For someone named afte unassuming kind of guy. “ he'll be acting all shy wh "' 5;”; for some long-awaited 43;; '
.‘mﬁ' .- Words: Mark Robertson .3 > -
TO SAY MOBY IS AN EASY-GOING chap is like saying Liz Hurley’s dresses show a bit of ankle. 'It might sound simplistic. but when it comes to music. I like everything.‘ he gently affirms. This is a man who genuinely likes being a rock star and accepts the baggage that goes with the job. After listening to whingeing rockers bitching about band mates. booze and drugs. Moby is. to say the least. a refreshing phenomenon.
Born Richard Melville Hall in New York in 1965. he was given the nickname ‘Moby’ in honour of his great-great-great- uncle. Herman Melville. author of Moby Dick. His solo debut came in 1990. and then made his name with the song 'Go’. After four albums of primarily electronic works. he shocked many by echoing back to his punk roots with the album Animal Rights. a collection of dark. distorted guitar workouts. His sixth album. Play. was released last March to a flurry of complimentary reviews. It took until the end of year polls. however. to illustrate just how popular it had become. faring well in The F ace and Q among others.
‘The thing that makes me really happy is
'I that Play's success seems primarily due to word of mouth.‘ he says 'I've never had
I if . . . . . t . . meet DaVId anything where people from so many disparate backgrounds have said they like it. I was in an airport and a kid of about fifteen and his father. who was about 45. both stopped me and said they both loved it.’ Play is a unique and peculiar collection of melancholic tunes. drawing reference from hip hop. blues. gospel. ambient. rock and techno. 1 ' Mob were on the cover of their albums. so it just made sense when I made Moby is decidedly coy. however. when it ' y records to do it that way. It helps to reach people.’ comes to his diverse ﬂush of influences. ‘l _ Moby was originally scheduled to visit Britain last year but was wasn't even reallv aware that I was using all delayed. ‘I was su osed to lav. but I got booked to do the David I! b a p d &
these differing styles.‘ he reveals. ‘l was just Letterman show.‘ he explains. ‘Unfortunately. when you're asked to do
taking compositional elements that I liked and a television show that reaches 50 million people. it means cancelling
putting them together: I wasn't trying to be concerts. I got to meet Letterman and he looked about 170. He's very
consciously eclectic.‘ Despite these disparate nice. but when you get up close and its like. ugh! The make-up does a
influences. there is a quiet calm which resides lot for him.‘
over much of the record. giving it cohesion. Eager to get on the road again. Moby is conscious of giving a crowd Touring has always been a big deal for what they want and is quietly scornful of those who refuse to please the
Moby. Long before any of his electronic audience. 'Why do Radiohead refuse to play "Creep" or the Prodigy
contemporaries were even considering live refuse to play “Charly”?.' he inquires. "My heart goes out to them: they
shows. he was bashing out tracks for a live get to make records and go on tour. as opposed to the ten million other
audience at every opportunity. His passion for musicians who have to stay at home in their bedrooms. Its like "Aaww!
the circuit appears to be unabated. 'When 1 Poor babies. you had a hit single and people want to hear it".'
started. there were a lot of musicians who just
wanted to make music anonymously and stay Moby plays The Liquid Room, Edinburgh on Thu 3 Feb, and The Garage,
at home. All my favourite bands toured and Glasgow on Sat 26 Feb.
10 THE lIST 20 Jan—3 Feb 2000