Skip to content
Who's in the Video

Musician

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[…]

Work is sober. Play is not.

Moby:  How do I balance work and play?  Well, my flippant but actually kind of relevant answer is like work is sober, play is not.  I guess one of the downsides of being self-employed is you never have anyone to tell you to stop working, and I love being self-employed, I love the autonomy of it, and I like being able to do what I love, but when friends of mine who have 9 to 5 jobs, when the weekend rolls around, you know, it’s 5:00 o’clock on a Friday and they are done for two days, and the liberation that comes with that.  Like I don’t want to have a 9 to 5 job, but I do envy that freedom, or when they go on vacation and they take two weeks with nothing to do and just that, you know, with no pressure and I do envy that because the last real vacation I took was 14 years ago, I went to Hawaii for five days.  So I don’t know, I think I need a life coach to sort of teach me how to have a life outside of work, because even when I am not working I’m thinking about work or if I do try and take some time off, then that old sort of like Calvinist WASP-y guilt creeps in and I start feeling guilty about the fact that, you know, I’m in a canoe instead of in my studio.

Question: Do drugs and alcohol play a part?

Moby: I love drugs but they are so bad for me that I can’t take them.  I mean, it does sort of bother me that we can map the human genome and we can put a man or a person on the moon, but we cannot invent recreational drugs that are good for you.  Why can’t some scientist, I guess there was Alexander Shokhin [ph?] he was a drug researcher, so he did sort of invent some different I guess chemical isotopes that were intense psychedelics that weren’t that bad for you, because I love drugs, I just can’t deal with the hangover and the long-term sort of like cognitive impairments.  I feel the same way about alcohol, you know, I love to drink and if I didn’t ever get hung over I would drink every night because, you know, especially living in New York, New York is such an easy city in which to be a drunk because the bars are open until four, you don’t drive anywhere, you can walk from place to place, meet tons of interesting people, so, but unfortunately, I tend to like alcohol and drugs a lot more than they like me. 

Question: Do you compose under the influence?

Moby: I have never made any music under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  I tried, and it was terrible.  I remember one night 10, 15 years ago, I came home and I was drunk, and I was like I’m gonna write a song and see what it is like to write a song while drunk, and it was just bad.  So, strangely enough, for me, like liquor and/or drugs used to be a release, but not something I ever used like performing, I have never, at least during my own shows I have never performed drunk and I have never been in the studio drunk.  I envy people who can do that because, I mean, you look at the history of music, and like a lot of phenomenal records have been made while people are under the influence.  Unfortunately, I am not capable of doing that.