Tom Howie and Jimmy Valance aren’t quite sandbox buddies, but they’re close to it. The pair, now known as Bob Moses, were high school buddies back in Vancouver, BC but followed independent paths into the New York music scene. Eventually, they ran into each other, and it’s a damn good thing they did. With a startling blend of lyrical depth, darkly-toned electronica, and sonic variety, Bob Moses broke new ground with their debut album, 2015’s Days Gone By.
CONVICTS caught up with the pair after their recent show at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. We got their take on sharing festival stages with their childhood idols, the unexpected root of the name Bob Moses, and the dangers of surfing.
Hey gentlemen, how are you going?
Awesome, as always. We’re fantastic. How are you?
Hard to have a bad time out this way. Since basing yourselves out of New York, have you two spend much time out in Montauk?
Never been here. We were in the Hamptons like two weeks ago, which is sort of the same thing, right? And it’s gorgeous.
Tell us what you’ve been up to of late.
So going out, playing gigs, and then coming back and getting to write songs in New York. I have an apartment there and I’ve been there less than two weeks this summer. It was just an awesome thing for awhile and now we’re full on.
What does escape look like for you?
To be honest, at this point escape is like two days of normal sleeping, which sounds kind of pathetic. Like we just had a week off, we had like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in LA and we didn’t have to catch a flight any of those days so that was like escape. Wake up at a normal hour, do some exercise, sleep a normal amount every night. That was escape.
We’ve seen you guys at Lollapalooza, everywhere-what has this summer been like on the road?
It’s been insane, man. It has been a pretty good year of it so far. That Lollapalooza gig was really fun. I loved how there was this great feel where no one cared that it was raining. Everyone wanted to have a good time.
As young artists, how does it feel to be playing these huge legendary festivals?
It’s crazy to have grown up with these festivals that everyone goes to and your favorite bands play in, then you’re there sharing a stage with acts that you really love and admire. It’s such a weird, full circle thing as a musician. It’s surreal. It’s still very surreal to us.
What is it like playing these small shows to a couple hundred people on a deck?
Very fun, like how we started.
How did you come up with the name?
The name! We didn’t come up with our name, we got dubbed Bob Moses.
How did that go down?
We used to be on a smaller indie label called Scissor and Thread and the vibe of the label was New York icons from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, so like Andy Warhol, Paradise Garage-that sort of thing. We got dubbed Bob Moses, named after Robert Moses, the city planner.
What kind of plans does Bob Moses have in store right now?
We’re touring till the end of this year then making another record and then continuing to tour.
That was the next question. New album?
Name of the new album?
No idea. We don’t even know the name of one song on the album. We don’t even know the name of where we’re going to make the album. We’re in the early stages but we’ve got some musical ideas. It’d be really cool if one song was called “Awesome Possum.”
I’m guessing I shouldn’t ask about a release date?
It’s like one of those…we don’t want it to turn into one of those things where you put a release date and then you push it back six months and push it back six months, and everyone’s like: “What’s up with these guys?”
Respect. Who’s somebody you would like to collaborate with?
Tame Impala. You guys are Australian right?
Yea, there you go.
There’s lots of good Aussie bands, actually. We went on the road with Rufus and these guys Tora from Byron Bay.
The Tora guys were so hungry when I had them all over for breakfast in New York.
That’s awesome. Those guys are great. Basically anybody from Australia. I think we should just go down there.
Last question, where do you get your inspiration from?
Well lots of places. We listen to a lot of music, so we bounce that off each other. Whoever walks through the door is going to inspire our next record.
Thanks, gentlemen, and best of luck.