HARD SUMMER EXCLUSIVE: The Evolution of Music with Bob Moses
Written By: Devin Carrillo
How did we get here? First, let’s define “music.” Taken from dictionary.com, “Music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions.” If music is synchronized with time, then what does EDM say about our culture? What does fast-paced, sometimes monotonous and mind enhancing sounds mean about the people who listen to it?
Rather than assuming EDM fans listen to their sound of choice because the massive bass-fueled drop enhances their high or keeps their buzz going, maybe there could be more to this EDM revolution than what lies at the surface? Along with technology, music has evolved over time. In the early 80’s traditional instruments were replaced by synthesizers and samplers – bringing to us our modern day pop sounds and background tracks. And even before that, in the 70’s came disco – an underground dance culture formed after the merger of gays, Latinos and African Americans rebelling from their similar exclusion from society.
What does EDM say about our culture today then?
With new societal advances at the touch of our fingertips in present times, such as an app that delivers food to your door or robots that clean your house – technology is all around us. Thus, when we consider how technology has become such an influential part of our daily lives, it makes sense that the expansion and popularity of EDM is correlated and reflective of that presence. Although my techno-loving friends would kill me for saying this, from giant buildups that sound like massive plane engines to the artfully crafted drum sounds and claps of techno, electronic dance music (EDM) is here because we have become one with its influences. We’ve become so accustomed to technology in everyday life, its influence in our music was inevitable.
I mean that’s how all music revolutions started, right? Popularity in a sound and culture has notoriously stemmed from the direct effect of societal norms and issues. The rock revolution, arguably started by the Beatle’s, came from teenage rebellion. Disco came from minority rebellion in the 70’s. Even gangsta hip-hop (Shout out Ice Cube and NWA at HARD Summer) came from voices in the early 90s, fired up by the lack of societal respect black communities were being offered. And now in the midst of this EDM revolution, started by the early rave scenes in cities around the world--a product of the early drum and bass days in London (UK) and the techno and acid house communities in Detroit and Chicago--though massive and cluttered on the festival circuit today, were also once condemned to the “underground.”
As I’m an avid fan of dirty, dark minimal techno sounds I wanted to hear from one of HARD Summer’s most influential genre-defying artists, Bob Moses. A Canadian-duo who stormed the music scene late last year with their hit album, “Days Gone By” featuring massive tracks such as “Tearing Me Up,” “Talk,” and my personal favorite “Keeping Me Alive.”
As the self-proclaimed “techno-rock” duo formed from the alliance of electronic sounds and traditional rock melodies, Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie have gone against the grain once again with the band’s newest edition, a drummer, in hopes to bring their sound back home and transition from their originally heavily influenced electronic sound in their early live sets. Check out the exclusive interview below!
Elektro: How would you describe your sound?
Bob Moses: Take rock n’ roll, take techno… we’re somewhere in the middle.
Elektro: So you’re debut album “Day’s Gone By” was a pretty big hit, right? Did you expect your debut to be as good as it has?
Bob Moses: It’s interesting, you don’t really know how well its doing or how well its not doing until you get out there and play shows…
You know we’ve just been seeing the stages getting bigger, and adding more dates and keep it going… when we started off the first run of the album tour we were playing 200 to 700 cap venues all over the states and now we’re doing a couple thousand… just in a year it’s cool to see that growth.
Elektro: When did you see the transition from playing at smaller clubs to these big venues where the audience was kind of reacting to your music in a different way than before?
Bob Moses: That happened when we released the album. We had been releasing EPs that were kind of dance-oriented, and the album was our chance to go - we’re going to write something that is a body of work that you could play some songs as a DJ at a club but it’s got a wider array of slower songs –
That put us one foot in the dance world, one foot in the indie-rock world.
Elektro: The EDM is scene growing, and influencing traditional music, like you said. In tandem, now that you’re playing major EDM and multi-genre festivals such as Hard Summer, Coachella and soon Life is Beautiful and Voodoo Fest – how does EDM’s growth influence your sound?
Bob Moses: EDM as a genre has opened the barriers, it’s opened the playing field creatively… the possibilities are kind of endless as the music is concerned. You’re seeing a lot of artists kind of cross boundaries now…
To us it’s like how do we still keep the elements of dance music, like the continuing flow of a DJ set but still do that in a rock-n-roll kind of way with a band.
Elektro: As you continue slaying the festival circuit from HARD Summer today (7/31), and I mean Coachella a few months back (!!) with this only being your first year touring – where do you see yourself next year, what is the goal?
Bob Moses: The crazy thing is… there’s festivals everywhere all year… We’re going to be making a new album next year. We won’t be touring as much, I mean when we made our album last year we still did 80 gigs which is a lot so we’ll still be playing for sure next year but we’ll be playing a lot less, just in the studio working really hard trying to make some new music.
With emerging artists who continue to push genre boundaries like Bob Moses, it’s an exciting time for music enthusiasts and multi-genre aficionados. For more Bob Moses here is their hit song, “Tearing Me Up” performed on the Ellen Show. And, for their live shows you can catch the techno rockers at Life Is Beautiful, September 23-25 in Las Vegas and Voodoo Music and Arts Experience October 28 – 30 at City Park in New Orleans.