Governors Ball Bands Bob Moses And Transviolet Tell Us What It's Like Finding Success And Connecting With Their Fans

"The more real you are with yourself the more things go well."

Governors Ball, an event on Randall's Island in New York City, not only brings together various musical talents from around the globe, but people filled with knowledge, experiences, and advice worth hearing.

Sitting in a small patch of grass beneath clouds and the occasional drizzle, we caught up with two bands: Bob Moses, with members Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance — whose music caught the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in January — and Transviolet, with members Sarah McTaggart, Judah McCarthy, Michael Panek, and Jon Garcia. 

Through thoughtful conversations, the bands explained what it's like to find success, positive influence, and passion through music. 

First, we asked to Bob Moses' Howie and Vallance   — who've said that uniting their talents together reinvigorated their earlier careers — what advice they have for other artists who may need a spark of inspiration to jumpstart their own creative processes. 


"You have to keep at it," Howie begins. "Before we [found] success we used to ... have these philosophical conversations about what it took and how you make it and all that stuff. And we would always arrive to this place of, like, [we] just don't think there's an answer. Now ... if you told a 17-year-old me the actual answer, I would've just gotten annoyed: You really just have to work harder than everybody else and put it out there, hope, and just keep working." 

Moreover, the duo recommends following your gut instincts when it comes to your work: "The more real you are with yourself the more things go well."

"And try to be stoked all the time," Vallance adds. 

Looking back, Howie and Vallance remember being invited to play on The Ellen Show and thinking it was all a prank. Later, in the dressing room, it clicked. 

Since then, "We've gotten tons of messages from DJs and friends from the underground scene telling us they had seen us on 'Ellen,' " Howie tells "At first we were worried that people would think it wasn't cool, but everybody — even the coolest of the cool underground DJs — were like, 'You f*cking rocked it!'"

Now, back in their element and the city where they played their first live set, Bob Moses performed their hit, "Tearing Me Up," among other tracks to a packed crowd at Governors Ball, proving they've certainly found their stride.

Transviolet, a band that tells The Guardian that they "are interested in challenging the status quo, and inspiring conversations that will help us overcome our differences," echoed similar sentiments while sitting with us in the designated media area at Governors Ball, fresh off their debut performance at the festival. 

"I think that bringing awareness to big issues is a really big part of it, but also being able to make changes locally," lead singer Sarah McTaggart says. "So, if you see someone bullying someone or being racist ... you can step in. And I think if we can inspire that, inspire people to start making those little changes, to speak up when they see someone being disenfranchised, bullied, or discriminated against, then I'd be really happy that we could [have] that influence." 

Moreover, the band explains that through their live shows, audiences are able to sync up to Transviolet's own energy. 

For example, " 'Night Vision' is already a big song, but when we play it live we really put that energy out there and I think when people leave they feel that energy," Garcia says. 

Finally, McTaggart reminds us that music is an outlet through which we can channel our emotions and thoughts.

"Every time you write a song, you evolve," she says. "You're further defining yourself. For me, music is the way I understand my own thoughts and emotions. Without it, I don't know how well I would process things."

So how does the band plan on celebrating their Governors Ball set? "Playing more music," naturally.

For more Governors Ball coverage, check out A Plus' interview with Louis The Child.

Cover photo via Getty Images for Bacardi 


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