Moby

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Moby
Moby looking to the camera
Moby in 2009
Background information
Birth nameRichard Melville Hall
Born (1965-09-11) September 11, 1965 (age 53)
Harlem, New York City, U.S.
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • animal rights activist
  • author
Years active1978–present
Labels
Websitemoby.com

Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known by his stage name Moby, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, animal rights activist, and author. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide,[1] and AllMusic considers him to be "one of the most important dance music figures of the early 1990s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in the UK and in America".[2]

After learning how to play guitar at the age of 9, Moby played in underground punk rock bands in the early 1980s, and gained attention in the early 1990s with his early electronic dance music. With his fifth studio album, Play (1999), he gained international success; the album sold 6,000 copies in its first week, and it re-entered the global charts in early 2000 and became an unexpected hit, producing eight singles and selling over 10 million copies worldwide.[3] Moby followed the album in 2002 with 18, which was also successful, selling over 5 million copies worldwide and receiving mostly positive reviews.

His next major release, 2005's mostly upbeat Hotel was a stylistic departure, incorporating more rock elements than previous album, and received mixed reviews. It sold around 2 million copies worldwide. After 2008's dance-influenced Last Night (2008), he returned to the downtempo electronica of Play and 18 with 2009's mostly-ambient Wait for Me, finding higher critical acclaim and moderate sales. He followed that with 2011's Destroyed, 2013's Innocents, 2016's These Systems Are Failing, 2017's More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse and 2018's Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt.

Moby has also authored or co-authored Gristle, Destroyed, his first memoir Porcelain, and his upcoming 2nd memoir Then It Fell Apart.

Moby has also co-written, produced, and remixed music for David Bowie, Billy Idol, Daft Punk, Mylène Farmer, Brian Eno, Pet Shop Boys, Britney Spears, New Order, Public Enemy, Yoko Ono, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Soundgarden, Michael Jackson and others.[4]

Early life[edit]

Richard Melville Hall was born on September 11, 1965 in the neighborhood of Harlem in Manhattan, New York City. He is the only child of Elizabeth McBride (née Warner), a medical secretary, and James Frederick Hall, a chemistry professor, who died in a car crash while drunk when Moby was two.[5][6][7][8] His father gave him the nickname Moby three days after his birth as his parents considered the name Richard too large for a newborn baby. The name was also a reference to the family's ancestry; Hall is the great-great-great nephew to Herman Melville, author of Moby-Dick.[9][10]

Moby was raised by his mother, first in San Francisco from 1969 for a short period, before they returned east and settled in Darien, Connecticut.[11][12][13] They lived in a squat with "three or four other drug-addicted hippies, with bands playing in the basement."[14] The two moved to Stratford, Connecticut for a brief time.[15] His mother struggled to support her son, often relying on food stamps and government welfare.[5] They occasionally stayed with Moby's grandparents in Darien, but the affluence of the suburb made him feel poor and ashamed.[14] Shortly before his mother's death, Moby learned from her that he has a half brother.[14] His first job was a caddy at a golf course.[16]

Moby took up music at the age of nine.[17] He started on classical guitar and received piano lessons from his mother before studying music theory. In 1983, he became the guitarist in a hardcore punk band, the Vatican Commandos, playing on their debut EP Hit Squad for God.[18] Around this time he was the lead vocalist for Flipper for two days; Moby played bass for their reunion shows in the 2000s.[19] Moby formed a post punk group named AWOL around the time of his eighteenth birthday. He is credited on their only release, a self-titled EP, as Moby Hall.[20]

Moby graduated from Darien High School in 1983.[21] He started a philosophy degree at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, and became a DJ at the campus radio station WHUS. The job gave him the opportunity to spin records in local clubs, and became a full-time DJ at The Beat nightclub in Port Chester, New York.[9] However, Moby grew increasingly unhappy and transferred to the State University of New York. He soon dropped out to play in bands and take on DJ work.[5] He left home at nineteen and moved into an abandoned factory in Stamford, Connecticut with no bathroom or running water, but it had free electricity which allowed him to work on his music. In 1989 he moved to New York City with his close friend, artist Damian Loeb.[11][20] He then played guitar in alternative rock group Ultra Vivid Scene and appeared in the video for their 1989 single "Mercy Seat".[22][23]

Career[edit]

1980s–1993: Signing with Instinct and "Go"[edit]

Moby's first live solo performance was witnessed by his future longtime manager Eric Härle, who recalled Moby's set: "The music was amazing, but the show was riddled with technical mishaps. It left me very intrigued and impressed in a strange way."[24]

In 1990, Moby signed a five-year deal with Instinct Records, an independent label still in its infancy. His early singles were put out under several names such as Barracuda, Brainstorm, and UHF, to make it seem like the label had signed more artists; his first, "Time's Up", is as a rap song with vocalist Jimmy Mack which gained little commercial attention.[25][26] This was followed by the release of "Mobility", his first released with the Moby name, in November 1990. It became his breakthrough hit following the success of its B-side, the progressive house track "Go" that sampled "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the American television drama Twin Peaks. It peaked at No. 10 in the UK in October 1991 and led to his first appearance on Top of the Pops.[24] In 1992, he revealed that he had received just $2,000 in royalties from the song.[27]

