Moby on Growing Up Poor

Richard Melville Hall, a.k.a. Moby, is one of the most important dance music figures of the early '90s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in England and in America.

Born in Harlem, New York in 1965, and raised in Darien, CT, he played in a hardcore punk band called the Vatican Commandos as a teenager before moving to New York City, where he began DJing in dance clubs. During the late '80s, he released a number of singles and EPs before, in 1991, he set the theme from David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks to an insistent, house-derived rhythm and titled the result "Go." The single became a surprise British hit single, climbing into the Top Ten, and was named one of Rolling Stone's top 200 records of all time. Moby, his first full-length album, appeared in 1992.  Since then, Moby has recorded eleven studio albums, including his multi-platinum breakthrough Play (1999), 18 (2002), Hotel (2005), Go: The Very Best of Moby (2006) and Last Night (2008).

In addition to his musical endeavors, Moby is the proprietor of teany cafe and teas. He is also a well-known advocate for a variety of progressive causes, working with and PETA, among others. He actively engages in nonpartisan activism.

  • Transcript


Topic: Moby on his Roots.

Moby: When I was growing up, I played in hardcore punk bands, and I was a little suburban teenage punk rocker. And one of my favorite bands was the Sex Pistols, but by the time I got into the Sex Pistols, they had been broken up for a long time.  And then they did a reunion tour, and I went to go see the reunion tour, and it was so disconcerting because here is a band who had broken up long before I became interested in punk rock, and then I was standing watching them on stage and it was flawless.  Like the music sounded great and Johnny Rotten, aka Johnny Lydon, was just this amazing front person. And then afterwards, we all went out and got really drunk. 

So that experience of seeing your heroes who you thought were dead and it turned out they are not dead, they are alive and in the flesh, and then afterwards going out and drinking cheap beer with them, that was a good one.

Recorded on: June 16, 2008