very bright future indeed. This coming Saturday sees them come to Farringdon to make their first performance on the Room One stage so we took the opportunity to get to know their story a little better in our introductory interview…
As you’re a duo I guess a good place to start with how you guys first met, were you friends for a while before you started creating together or was it a purely musical connection?
We first met in high school. We were acquaintances but never really close friends. We were both doing music and had a mutual respect for one another as musicians and had some classes together where we would talk music etc., but for whatever reason we never hung out. We met again coincidentally in NYC and decided to try working together. The connection from there was musical of course, and that has been the basis of a great friendship as well.
Do you share similar influences musically (please tell us what they are) and chime on the same vibe or do you each bring something different from your backgrounds?
We have many shared influences and also know a lot of music the other doesn’t, which is nice for sharing with each other and inspiring each other with. We of course love lots of brit rock and grunge for example which we grew up on, and then everything from singer songwriter to big room dance stuff, metal, jazz, classical etc. we both have very wide musical tastes and both love lots of different music.
I know you guys moved from Vancouver to New York – what did living in that city do in terms of helping you launch yourselves and bring to your actual production?
Vancouver is where we both learned lots of our skills and paid a lot of dues in terms of playing tons of gigs and growing musically. NYC of course is a great place to be in terms of opportunities with music, compared to Vancouver. We both got involved in the great underground scene in NYC and that really helped us to get into a specific deep sound and meet lots of the great people in the scene, like Resolute and Scissor and Thread, who were instrumental in supporting us from the very beginning. So both cities have played a major role in who were are. No doubt the darkness and moodyness of our productions come from the changing of seasons and inclement weather prevalent in both places.
Obviously you have your connection with Scissor & Thread, Francis Harris’s label who put out your early releases what was he like to work with and how did he help with your development?
Francis has always been a big inspiration to us; he’s an amazing producer and engineer but also a very inspired and thoughtful individual. He thinks outside the box and has a very unique and interesting way of looking at the world, at music and at art. He’s a philosopher by nature, which we very much connect with. He was instrumental of course at helping us at the beginning, obviously by releasing our music but also with helping mix our records, inviting us to play shows with him, and supporting us creatively. Scissor and Thread was really good for us as they created an environment that supported artistic expression and put the art first above everything else, which really allowed us to feel comfortable exploring what we wanted our sound to be.
"We don’t have strict boundaries, we both see the whole picture musically and while we do have different strengths they compliment each other..."
You’re obviously now signed to Domino, which is obviously a really big opportunity, why do you feel they’re the next step for you?
Thanks! We are very honored that Domino reached out to us and that we are able to work with them. We just felt like they are a great next step in terms of reaching a wider audience, but they still have a very similar ethos to Scissor and Thread, where the art comes first and they sign artists based upon a respect for their art, not because they have a six pack and will look good on the cover of a magazine or something like that. So far working with them has been nothing short of fantastic, and we are really excited for what’s coming up next with them.
On listening to your tracks you’re obviously sitting very comfortably between the slow pitched house world but also the songwriter realm – production wise when you head to the studio who kind of is in charge of what parts there’s the machines, guitar and vocals…?
Jimmy is definitely more of the engineer, and Tom is doing the bulk of the guitars and the vocals. But our roles are very fluid and we interchange a lot of stuff. Jimmy sometimes will write a guitar riff, and Tom will sometimes program the drum patterns in a track. We don’t have strict boundaries, we both see the whole picture musically and while we do have different strengths that compliment each other, we overlap in most areas as well. We both are involved with programming hi hat patterns and making sure the kicks and sub sound right, as well as the details and nuances in the way lyrics are written or words are pronounced in a vocal take, the chord patterns in a piano take or guitar take etc. The only real rule that we have is that whatever we are focused on, whether it be a recording technique, a sound, an arrangement or an instrument take of some sort, that we both have to be saying “fuck ya” before it stays in the track.
Where are you heading at now with your current material? Do you have a plan of where you want to take things and are you working towards an album?
We are currently working on our album, yes. Our plan is simply to explore further the nuances of the sound we have been developing over the last little while, and to try to make the best music we can and paint the best and most interesting musical picture that an album will allow. Writing music is a lot like going fishing or walking around in a dark room, you don’t always know what you are going to catch or where you are, and it’s as much if not more of a process of discovery for us as it is a planned thing, so we have some rough guidelines, but we are also exploring. So the only way to say what our next stuff will be like is to listen to it when it’s done! We’re just trying our best and making music that we are excited about.