Moby's full-length debut album, Moby, was released in July 1992. It was re-titled The Story So Far for its UK release. Four singles from the album were released: "Go", "Drop a Beat", "Next Is the E" and "I Feel It"/"Thousand". The latter track features music at over 1,000 beats-per-minute which was recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest tempo in a recorded song.[15][28] In 1992, Moby completed a US tour with The Prodigy and Richie Hawtin. In mid-1992, Moby estimated that he had earned between $8,000 to $11,000 a year for the past six years.[27]

The success of "Go" led to increased demand for Moby to produce more music and to remix other artists' songs. He often arranged for the artist and himself to trade remixes as opposed to being paid for his work, which was the case for his mixes for Billy Corgan and Soundgarden.[29] The increase in demand convinced Moby to be released from his deal with Instinct and move to a bigger label. Instinct refused to release Moby at first and he retaliated by refusing to put out new material, causing the label to put out tracks using unfinished tunes.[9]

1993–1998: Signing with Elektra, Everything Is Wrong, and Animal Rights[edit]

In 1993, Moby had been released from his contract with Instinct and signed a new deal with Elektra Records, which lasted for six years. At the same time he signed with Mute Records, a British label, to handle his European distribution.[20][30] Moby's output for Elektra/Mute began with Move, a four-track EP released in August 1993. "Move (You Make Me Feel So Good)" was the first single and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and No. 21 in the UK.[31]

Moby's contract with Elektra allowed the opportunity to make his third full-length album, which was underway in 1994. It diverse sound included styles that Moby liked or had been influenced by, such as electronic dance, ambient, rock, and industrial music. Everything Is Wrong was released in March 1995 to critical praise; Spin magazine named it "Album of the Year" and some considered an album ahead of its time.[32][33] Elektra took advantage of its diverse sound by distributing the tracks of the same style to corresponding radio stations nationwide.[9] Early copies put out in the UK and Germany included a bonus CD of ambient music entitled Underwater. Moby followed up with a double remix album, Everything Is Wrong—Mixed and Remixed.

In 1995 and 1996, Moby put out singles on Trophy Records, his sub-label of Instinct that he had formed so he could release music under a pseudonym, such as Lopez, DJ Cake, and Voodoo Child. He deemed the material released on Trophy as "Stuff that I really wanted to do but it didn't bother me if it was successful or not. It's more self-indulgent dance".[34] In 1996, Moby contributed "Republican Party" to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization and released his second album under the Voodoo Child moniker, The End of Everything.[35]

While touring Everything Is Wrong in 1995, Moby had grown increasingly bored with the electronic music scene, performing it live, and felt the press failed to understand his records and take it seriously. He decided to change musical direction and recorded Animal Rights, combining guitar-driven rock songs with Moby on lead vocals and softer ambient tracks.[36][37] Upon completing the album Moby said that it was "weird, long, self-indulgent and difficult".[35][24] Its lead single, a cover version of "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" by post-punk group Mission of Burma was followed by "Come on Baby". Released in September 1996 in the UK, where it peaked at No. 38, and in February 1997 in the US, Animal Rights received largely a negative response from his dance music fan base who felt Moby had abandoned them, creating doubts as to what kind of artist Moby really was. Moby pointed out that he had not abandoned his electronic music completely and had worked on dance and house mixes and film scores while making Animal Rights,[38] including tracks he made produced under his pseudonyms, including Mario and Roberto Sorrenti.[29]

After Animal Rights, Moby's manager recalled: "We found ourselves struggling for even the slightest bit of recognition. He became a has-been in the eyes of a lot of people in the industry".[24] Despite the hit in sales and critical response, Moby promoted the album with a European tour with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden, and headlined the Big Top tour with other dance and electronic DJs.[37] He returned to the genre after liking the house music that a friend and DJ had played at a party.[38] In October 1997, Moby displayed his range of music styles with the release of I Like to Score, a compilation of his film soundtrack work with some re-recorded tracks.[39][37] Among them are updated version of the "James Bond Theme" used for Tomorrow Never Dies and a cover of "New Dawn Fades" by Joy Division, an instrumental version of which appeared Heat.[39][40] Late 1997 saw Moby start his first US tour in two years.[41]

In 1998, Elektra Records accepted Moby's request to be released from the label, but he was required to pay "quite a lot" of money to leave.[42] Left without an American distributor, his only deal remained with the UK-based Mute Records.[20][43] Moby considered himself an artist that did not belong to a major label as his music did not fit with the genres that they promoted.[30]

Moby made a special guest appearance in a 1998 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast where Space Ghost is possessed by the Curse of Kintavé.

