This deep house duo from Vancouver may be named after an evil dude — Robert “Bob” Moses was a legendary and controversial city planner in New York City who campaigned for highways over public transit and displaced Black communities — but their music sure isn’t.
With three EPs and one album under their belt, these dudes revel in making complex jams that merge dark, melancholy melodies with lush, tropical beats. It’s the kind of stuff you can play before or after going to the club, regardless of whether you want to wind down or turn up.
Since they’re playing a show two days before the end of 2016, we decided to chat with one-half of Bob Moses about the highs and lows they experienced in the last year and what they’re looking forward to in 2017.
SF Weekly: What’s one word that would describe 2016 for you personally?
Jimmy Vallance: Insane…It was not only hectic for us as a band and as people, but also crazy for the world. We’ve lost so many amazing talents this year and the political climate in the states … Well, lets just let leave it at that.
SFW: What lessons did you learn this year, either in regards to music, touring, or your personal life?
JV: It doesn’t matter how busy you are. There is always time for the things that matter to you, and if there isn’t, you have to make the time. As a musician, you spend your early years getting little to no work. When work finally starts to come in — and if you have the tendency to be workaholics like we do — it’s very hard to stop working. Taking breaks and doing other things you love may seem counter productive, but in reality they give your mind a chance to reset so you can come back at it with a fresh perspective.
SFW: What was the most memorable show or festival you played this year and why?
JV: Would have to say coming back to our hometown of Vancouver, Canada to play a sold out show at the Commodore Ballroom. Having grown up in Vancouver and seen so many of our favorite bands play there, it’s a legendary venue for us. Being there, surrounded by our closest friends and family, was a big milestone for us. Feeding off the hometown energy made for a killer show!
SFW: What was the most disastrous or comedic show you played this year and why?
JV: Things go wrong all the time. It’s what keeps you on your toes as a band. It’s not always about how you function at your best: You gotta know how to get through the tough stuff. We are so fortunate to have an awesome road team to help get us through and laugh about those moments.
Someone once attempted to urinate on the side our tour bus and our tour manager kindly asked the guy to stop. Instead of finishing his business and carrying on, the dude just came out swinging at our tour manager. Proper hockey fight style! They both landed a couple solid hits on each other before our crew and security got involved to break it up.
SFW: What was the weirdest interview you had in 2016 and why?
JV: We’ve had a couple of weird interviews in our day. The weirdest one we had this year was with Go Pro at Austin City Limits. They took over a house in Austin and filmed bands doing crazy stuff. The two of us had to race each other through a gauntlet involving big inflatable rubber duckies, a piñata, and beer pong, finished off by launching a confetti canon at each other. It was a Jack Ass style thing and we were allowed to cheat, so we were shoving each other and doing whatever it took to win. They filmed the whole thing, so I’m sure you can find it somewhere hidden in the depths of the internet.
SFW: Who was the coolest person you met in 2016?
JV: We were lucky to meet many cool people in 2016, but I think the most memorable was Jack Black. He helped ease our nerves right before we were going to play on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He got us pumped up by saying “Go out and CRUSH them!” It also helped that we are massive fans of Nacho Libre and quote it almost everyday. Jack was such a cool dude, and at that moment, he totally got us in the right headspace to “CRUSH!” The Ellen Show.
SFW: What are some of your goals for 2017?
JV: To write the best music we possibly can and get out and see more concerts. (Throwing in a couple good meals and sunrises while we’re at it.) We like keeping it simple: aim small, miss small.
SFW: What are you looking forward to in 2017?
JV: Spending a little less time on the road and more time in the studio. While we love playing live, we are very much a “go out and play live til it almost kills you” kind of band. That being said, we also enjoy writing and recording music, and the last 18 months has seen us more on the road than in the studio. So, we’re dying to get back at it!
SFW: How (and where) will you be celebrating New Years Eve?
JV: We’ll be playing Denver and ringing in the New Year with our friend Flume at Decadance. Should be an awesome time! No rest for the wicked as they say…