Electronic duo Bob Moses on why they just can’t stay away from Australia

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Electronic duo Bob Moses on why they just can’t stay away from Australia

Bob Moses
Words by Leland Tan

Speaking to Jimmy Vallance, the house music inclined half of Canadian duo Bob Moses is lounging in his Brooklyn apartment.

Off the back of sold-out shows with fellow New Yorkers Phantogram, as well as recent appearances at Lost Lands, Coachella, and now Red Rocks with Rüfüs Du Sol, the high school acquaintances turned electronic stalwarts have been touring more often than not since the drop of 2018’s Instagram.

“We’ve loved [touring] and we’ve just been on the road non-stop. The run we’re embarking on now with Rüfüs Du Sol, who we’ve been really good friends with since they brought us around Australia in 2016, will be amazing.”

“The camaraderie is great between us, because our music is synonymous in that we’re both electronic bands and sort of black sheep. But we also have that performative live element to us that’s similar, and that’s great.”

Trying to categorise their music into a single genre is somewhat of a pointless task. Instead, Vallance is happy to let their music do most of the talking.

“If you start breaking it down into sub-genres and all that, it loses people instantly. We just came up with the stupidest answer – we now say we’re somewhere between Led Zeppelin and Richie Hawtin, and that works.”

Fans will know they’ve been Down Under almost every year since 2015, having conquered Lost Paradise, Let Them Eat Cake, and Laneway Festival, though this round also sees Bob Moses performing at sideshows in two major cities.

“It’s our first time at Strawberry Fields, and we’ve also wanted to play a Sydney and Melbourne headline show for the longest time. In fact, one of our biggest blasts was playing Revolver Upstairs, maybe four years ago.”

“That place was really fucking cool! It rivals anywhere in the world; we couldn’t forget it. Firstly, the walls were covered with Banksy art, and the crowd was beyond phenomenal. It was nuts. Nowhere have we seen a place like that.”

Nightclubs aside, Australia also holds large sentiment for Vallance’s partner-in-crime Tom Howie, who met his wife at Lost Paradise.

“That’s a big one for us. Australia holds great meaning for us now, because of that. Also, hanging out with Tame Impala at the Fremantle leg of Laneway, which was his hometown. Just chilling out with Kevin [Parker] after his set, him telling us he’d walk home after his set because he was so damn tired.”

Holding such affection for the music scene Down Under, Vallance lends his thoughts on pill testing from an outsider’s perspective, though he admits he is no expert on the subject.

“More often than not, people are going to take substances anyway. They’ve made up their minds. Drugs have been illegal for ages, but if there is an avenue to make this safer. That side of it should be explored. With that being said, I understand the other side of it as well. Ultimately, you don’t want a good time to quickly turn into a bad time.”

“We’re definitely aware of the lockout laws, too, and it’s super harmful for cultivating culture. It seemed very dodgy, and sometimes it appeared as if it wasn’t actually for the reasons of safety.”

And because playing bush doofs is a rite of passage for a duo like them, they’re more than ready to spring a few surprises at their upcoming set for Strawberry Fields.

“There will be new stuff there, and we’ve been working on new music, too. It’s a couple months away, so that gives us time to work on things, but we’ll definitely be calling it as we go based on the crowd.

“We’ve never played a proper bush doof before and we’re super excited to be back again in Australia. You’ll have to wait and see what we have in store.”