1999–2004: Play, worldwide success, and 18[edit]

Moby's fifth album, Play, was released by Mute and V2 Records, founded by Richard Branson three years prior, in May 1999. The project originated when a music journalist introduced Moby to the field recordings of Alan Lomax from the compilation album Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta. Moby took an interest in the songs and formed samples from various tracks which he used to base new tracks of his own.[44] Upon release, Play had moderate sales but eventually sold over 10 million copies worldwide.[45] Moby toured worldwide in support of the album which lasted 22 months.[46] Every track on Play was licensed to various films, advertisements, and television shows, as well as independent films and non-profit groups.[47] The move was criticised and led to some to consider that Moby had become a sellout, but he later maintained that the licenses were granted mostly to independent films and non-profit projects, and agreed to them due to the difficulty of getting his music heard on the radio and television in the past.[16] In October 2007, The Washington Post published an article about a mathematical equation that determined to what degree had a musical artist sold out. It was named the "Moby quotient", in reference to his decision to license each track from Play.[48][16]

In 2000, Moby contributed his song "Flower" to the intro of the Nicolas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds.[49]

Moby at the inaugural Area:One festival in 2001, which he founded.

In July 2001, Moby: PlaytheDVD was released. Produced by Moby and Jeff Rogers (Swell), the DVD was nominated for a 2002 Grammy award. The DVD included various sections: "Live on TV", most of the music videos from the album (excluding "South Side" with Gwen Stefani), "Give An Idiot a Camcorder" (Moby was given a camcorder and the tape was later edited by Tara Bethune-Leamen), and an 88-minute "Mega Mix" of all the remixes created for the album. The "Mega Mix" was accompanied by visuals created in Toronto at Crush, led by director Kathi Prosser.[50]

Moby started work on a follow-up album to Play in late 2000 and signed with V2 Records.[20] He taught himself ProTools in the following year.[20] Released in May 2002, 18 earned gold and platinum awards in over 30 countries and sold more than four million copies. Moby toured extensively for both Play and 18, playing well over 500 shows in the course of four years.[51]

He founded the Area:One Festival in 2001, a popular touring festival that features an eclectic range of musical genres. The Area:One tour featured Outkast, New Order, Incubus, Nelly Furtado, Paul Oakenfold, and Moby himself. Area2 tour (2002) featured David Bowie, Moby, Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, and Carl Cox.[52]

In the next few years, Moby co-wrote "Is It Any Wonder" with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, remixed the Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Nas and Metallica, produced and co-wrote the track "Early Mornin'" for Britney Spears' fourth studio album In the Zone, and collaborated with Public Enemy on "Make Love, Fuck War", which was released prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election.[53] Moby also had his song "Extreme Ways" used in all five of the Bourne movies.[54]

In 2003, Moby headlined the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury.[55]

2004–2008: Hotel and Last Night[edit]

Moby performing a DJ set in 2004

In March 2005, Moby released his seventh album, Hotel. Instead of his relying on samples for vocals, all of the vocals and instruments were performed live in the studio, by Moby and vocalist Laura Dawn.[56] In 2013, Moby looked back on the album as his least favourite of his career, pointing out that it was the only one not recorded at his home studio.[19]

Hotel spawned two of Moby's biggest European hits, "Lift Me Up" and "Slipping Away", both of which were number 1 European singles.[57] In the UK, ITV used a specially remixed version of "Lift Me Up" as its Formula 1 coverage theme music.

In 2006, he accepted an offer to score the soundtrack for Richard Kelly's 2007 movie Southland Tales, because he was a fan of Kelly's previous film, Donnie Darko.[58]

In 2007, Moby also started a rock band, The Little Death with his friends Laura Dawn, Daron Murphy, and Aaron A. Brooks.[59] The Little Death released an album in 2010.

Following the dissolution of V2 Records in 2007, Moby signed a new deal with Mute Records to handle his American distribution.[60] In 2008, Moby released Last Night, an eclectic album of electronic dance music inspired by a night out in his New York neighborhood (the Lower East Side). The singles from Last Night include "Alice", "Disco Lies", "I Love to Move in Here", and "Ooh Yeah". The album was recorded in Moby's home studio in Manhattan, New York and features a number of guest vocalists, including Wendy Starland, MC Grandmaster Caz (one of the writers of "Rapper's Delight"), Sylvia from the band Kudu, British MC Aynzli, and the Nigerian 419 Squad.[61]

In 2007 Moby produced and performed on a remake of "The Bulrushes" by The Bongos that appeared on the special anniversary edition of the group's debut album Drums Along the Hudson, on Cooking Vinyl Records.

From 2007 to 2008 he ran a series of New York club events titled "Degenerates".[62][63]

2009–2010: Wait for Me[edit]

In a November 2008 interview with SuicideGirls, Moby spoke about the follow-up album to Last Night: "I want to make a really emotional, beautiful record. I don't know if I will succeed, but my goal is to make something very personal, very melodic, very beautiful."[64] On April 14, 2009, Moby confirmed that the album would be released on June 30.[65]

I recorded the album here in my studio on the lower east side (although 'studio' always seems like an overly grand word for a bunch of equipment set up in a small bedroom). In the past I've worked in large and small studios, but for this record I wanted to record everything at home by myself", Moby said on his journal.[65] "I started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a David Lynch speech at BAFTA, in the UK. David was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine and good. It seems as if too often an artist's, musician's or writer's creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, and how much market share it commands and how much money it generates. In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it's a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I've made in the past.[65]

The album, titled Wait for Me, was released in June 2009.[66][67]

Moby performing at the David Lynch Weekend, Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, April 26, 2008.

