Moby’s diverse style’s make him impossible to categorize.
He has gone through the underground raving sound with ‘Everything Is Wrong’, to the crunching guitar’s of ‘Animal Rights’ to the composed genius of ‘I Like To Score’ and the swinging bluegrass beats of ‘Play’
The 33 year old man was made to bring good beats to the world, right from his own home.
Moby had a word with Tim Cashmere.
Tim Cashmere> You’ve thanked Gwen Stefani in the credits to play, how has she helped your career?
Moby> Well, when I did the song Southside, someone from the record company gave her a copy of it, and she really loved it and she wanted to come down and sing on it. So we spent a couple of days in the studio and got her singing on it, but I ended up liking my version better, because it has nothing to do with her performance. It’s to do with the fact that the version we did with her had live drums on it, and I like it better with electronic drums. So she worked really hard on it, and she went out of her way and she was just a really sweet person. So that’s why I thanked her.
TC> The title ‘Play’, I guess it could’ve come from anywhere, but where have you got it from?
M> Well, a variety of different places. Primarily there is a school near my house, and it has the word ‘play’ written on the wall in giant letters, and I saw that every day when I was making the record. And also I like to ‘play’, and I get free advertising on every DAT machine, cassette deck, CD player, VCR in the world.
TC> You’ve gone over so many different styles over the years. Is there a favorite that you’ve ever had?
M> This might be annoying, but I don’t have favorites anything. I don’t have favorite foods, or favorite cities, or favorite music, favorite books. I tend to just like everything in different ways. I don’t have a personal hierarchy of things that I like. I can’t compare, regarding music. I can’t compare house music and classical music. I like them both very differently.
TC> Well, US Rolling Stone magazine has said Everything Is Wrong is one of the essential albums of the 90’s. Would you tend to agree with that?
M> Well, you’re asking me to rate my own work, and subjectively speaking I think Everything is Wrong is a wonderful record, I’m very proud of all my records. I love Animal Rights, I love the Voodoo Child album, I love Play, I love Everything Is Wrong. I won’t be so presumptuous to say that any of these are essential records of the 90’s, but on a purely subjective level, I love them.
TC> What would you think are some of your essential albums of the 90’s?
M> Um, I think for me there are only a couple of them. The first two Massive Attack records, the Jay Z album. What else? Maybe um… Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness, the Smashing Pumpkins, the double CD. Um, The Downward Spiral, maybe the Basement Jaxx record. It’s hard, without my CD’s in front of me. It’s very hard to remember.
TC> Well, with the title Everything Is Wrong, is there some hidden message in there? Is everything wrong?
M> In 1995, when I made the record, I believed that everything was wrong. Now I just believe that everything is very complicated.
TC> Well, Animal Rights has a lot of guitars and drums. Did you have to learn the instruments? Where did the idea to have all the live instruments come from?
M> I’m 33 years old, and I started playing guitar 25 years ago, when I was 8 years old, so I’ve been playing guitar all my life. When I was very young I took classical guitar lessons, and I taught myself piano. I taught myself how to play drums, I taught myself how to play bass. So I’ve been playing instruments obviously since I was like 8 or 9 years old.
TC> Do you do all the instruments yourself?
M> Yeah, every record I’ve ever made, I do all the instruments myself and do all the production myself. The only exceptions are when I did the theme for the James Bond soundtrack, I hired a horn section, and there are two songs on Animal Rights that had live violin, and I had a friend come in and do that for me.
TC> Well, with the James Bond theme, how did it come about that you got to do that part. Isn’t that the most sort-after part of all musicians?
M> Well, it kind of happened in the most natural, normal way. The music supervisor for the James Bond movie called me up and asked me if I wanted to do the theme for the James Bond movie, and I just said of course. It was very very simple.
TC> You’ve got a couple of other movie scores on that album, are they some of your favorite movies?
M> The I Like To Score album, is music that I’ve done that have appeared in different movies. It’s not that I’ve been inspired by it. The criteria for that record is songs that have appeared in different films that I’ve worked on. Everything there is from a different movie, it’s not like I wrote it just for fun, it’s soundtracks for different movies.
TC> Well, you’re obviously a strict vegan, does this influence your music or lyrics in any way?
M> There’s really almost no correlation between my choice to be a vegan and the type of music I make. The music I make isn’t issue orientated, although I’m a very politically minded person, and I try to be quite aware. The music that I make doesn’t reflect that at all.
TC> Well, on Thursday night, everyone was told it was a no smoking venue because you don’t like smokers, but that’s not true is it?
M> I don’t smoke myself, but most of my friends smoke, and in general it doesn’t really bother me. Like if I’m trying to eat it might bother me, but if I’m in a nightclub it doesn’t bother me at all.
TC> What do you think of rumors going around like that?
M> Well, there are lots of rumors about me that aren’t true. A lot of cliches that follow me around, that I don’t know where they come from. I can’t worry about it too much, I just hope that people pay more attention to the music that I make, rather than the cliches that follow me around.
TC> Well, was it your grandfather that wrote Moby Dick?
M> In order for my grandfather to have wrote Moby Dick, he would’ve had to be around 160, so no it was great great great grand uncle. Herman Melville died in the 19th century. He died probably about 90 years before I was born?
TC> Do you find that some people are more impressed by that than your music?
M> I think that a lot of people are surprised that I’m related to Herman Melville, but because I’ve been related to him all my life, it’s not something I think about too often. I don’t think about where I was born, and I don’t think about the colour of my skin, you don’t think about things that have been with you since you were born and the fact that I’m a descendant of Herman Melville, really has had no overt significance in my life.
TC> The other night you did a DJ set. What do you prefer, doing a DJ set or playing live with the band?
M> Well, for me, playing live is something I take very seriously, whereas DJing is something I enjoy, but it’s more of a hobby. It’s something I do every couple of months just for fun, whereas playing live is something I work really hard at and I really put a lot of myself into it.
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