Katherine and Zaria got to talk to Tom and Jimmy from Bob Moses before Hangout Fest! Read the interview below.
Katherine: You’re listening to WSOE 89.3 Elon, Burlington. I’m Katherine!
Zaria: And I’m Zaria! We’re here with Bob Moses as part of Hangout with WSOE!
Katherine: Bob Moses will be playing at Hangout Fest May 19th-21st. Welcome guys, were honored to have you on WSOE today!
Tom and Jimmy: Thank you!
Zaria: Great! How are you guys doing today?
Tom and Jimmy: Great! It’s a sunny day today in LA, you know just getting into the studio, working on some music. Everything’s great!
Zaria: Awesome! Let’s get started!
Katherine: So first let’s talk about the name of your group Bob Moses and just kind of the inspiration for that.
Jimmy: So we first started off as an underground sort of act in New York City and we were assigned to an independent label called Scissor and Thread. Sort of the key part of the label was to name their acts after New York icons, and we got names Bob Moses after Robert Moses who was the city planner that kind of made New York what it is today, with all the highways and stuff like that. So we shortened Robert to Bob and that was it! That’s how we got the name.
Zaria: Very cool! So can you guys describe your sound for us?
Tom: It’s kind of indie rock meets, sort of, house music
Jimmy: If rock and roll and techno were on a scale, were sort of in the middle.
Katherine: Awesome! So we also read that you guys went to middle school and high school together. Can you talk about how you guys got involved in music and just about your collaboration process?
Tom: Yeah, we went to highschool together in Vancouver. We were sort of like not super close. But we were buddies; we had an art class together. I think we were both sort of into spending as much time as possible in art class and playing music and as little time as possible on all other school activities. So we kind of bonded with that, bonded with each other over that. And at that point, I was doing more like rock and roll stuff and Jimmy was doing more like techno stuff. So we were like, at that point, I think we were in sort like our own little world. Working pretty hard trying to figure things out and we didn’t start actually working together for whatever reason. And then fast forward a few years we both moved to New York separately, kind of lost touch after high school and one day we were walking to the subway in New York and ran into each other. It turns out that for like eight months we had had studios across from each other. And so we were sort of like, you know, “hey what are you doing here” and we went to dinner and caught up and decided to try working together just for fun. I don’t think either of us were really expecting much out of it. Right away, like the first day there was great chemistry and we came up with something really cool I think. And we got really excited and I think like the next day we met up again and then by like the third day we were like, “I don’t know what this is, but let’s do this whatever it is.” So we just kind of like put our heads down and started working together and the rest is history I guess.
Zaria: Awesome! When you guys are sort of collaborating together, can you talk a little bit about where your inspiration comes from?
Jimmy: Yeah, we I mean we were inspired by tons of stuff. We listen to music all the time. I think that’s kind of part this job, to sort of study the stuff that’s come before you or the currents. All across the musical spectrum. I mean we’ve been inspired by anything from like the most up to date current electronic music, hip-hop whatever to like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, even stuff before that. Really old school music, so we listen to a lot of stuff to sort of get a vibe for where our music stands and then basically it’s like Tom and I in the studio, bouncing ideas back and forth. Sometimes you know, Tom will come up with something, sometimes I’ll come up with something. And we’re really good at sort of like self-editing each other you know? And that I think that’s kind of the time that opens honest communication about the ideas of where a song is going and that sort of stuff. You know it’s really fun and it’s fantastic to like find someone who you trust creatively, you can just kind of be totally open and honest with them and not feel scared to share ideas.
Tom: Yeah, and I think like we have, as far as influences, like specific influences, we like everything from like, Jimmy said, old music, like really rock and then like we both grew up in sort of the 2000s and on the radio was a lot of hip hop and like then like Nirvana was a huge influence to both of us. I think while from the production and engineering standpoint we really love a lot of sort of underground electronic sounds and that sort of sonic aesthetic. We also really love like AC/DC and like band like Nirvana and Radiohead and all that sort of stuff that kind of like has their own unique sound.
Katherine: Can you guys tell us a little bit about your album Days Gone By?
Jimmy: Well our album Days Gone By is like our first crack at writing a full length album which was when we sort of like a little intimidating at first because we’ve only made EPs. So we were like what’s the best way to go about this. And it was a lot of work. It was a pretty hectic schedule. But that also gave us the chance to kind of get out of the studio and be inspired by traveling and going and watching other bands. And you know playing live and seeing how the music and the crowd reacted. And we got even a chance, as we were writing albums to test a few ideas before they were even released and finished so even though it was kind of hectic, intimidating, and stressful to make the album; I don’t see how we could have done it any other way at that point and, you know, we ended up being really really proud of what we finished. I think, you know, even though we were struggling and all that kind of stuff, it never felt like the music suffered or we had to compromise anything.
Tom: I mean like, I think any time you try to write anything you’re a little nervous because you don’t know if anybody’s going to like it or not or if it’s any good or anything. I mean we just, it was an interesting thing to try and write a full length album, like Jimmy said because we really had be in a creative mindset so to speak, and then edit it down afterwards. Which, I guess is a process so it will be interesting going into our next one now and working on it how we kind of learned the ropes on the first one. And we’re less daunted by the process. The first one I think it was kind of like “Oh my god we got to write an album! Come on, come on, come on!” It took a bit longer, the process. It’s great, it’s really fun and I think we’re really proud of like, with Days Gone By we want to service like our underground electronic roots and really speak to that sort of vibe. And also we want to like, experiment a bit more with song writing. And I think that what we came out with was a really nice sort of meld of all of our influences. So we’re really proud of it.
Zaria: Awesome! So we’re so excited to see you at Hangout Fest this weekend. Can you tell us a little bit about what it feels like to play live at a festival?
Jimmy: It’s awesome! It’s one of the best feelings like, I think like, so much hard work goes into writing and recording and then going up and playing live is sort of a victory lap for all the hard work.
Tom: Yah, also like festivals are just like a awesome experience in themselves. They’re not, like playing your own show is fun and more specialized but festivals, a big part of the fun of it is like getting to see other acts. Hangout backstage with other acts and running into somebody you know. You know we sort of like fan boy out all the time. Like “Oh my god that’s so and so.” So it’s really fun to like be part of the acts and I think that like everyone each has like their own creative thing. Their own creative expression. Like a festival is somebody’s creative vision of this awesome event, so it’s nice to get inspired by all the creativity that goes into a festival. Even the people that come to a festival, they usually like make a big deal out of it and wear weird costumes or like do cool stuff so it’s always really fun to play a festival.
Jimmy: We’re super stoked! And it’s our first time in Gulf Shores, and our first time in Alabama.
Zaria: Whoa! That will be fun!
Tom and Jimmy:: Yah, can’t wait!
Katherine: Awesome! Well we are so excited to see you guys and thank you again for letting us interview you. Is there anything else you guys would like to add or that you want the listeners of WSOE to know?
Tom and Jimmy: Thanks so much for listening to our music, hope you like it!