Moby and David Lynch discussed the recording process of the album on Lynch's online channel, David Lynch Foundation Television Beta.[68] The first single off the album was "Shot in the Back of the Head", and the video was directed by David Lynch.[65] The single was available for free download from Moby's website.

Wait for Me was mixed by Ken Thomas, who had previously produced some Sigur Rós albums.[65] According to Moby,

mixing the record with him [Thomas] was really nice, as he's creatively open to trying anything (like recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like. It's on the record as a 45 second long track called "Stock Radio"). And as a geeky technical aside, we mixed the record using purely analog equipment in true stereo, akin to how records were mixed in the late '60s, some of the songs sound pretty amazing in headphones, if I do say so myself...[65]

Moby toured for the album with a full band, something that occurred rarely during Moby's Last Night promotion, except for selected festival performances.[69] Moby raised between $75,000 and $100,000 to help those affected by domestic violence[70] after all funding for the state's domestic violence program was cut in July. To do this, he donated the profits from his upcoming shows in California (San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles). Moby headlined the Australian 2009 Falls Festival,[71] as well as the other Sunset Sounds festivals.[72]

On February 22, 2010, Moby announced a UGC competition with Genero.TV asking his fans to create a videoclip, that will be serviced worldwide as the official videoclip for his upcoming single "Wait for Me", the last single from the album. On April 19, Moby chose the winning videoclip out of 500 entries, "based on its creativity, production value, concept, and humor".[73] The chosen videoclip, written and directed by Nimrod Shapira from Israel, portrays the story of a girl who decides to invite Moby into her life. She attempts to do so by using a book called How to Summon Moby Guide for Dummies, putting herself through 10 bizarre and comical steps (each is a tribute to a different Moby videoclip). The single was released on May 4, 2010.

On May 3, 2010, Moby released the title track from the album, "Wait for Me", as a single.[74]

2010–2012: Destroyed[edit]

Moby promoting the Destroyed book and album at a performance and discussion in the Brooklyn Museum, 2011

In January 2010, Moby announced that he was to begin working on his next record. He said "the mood for this record will be more acoustic and less electronic than before".[75] Around this time Moby started a heavy metal band with his friend Phil Costello, Diamondsnake, getting back to his roots. Diamondsnake released two albums on Facebook.[76]

On February 15, 2011, Moby announced the release of his new album, Destroyed. It was released on May 16, 2011.[77][78] A photography book with the same name was also released around the time of the album.[78]

"Musically", he said, "it's very melodic and atmospheric and electronic, and if i had to sum it up i would describe it as: 'broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m'." The album cover, which was released with the new information, was taken in LaGuardia Airport. It is a picture of a sign that reads 'destroyed', part of the longer phrase "All unclaimed baggage will be destroyed."[78] The album consists of 15 tracks, one of them previously featured on the compilation A Night in NYC, titled "Rockets". Along with the album's announcement came the release of the EP Be the One, which contains 3 of the tracks from Destroyed[78] The EP was released free for those who signed up for Moby's mailing list.[77] For the next single, Moby put a poll on his website for fans to choose which single should be released next, and it came to be "Lie Down in Darkness".[79]

On August 30, Moby posted another request for the third official single, this time asking fans to say which should be next, without a poll.[80] After this, he announced the following day through his Twitter that the next singles are "After" and "The Right Thing".[81]

On April 30, 2012, Moby released Destroyed Remixed, a limited edition 2CD collection of remixes of songs from the 2011 studio album, Destroyed. The release included three new exclusive remixes by David Lynch, Holy Ghost!, and System Divine, and also featured a brand new 30 minute ambient track by Moby called 'All Sides Gone'. Compiled and mixed by Moby, Destroyed Remixed was described as 'an eclectic mix of some the most exciting and interesting artists and DJ's in contemporary music'.

2013–2015: Innocents[edit]

Between February and August 2013, Moby performed both acoustic and DJ sets at the Wanderlust Festival, which hosted events in Hawaii, Vermont, California and Colorado in the United States, and also in Canada and Chile internationally.[82] He added a single Asia performance date at the 1 World Music Festival in Singapore.[83] Moby also performed two 75-minute DJ sets at the Coachella festival in April which featured a unique visual collaboration with NASA, with various images from space projected onto screens during the performance.[84] Moby followed-up with another DJ set at the Movement Detroit festival in May.[85]

For Record Store Day 2013, Moby released a 7-inch record called The Lonely Night which featured former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan. An accompanying video was created by Colin Rich, of which Moby stated: "I’m really excited to have an experimental music video from this great video artist, and I feel like the slow, rich, and languorous desert visuals fit the song perfectly."[86] The track was subsequently released as a download with remixes by Photek, Gregor Tresher, Freescha and Moby himself.[87]

