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 MoveOn.org and PETA, among others. He actively engages in nonpartisan activism.
Question: What's the value of money?
Moby: To me, the ultimate goal in acquiring money is to have enough money so you don’t have to worry about money, like that’s the best thing about money is when you don’t have to pay attention to money. I mean, I grew up very, very poor, and when I first left home, I lived in an abandoned factory in a crack neighborhood and I was completely broke, and so, even 20 years ago going out to dinner with friends was ordeal, the check would come and we were all broke, so we would sit there and figure out who owed what and there would be arguments because someone would say well, sure, I had the bread but I only two pieces and you had four pieces. So it is nice to go out to dinner and not have to worry about that. Yeah, what I don’t understand is the pursuit of money for the sake of money. Like at some point, if you make $100,000 a year and you get a raise, and you are making $200,000 a year, that actually probably will affect and potentially improve the quality of your life. There are certain financial increments where you can go up or go down and it will impact the quality of your life, but if you have 20 million dollars in the bank and someone gives you an extra 10 million dollars, it is not going to affect the quality of your life at all. It means that you might have a bigger house in the Hamptons, or you might have a six-bedroom apartment on the upper east side instead of a five-bedroom apartment on the upper east side, but it doesn’t make any-- and based on watching my friends who made a lot of money, like it does not make them any happier, but, yet, people still pursue it. What cracked me up a few years ago, someone wrote a biography on Donald Trump and they said that he was only worth 125 million dollars, and he threatened to sue the writer and the publishing company because he maintained that his net worth was a billion dollars. I was like who cares? Like go play with puppies and learn how to scuba dive because at the end of the day that is going to make you a lot happier than having a net worth that is inconceivable.
Recorded on: 6/16/08