When Bob Moses announced they were headlining the PNE Forum, the electronic duo of Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie posted a photo to Instagram showing a young Vallance posing with Slipknot at the arena in the early aughts. “I still love metal, but I was a huge metalhead then,” Vallance tells the Straight, on the line from New York.
Growing up in Vancouver, both Vallance and Howie caught shows at the arena often.
“I was super into skateboarding and super into punk rock,” Howie adds, from Los Angeles, “and, one year, Bad Religion headlined the Slam City Jam at the Forum. That's just etched into my mind as an awesome summer.”
Bob Moses performs at the Forum this weekend. It’s a thrill and real trip, they enthuse—they’ve dreamed about playing local venues like it since they were kids. After both moved to New York in their 20s, Vallance and Howie started Bob Moses in Brooklyn’s party scene. Combining DJing and live instrumentation, the band’s “post-club” music quickly established them as house heavyweights, earning Grammy and Juno nominations and playing some of the biggest stages in the world, including Lollapalooza and Coachella.
But, even if not totally obvious, their alternative formative years have always informed a core part of Bob Moses’ identity. And it’s never been more apparent than on their latest album, 2022’s The Silence in Between—and on the industrial dance song, “Love Brand New”, in particular.
“It shows the alternative side of us that was born and bred in Vancouver,” Howie says. “It’s kind of where we started. I think that what appealed to us about underground dance music, or what was then underground dance music and the rave scene in New York that we came out of: a lot of that sort of same essence of alternative-ism.”
“Love Brand New,” he continues, is a perfect example of combining the duo’s desire to write a great song and pair it with a driving beat. “It harkens back to Nine Inch Nails and a lot of our early influences that we would have spent our teen years devouring. I think it's just the most mature, latest version of our sense of who we are as artists together. And separately—but mainly together.”
Bob Moses recently released a remix version of The Silence in Between, with acts like Digitalism and Juno Mamba reinterpreting tracks from the album. The duo has always shared remixes of their work, and consider it to be a way of giving new life to their songs.
“There's been a couple examples where the remixes have really helped push the popularity or expose the song in a way that they [it] might not have otherwise,” Vallance says. “And, also, because we play as a band and do these club DJ shows, it then gives us another way to perform the songs.” Jamie Jones’ remix of 2019’s “Enough to Believe,” he suggests, works really well in that way, because they’ll combine both versions of it during the set.
“It adds another tool in your creative toolkit,” Howie adds. “It also informs back into the creative process… I think that getting remixes done, on all our albums, has helped open up our actual sense of production and our skills at being able to hear something, an idea, in our head and then imagine where we might be able to take it.”
When: July 8
Where: PNE Forum
Admission: From $69.50, tickets available here