In July, Moby announced that he would be releasing a new studio album entitled Innocents. The album had been written and recorded in the previous 18 months and was due for release in October. The album was recorded in Moby's apartment and features a number of guest vocalists, in keeping with earlier releases such as Play, 18 and Wait For Me. As with Destroyed, the photographs comprising the album's artwork were all shot by Moby. The first official single from the album is titled A Case for Shame while the previously released track The Lonely Night will also appear on Innocents. The album was produced by Grammy-winner Mark 'Spike' Stent.[88] It was later revealed in August that The Perfect Life, which features Wayne Coyne, would be the next single, after a casting call for a music video was announced, calling "for obese Speedo-sporting bikers, nude rollerskating ghosts, and an S&M gimp proficient in rhythmic gymnastics"[89]

Moby performed a DJ set in Las Vegas on September 1,[90] before flying to Australia to DJ at an intimate show in Sydney, on the 19th.[91] Moby will then DJ at the 10th annual Decibel Festival in Seattle.[92] He then returned to Los Angeles to perform three shows at the Fonda Theatre on October 3–5 to promote the album, which would be his only "full live shows" for 2013 and 2014.

Moby stated that the reason for doing little to no touring for this album was that "when I go on tour I sit around a lot (cars, airports, hotels, etc), and when I sit around I can't spend my time making music. And pretty much all I want to do in life is stay home and make music. So, thus: a 3 date world tour." [93] He conceded that he might return to world touring in the future.[93]

2016–present: These Systems Are Failing and later albums[edit]

In September 2016, Moby announced a new album named These Systems Are Failing.[94] It was released on October 14, 2016, under the name Moby & The Void Pacific Choir.[95] The first official single of the new album "Are You Lost In The World Like Me?" was included in the announcement.[96] The video for that single, created by animator Steve Cutts, addressed smartphone addiction.[97] The video won the film & video: animation category at the 2017 Webby Awards.[98] In 2016 a first track "Don't Leave Me" of the then unnamed new album was made available at the same time as the announcement of the Circle V festival – a vegan festival created by Moby taking place on October 23 in Los Angeles, which featured his only live performance of 2016.[99] Less than a year later, in June 2017, a follow up record called More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse was released for free online. It was marketed from a fake website using Donald Trump's alleged PR alter-ego, John Miller.[100]

Moby announced the release of his fifteenth album Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt in December 2017. It was inspired by trip-hop music and was released on March 2, 2018.[101] The announcement coincided with the video release of the first single, "Like a Motherless Child". The second, "Mere Anarchy", was described by Moby as "post apocalypse, people are gone, and my friend Julie and I are time traveling aliens visiting the empty Earth."[102] "This Wild Darkness" was the third single, released in February 2018.[103] On Twitter Moby described the song as "an existential dialog between me and the gospel choir: me talking about my confusion, the choir answering with longing and hope." [103] All profits from album and subsequent live shows were donated to animal rights organizations.[104]

In 2018, Moby was a guest performer on "A$AP Forever" by American rapper A$AP Rocky which samples "Porcelain". This resulted in Moby's second ever appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, having previously charted for "Southside", 17 years prior.[105]

In March 2019, Moby released a follow-up to his first ambient album, Long Ambients 2.

Film scores[edit]

Moby contributed two songs to the score of Michael Mann's film Heat: a cover version of the Joy Division song "New Dawn Fades," and the original composition "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters."[106] The filmmakers of The Bourne Identity used Moby's song "Extreme Ways" to play over the credits of all the Bourne films. Moby explained in a 2012 interview, after rerecording the song for the fourth film, that the producers of the franchise sought a different musical work for the second film, but "simply ran out of time", after which they accepted "Extreme Ways" as the accidental theme song for the entire series.[107]

In 1997, Moby released an album of music that has appeared in films called I Like To Score. The compilation album features Moby songs that have appeared in films such as Cool World (1992), Scream (1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).[108]

Moby contributed four songs to the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Next Three Days, including the single "Mistake".

Six of his songs feature in Charlie Countryman (2013), a film starring Shia LaBeouf and directed by Frederik Bond.[109]

His music set the tone to Cathedrals of Culture (2014) (Documentary) a 3D film project about the soul of buildings, directed by Wim Wenders.[110]

Moby contributed several songs to the comedy Half Magic (2018) directed by Heather Graham. The movie also features additional music by David Schommer, composer Alex Wurman (March of the Penguins, Anchorman) and singer/songwriter Holly Miranda.[111]

Collaborations[edit]

Moby playing guitar with Joy Malcolm in 2008

Moby has collaborated live with many of his heroes while on tour or at fundraisers. He has performed "Walk on the Wild Side" with Lou Reed, "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson, "Heroes" and "Cactus" with David Bowie, "Helpless" with Bono and Michael Stipe, "New Dawn Fades" with New Order, "Make Love, Fuck War" with Public Enemy, "Whole Lotta Love" with Slash, and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" with Mission of Burma.

He has performed two duets with the French singer Mylène Farmer ("Slipping Away (Crier la vie)" in 2006 and "Looking for My Name" in 2008) and produced seven songs on her eighth album, Bleu Noir, released on December 6, 2010.[112]

In 2006, Moby released a Spanish version of his song "Slipping Away" called "Escapar", in which the Spanish group Amaral took part.

In 2012, he collaborated with Spain-based group Dubsidia, making dubstep and electro house.

In 2013, Moby was responsible for the soundtrack of the documentary The Crash Reel, who tells the story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce.

