Brooklyn native artists and rising stars Bob Moses have been on our radar since the release of their album Days Gone By. They have also been on an extreme touring schedule that has set them to play at major festivals worldwide like Coachella and Lollapalooza, as well as tour with legendary UK electronic group Underworld. We caught up with them at HARD Summer in Southern California before their set to chat with them about their feats and lessons learned whilst on tour.
What is your guys’ opinion on the changing music scene in Brooklyn?
BM: We got to experience Seth Troxler back in '08 or '09 and the event got shut down. I think only around 70 people wanted to go to this little party but now since then the whole Brooklyn warehouse scene has become so massive. Over the past six years we’ve seen the Resolute warehouse parties turn into actual clubs such as Output getting built as well as Verboten along with all the other clubs in the area. It’s crazy how quickly that whole neighborhood has grown. Output is the quintessential club in Brooklyn and we remember playing DJ sets before we were even called Bob Moses after it opened it up just four blocks down the street from our studio. As we would walk past it there and back from the studio it began to look more like a club and finally turned into what it is today. We were actually the first live set to perform at Output.
What are your thoughts on Verboten closing down?
BM: We don’t know the details of it because we aren’t so close to them as we are with the guys from Output or Resolute but it doesn’t sound so good. The thing is that New York has such a healthy ‘outside of the club’ scene’ that the nothing will ever happen to the culture. If all the clubs in New York shut down tomorrow all the underground parties would still continue.
Have you guys played as Bob Moses at any of these underground parties?
BM: Oh tons of them that’s actually how we started playing together. The first time that we played together as Bob Moses was on a barge for a Resolute party which was really fun. The Resolute parties were the ones that we would go to before we were Bob Moses so we’re good friends with those guys. Nektarios runs Resolute and he was actually the guy who gave us our first shot and booked us before we were even called Bob Moses to play some of our music at the party. Even after we started touring we still played these underground parties with Resolute once we came back to New York because we realize that that is where we come from.
Are there any plans of playing some more underground shows in the near future?
BM: We’ve been thinking about ways to get back to that scene because that is where we’re from. We want to do something but we don’t know what yet but we might just throw our own event. Nektarios actually just emailed us about playing an underground sometime in the winter maybe. Now that we’re playing bigger shows we really want to make sure that if we’re playing an underground event that it is something that feels right with the right people and makes sense for us.
What can you tell us about your second album that you guys plan on writing once you are done touring for the year?
BM: It’s just a matter of getting off the road. On the road we have a chance to listen to a lot of stuff, curate sounds, and record ideas on our phones but other than that we don’t have too much time to write while we’re touring. We usually like to do a body of work when we are making music so that process is a bit more involved and takes more time. At the end of this year we will have more time to get back into the studio once we are off the road.
Can you tell us how your production process differs from your live performances?
BM: Well with our first album we approached it by producing it first and then figuring it out how to play it out live later and breaking down each song into separate parts. However, our second album will be influenced by our live performances so the process may be more fluid. Even though we perform our music live we try to approach it as a DJ set by blending all of the songs together as opposed to playing each song and stopping in between. The live process definitely informs the recording/production process. We’re just cracking the surface of how we can do everything and how we can get better at being ourselves. It’s crazy because when you’re in the studio you want to go out to play gigs and travel but when you’re out on the road for as long as we have been you just can’t wait to get back into the studio to make more music.
How would you say your daily routine has changed since you guys have begun touring after the release of your debut album?
BM: We have zero routine. We’re both slaves to our phones because we have our little app that tells you where you need to be and where but every day is different in that one day you may have a flight at 6 am and the next day you may have one at 12. You kind of get used to the chaos however because everyday is the same in the sense that you know you need to get on an airplane, you know there is a soundcheck, and you know you are going to be playing a show and that always stays the same. But when, where, and how is always different along with when you get to eat or sleep that all changes. You’ve got to make sure that you drink enough water and don’t party too hard too early or don’t get sunburned at soundcheck like I did today. If only we could heed our own advice. When you go on tour your world becomes a lot smaller. It’s kind of like being a pro athlete in the sense that there are a number of things that you have to do in order to keep doing what you want to. Touring is so much fun but it can be tough because it will really rock you to your core and reveal who you really are as a person. We are however very excited to get back and write some tunes, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Which places around the world that you have played do you guys consider as the highlight of your tour?
BM: Lebanon was really cool, but we also played this really great festival in Netherlands called Best Kept Secret. Honestly it is really hard to choose because most of the places that we go to are amazing. We loved playing in Turkey but it is really sad with all the stuff that is going on over there. South America is awesome too but after being on the road for so long and experiencing so many different cultures it’s nice to come back over here and go “f*ck I love America”. We get to travel the world a lot and make friends in all these places but it’s nice to be home. I mean you can get cheese in a spray can here.
If you could pick an artist to remix your music who would it be?
BM: It would be sick to get a Tame Impala remix. I would also love to get a Trent Reznor remix or maybe a Stevie Wonder remix. Maybe an Elton John remix? Elton John actually played one of our songs on his Beats radio show which was really cool.
Out of the many artists currently on tour who are your biggest influences at the moment?
BM: Anderson .Paak is really inspiring us at the moment. Grimes is really good and the Disclosure guys are really cool as well. We have a lot of respect for where they brought the music scene. We are both huge Tame Impala fans, we love all of their records.
What followed was an absolutely stellar evening performance at HARD. Listen to Bob Moses's debut album here and catch up with their tour. There is much more to come from the duo on the rise, and we were glad to be able to have a chat with them like we did.
Interview by: Jacob Piotrowski and Fadi AbuZaineh