Though the man has been around since his debut in a hardcore punk band back in the early ’80s, Moby really made a breakthrough in 1999 with the unforgettable multimillion-selling album Play. It became the first album in history to have each track licensed for commercial use. Play was praised as quickly as Moby was deemed a sell-out by his core fans. Since then Moby has made headlines – both good and bad.
This spring, Moby is back with his long-awaited new album Last Night. The celebrity sat down over tea to talk about his new record and making headlines.
Last Night is being called a eulogy to New York dance music. Can you explain that?
No. Let’s fix that. I don’t know where that came from. It’s an homage to New York dance music. I think someone might have been transcribing an interview and had a moment of dyslexia. It’s not a eulogy at all. New York dance music is in great shape. The scene is thriving and going great. You perform a eulogy to something that dies.
Like ’90s rave anthems and that genre altogether?
Credible DJs stopped playing it because it almost became tacky. As a genre it pretty much died off, but every now and then it sneaks its way back in. At least elements of it do.
There are two piano-driven rave anthems that seem to have snuck their way onto your new album.
Oh yeah! I love really happy rave music. I always have. From the moment I first heard a big celebratory, exciting rave track in 1988, it was love at first listen.
I put those two songs on the album for the simple reason that I love them. The label wanted them off because they found them much too retro. Sometimes when you love something so much, you don’t have any concern about how other people may feel about that same thing.
People don’t always feel the same way about you and your music. Do you read your own press?
I’ve been making records now for almost 20 years. When I first started getting reviews I read all my press because I was just amazed that anyone was listening to my music. The good press made me happy, the bad made me depressed. So at some point I stopped. Now I do everything to avoid reading about myself or watching myself on TV.
Still, are you aware of what the media says about you?
Honestly, I don’t want to know. There are so many people with so many opinions about me and what I do. A lot of the time they are misinformed. It can be very frustrating to read something about yourself that is based on misinformation. I would rather not know.
Well, your name has been used in an array of headlines, from your infamous quarrel with Eminem, to why Star Wars geeks hate you so much, and from recent opinions you have of Britney Spears, to how your brain should be like Swiss cheese from the amount of ecstasy you’ve downed.
Hopefully this doesn’t sound too presumptuous or arrogant, but I do think that I’ve had the single weirdest career of anyone who has been involved in the music business. I’ve written classical music for movies, I’ve worked on political campaigns and I’ve played in punk rock bands. I’ve worked with so many different types of musicians from Public Enemy to Britney Spears, from Metallica to David Bowie. I’m not saying I’ve had the best career. No, not the best, not the most interesting, the weirdest. I’m a weirdo.
Moby’s Last Night hits stores Tuesday, April 1.