On October 16, 2015, Jean Michel Jarre released his compilation album Electronica 1: The Time Machine, which included the track "Suns have gone" co-produced by Jarre and Moby.[113]

On September 24, 2016, Moby announced the release of an album titled These Systems Are Failing, released under the name Moby & Void Pacific Choir. The followed the release of two singles from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir in 2015, "Almost Loved" & "The Light Is Clear In My Eyes".[114]

He appeared in "Part 10" of TV series Twin Peaks accompanying American singer Rebekah Del Rio performing "No Stars".

TV Work[edit]

Starz aired a special episode of Blunt Talk, the Patrick Stewart comedy which involved Moby. He had been friends with Jonathan Ames for a long time, and "when we both lived in NY we did a lot of really strange, cabaret, vaudeville type shows together, and we just sort of stayed friends over the years. I guess when he and the other writers were writing Blunt Talk one of them thought it would be funny to include me as Patrick Stewart’s character's ex-wife’s current boyfriend."[115]

Moby was one of the first musicians to have an episode on Netflix's new music documentary series titled “Once In a Lifetime Sessions;” where he records, discusses, and performs his music.[116]

Business ventures[edit]

Moby's vegan restaurant, Little Pine, in Los Angeles.

Starting in around 2001, Moby launched a series of co-owned business ventures, with the two most prominent being the "Little Idiot Collective"—a New York City, U.S. bricks-and-mortar clothing store, comics store, and animation studio[117] that sold the work of an "illustrators collective". In May 2002, Moby launched a small raw and vegan restaurant and tea shop called TeaNY in New York City with his ex-girlfriend Kelly Tisdale.[118][8] In 2006, Moby said he had removed himself from any previous business projects.[119]

In November 2015, Moby opened the Vegan restaurant Little Pine in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[120] The restaurant serves organic, vegan, Mediterranean-inspired dishes and has a retail section with art and books, curated by Moby himself.[121] All profits are donated to animal welfare organizations; in May 2016, Moby estimated the year's donations at $250,000.[122]

On August 23, 2016 Moby announced the inaugural Circle V Festival along with the official video for 'Don't Leave Me' by Moby & The Void Pacific Choir.[123] The event took place at LA's Fonda Theatre and featured Blaqk Audio & Cold Cave on the bill amongst others in the evening and talks and vegan food stalls in the afternoon. Moby described Circle V as "the coming together of my life’s work, animal rights and music. I couldn’t be more excited about this event and am so proud to be head-lining." [124]

The second Circle V event took place on November 18 this time at The Regent Theatre in Los Angeles. Moby headlined the event for the second year with artists Waka Flocka Flame, Dreamcar and Raury featuring on the bill.[125]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2008, after Gary Gygax's death, Moby was one of several celebrities identifying themselves as former Dungeons & Dragons players.[126][127]

In 2010, he purchased a castle in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles named Wolf's Lair, first owned by Milton R. Wolf, for almost $4 million and spent an additional $2 million to restore it. He also owns an apartment in Little Italy, Manhattan.[11] In 2016, Moby had downsized to a three-bedroom home.[8]

In June 2013, Moby and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning.[128][129] In January 2018, he stated that he was approached by friends in the CIA and told to post and spread content on the Trump-Russian collusion allegations through social media.[130][131]

Moby identifies himself as heterosexual and cisgender and had felt "disappointed" to be straight.[14] He dated Christina Ricci.[5] In 2001, he had a brief relationship with actress Natalie Portman.[4] He does date, but realised that he feels more comfortable alone than in a relationship.[14] In 2016, he was in an eight-month relationship, his first in ten years. He has no children.[8][6]

Moby practises meditation and has explored different types, including transcendental, Mettā, and Vipassanā.[132]

Veganism and animal rights[edit]

In 1984, Moby was inspired to become a vegetarian by a cat named Tucker that he had found at a dump in Darien, Connecticut. "My mom and I, with the help of George the dachshund, took care of Tucker and he grew up to be the happiest, healthiest cat I'd ever known". In November 1987, while playing with Tucker, "I decided that just as I would never do anything to harm Tucker, or any of our rescued animals, I also would never do anything to harm any animal, anywhere", and became a vegan.[133] He is a strong supporter of animal rights, and described it as his "day job" other than musical projects.[8][134]

In March 2016, Moby supported the social media campaign #TurnYourNoseUp to end factory farming in association with the nonprofit organization Farms Not Factories.[135]

Drug use[edit]

From 1987 to 1995, Moby described his life as a "very clean" one and abstained from drugs, alcohol, and "for the most part", sex.[5] After taking LSD once at nineteen, he started to suffer from panic attacks which he continued to experience but learned to deal with them more effectively.[17] Shortly after his mother died from cancer in the 1990s, Moby recalled that he had "an epiphany" and experimented with alcohol, drugs, and sex which continued for four years after the commercial success of Play.[5][20] He became a self-confessed "old-timey alcoholic".[8] Matters culminated during his 18 tour in 2002 where he found himself being argumentative and alienating close friends. At the end of the year, he wished to make amends and live a healthier lifestyle.[5] In 2008, he stopped drinking and using drugs.[136][4] He added: "Since I stopped and reoriented myself towards things that have meaning, everything has gotten a million times better".[14]

