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 your advice to young musicians?
Moby: It seems like for young musicians to get their foot in the door in the industry, it depends what type of musician they are and what they are ultimately gunning for. If you are a 19-year-old aspiring Justin Timberlake, where you want to be a huge pop star, then you get a high powered music lawyer, you have a million deal with Sony or BMG or whomever, and you work with all the hot producers and you come up with a record that sounds like everything else on the radio. So that’s one route which is tried and true and not very interesting, if you ask me. The other route is to do as much as you can yourself. You know, to be a band living in LA or New York or Minneapolis or Seattle or wherever, and writing great songs and producing your own music and having a MySpace site and a Facebook site, an ILike site, where you can actually get your music in front of people, and then, because of that dialectic then exists between the musician and the audience, you put up a piece of music, and if it is a good piece of music, the audience responds; or if it is a bad piece of music, they tell you why they think it is bad and hopefully you can learn from that. And I think the musicians end up being able to craft better music because of that sort of like instantaneous dialect.
Recorded on: 6/16/08