Spirituality and faith[edit]

Moby has adopted different faiths throughout his life. He identified himself as an atheist when he was growing up, followed by agnostic, then "a good eight or ten years of being quite a serious Christian", during which time he taught Bible studies.[4] Around 1985, he read the teachings of Christ, including the New Testament and the Gospels and "was instantly struck by the idea that Christ was somehow divine. When I say I love Christ and love the teachings of Christ, I mean that in the most simple and naïve and subjective way. I'm not saying I'm right, and I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone else's beliefs."[137][138][139] In the liner notes of Animal Rights (1996), Moby wrote: "I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a Christian in the conventional sense of the word, where I go to church or believe in cultural Christianity, but I really do love Christ and recognize him in whatever capacity as I can understand it as God. One of my problems with the church and conventional Christianity is it seems like their focus doesn't have much to do with the teachings of Christ, but rather with their own social agenda". In 2014, Moby pointed out that if needed to label himself, it would be as a "Taoist–Christian–agnostic quantum mechanic."[140] In his first book, Moby introduces himself as a "devout Christian" and discusses the evolution of his spiritual views.

Charity[edit]

Moby is an advocate for a variety of causes, working with MoveOn.org, The Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary, among others. He created MoveOn Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds contest along with singer and MoveOn Cultural Director Laura Dawn and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser. The music video for the song "Disco Lies" from Last Night has heavy anti-meat industrial themes. He also actively engages in nonpartisan activism and serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, a nonprofit organization that implements injury prevention programs in Africa.[141]

Moby is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing scientific inquiry on music and the brain and to developing clinical treatments to benefit people of all ages.[142] He has also performed on various benefit concerts to help increase awareness for music therapy and raise funds for the Institute. In 2004, he was honored with the IMNF's Music Has Power Award for his advocacy of music therapy and for his dedication and support to its recording studio program.[143]

He is an advocate of net neutrality and he testified before United States House of Representatives committee debating the issue in 2006.[144][145]

In 2007, Moby launched MobyGratis.com, a website of unlicensed music for filmmakers and film students for use in an independent, non-commercial, or non-profit film, video, or short. If a film is commercially successful, all revenue from commercial licence fees granted via Moby Gratis is donated to Humane Society of the United States.[146][64][4]

In 2008, he participated in Songs for Tibet, an album to support Tibet and the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.

In April 2009, Moby spoke about his personal experiences of Transcendental Meditation at the David Lynch Foundation benefit concert Change Begins Within benefit concert in New York City.[147] In April 2015, Moby performed "Go" at The Evening of David Lynch tribute event at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, which highlighted the work of the David Lynch Foundation and raised funds to teach Transcendental Meditation to local youth.[148]

In April 2018, Moby auctioned over 100 pieces of musical equipment via Reverb.com to raise funds for the non-profit organisation Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, thinking it was better to sell it for a good cause rather than in storage.[149] Moby held a second sale for the organisation in June 2018 consisting of his personal record collection, including records that he used to use for DJ sets in his early career and his own personal copy of his albums.[150] A third was held in October 2018 that included the sale of almost 200 analog drum machines, 100 instruments, and his entire vinyl collection.[151]

In 2018, Moby participated in Al Gore's 24-hour broadcast on climate change and environmental issues.[152]

Moby is an advocate for Best Friends; he was part of the No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) launch celebration and directed a lyric video for his song “Almost Home" which features dogs and cats from the Best Friends Pet Adoption and Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, California.[153]

Photography[edit]

Moby has been a photographer since he was 10 years old, growing up around film and darkrooms.[154] Moby's uncle was a photographer for The New York Times.[155]

In 2011, Moby released a book of photographs, Destroyed, with photos from his international tours. An album with the same name was released in the same year.

In October 2014 Moby showcased his "Innocents" series in New York City with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, in New York City, and is currently being represented by the gallery.

Books[edit]

In March 2010, Moby and animal activist Miyun Park released Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat), a collection of ten essays by various people in the food industry that they edited to detail "unbiased, factual information about the consequences of animal production" and factory farming.[156]

In 2014, Moby announced his decision to write an autobiography covering his life and career from his move to New York City in the late 1980s to the recording of Play in 1999.[157] He enjoyed the experience, and wrote approximately 300,000 words before cutting it by half to reach a rough edit of the book. Porcelain: A Memoir was released on May 17, 2016 by Penguin Press. Moby put out the compilation album Music from Porcelain to coincide the book's release, featuring his own tracks and a mixtape of tracks by other artists.[158] In October 2018, Moby announced that a sequel, entitled Then It Fell Apart, will be released on May 2, 2019, covering his life and career from 1999 to 2009.[159]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Awards[edit]

Year Awards Category Work Result
1995 MTV EMA Best Dance Himself Nominated
1999 Online Music Awards Best Electronic Fansite[160] Nominated
2000 Q Awards Best Live Act Nominated
DanceStar Awards DanceStar of the Year Won
Best Album Play Won
Music Television Awards Best Male Himself Nominated
Best Dance Nominated
Best Video "Natural Blues" Nominated
VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards Visionary Video[161] Won
MTV VMA Best Male Video[162] Nominated
MTV EMA Best Video[163] Won
Best Dance Himself Nominated
Best Album[164] Play Nominated
TMF Awards Best Album International Won
Grammy Awards Best Alternative Music Performance[162] Nominated
Best Rock Instrumental Performance[162] "Bodyrock" Nominated
Billboard Music Video Awards Maximum Vision Award Nominated
Dance Clip of the Year Won
D&AD Awards Direction Wood Pencil
MVPA Awards Electronic Video of the Year "Run On" Nominated
Viva Comet Awards Best International Video "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" Won
Best Live Act Himself Nominated
Viva Zwei Audience Award Nominated
BRIT Awards Best International Male[165] Nominated
NME Awards Best Solo Artist[166] Nominated
Best Dance Act Nominated
2001 Nominated
Best Live Act Won
My VH1 Music Awards Best Male[167] Nominated
Best Collaboration[167] "South Side" Nominated
Favorite Video[167] Nominated
MTV VMA Best Male Video[162] Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Dance Track Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Dance Recording[162] "Natural Blues" Nominated
NRJ Music Awards International Male Artist of the Year[168] Himself Won
NRJ Music Awards International Album of the Year[168] Play Nominated
IFPI Platinum Europe Awards Album Title[169] Won
2002 Won
Grammy Awards Best Music Video, Long Form[162] Nominated
BMI Pop Songs Awards Pop Songs[170] "South Side" Won
Billboard Music Awards Electronic Album of the Year[171] 18 Won
Electronic Artist of the Year[171] Himself Won
Q Awards Best Producer[172] Won
BMI Film & TV Awards Certificate of Achievement[173] Won
MTV EMA Web Awards[174] Won
Best Dance[174] Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Artist Nominated
MTV VMA Best Cinematography[162] "We Are All Made of Stars" Won
2003 BDS Certified Spin Awards 300,000 Spins "South Side" Won
IFPI Platinum Europe Awards Album Title[175] 18 Won
Hungarian Music Awards Best Foreign Dance Album Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Pop Instrumental Performance[176] "18" Nominated
MVPA Awards Best Electronic Video "In This World" Won
Best Directional Debut Won
MTV EMA Best Dance[177] Himself Nominated
BRIT Awards Best International Male[178] Nominated
MTV Asia Awards Best Male[179][180] Nominated
MTV VMAJ Best Dance Video "We Are All Made of Stars" Nominated
DanceStar Awards Best US Act Himself Won
2004 Outstanding Contribution to Dance Music Won
Best Music DVD 18 B Sides + DVD Won
Lunas del Auditorio Espectaculo Alternativo Himself Nominated
2005 MTV EMA Best Male Nominated
MTV Russian Music Awards Best International Act Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Electronic Artist Nominated
Top Electronic Album Hotel Nominated
2006 ECHO Awards Best International Male Himself Nominated
Lunas del Auditorio Musica Electronica Won
2007 MVPA Awards Best Electronic Video "New York, New York" Nominated
Best Choreography Nominated
2008 Music Television Awards Best Dance Himself Nominated
2009 Grammy Awards Best Electronic/Dance Album[181] Last Night Nominated
2010 Lunas del Auditorio Musica Electronica Himself Nominated
2011 Hungarian Music Awards Electronic Music Production of the Year Nominated
2015 Veggie Awards Person of the Year[182] Won
2017 Webby Awards Animation[183] Won
2018 UK Music Video Awards Best Urban Video - International "ASAP Forever" (with ASAP Rocky) Nominated
Best Colour Grading in a Video Nominated
2019 GAFFA-Prisen Awards Best International Album Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt Pending
Best International Artist Himself Pending

Interviews[edit]

  • Eric Härle (March 25, 2003). "Interview with ERIC HÄRLE, manager at DEF for Moby, Sonique, Röyksopp — Mar 25, 2003". HitQuarters (Interview). Interviewed by Kimbel Bouwman. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  • "BBC – Press Office – Moby World Service interview". BBC World Service. April 29, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  • Lawson, Willow (September 1, 2004). "The Sounds of Moby". Psychology Today. Retrieved September 1, 2004.
  • Sarah van Schagen (November 29, 2006). "Moby reflects on his new "best of" album and his not-so-new social activism". Grist. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  • Palmer, Tamara (November 3, 2008). "Moby: The Fly Life". SuicideGirls. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  • Olivier Laurent (May 3, 2011). "Destroyed: Moby's first photography book video interview". British Journal of Photography. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  • Elizabeth Avedon (October 22, 2011). "Moby talks to Elizabeth Avedon". La Lettre De La Photographie. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  • Lee, Jaeah (September 2, 2014). "Exclusive Premiere of Moby's New Video, 'The Last Day'". Mother Jones.
  • Moby (November–December 2015). "Person of the Year: Moby". VegNews (Interview): 26–27. If the tone of the message is too strident or too didactic or too loud, people won't pay attention to the substance of it.
  • Jonathan Goldstein (September 24, 2016). (podcast) [184]

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External links[edit]