|Intro||American musician, DJ, and singer|
|A.K.A.||Richard Melville Hall, Voodoo Child, Barracuda, Brainstorm, Schaumgummi, Pippy Baliunas, UHF|
|Countries||United States of America|
|Occupations||Singer Record producer Composer Musician Blogger Entrepreneur Disc jockey Guitarist Pianist Photographer Songwriter|
|Birth||11 September 1965 (Harlem)|
|Education||State University of New York at Purchase|
Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965), better known by his stage name Moby, is an American musician, DJ, record producer, singer, songwriter, and photographer known for his electronic music, veganism, and support of animal rights. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide, and AllMusic considers him to be "one of the most important dance music figures of the early 1990s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in the UK and in America".
Moby gained attention in the early 1990s with his early work, which experimented in techno and breakbeat hardcore. With his fifth studio album, the electronica and house music-influenced Play (1999), he gained international success; the album sold 6,000 copies in its first week, and it re-entered the charts in early 2000 and became an unexpected hit, producing eight singles and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. Moby followed the album in 2002 with 18, which was also successful, selling over 5 million copies worldwide and receiving mostly positive reviews.
His next major release, 2005's mostly upbeat Hotel was a stylistic departure, incorporating more alternative rock elements than previous albums, and received mixed reviews. It sold around 2 million copies worldwide. After 2008's dance-influenced Last Night (2008), he returned to the downtempo electronica of Play and 18 with 2009's mostly-ambient Wait for Me, finding higher critical acclaim and moderate sales, as well as 2011's Destroyed. Moby released Innocents on October 1, 2013, to positive reviews. Following the release of Innocents, Moby released two albums in 2016: the ambient Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. on February 25, which was given away for free on his website and These Systems Are Failing on October 14, with his book Porcelain – A Memoir coming out between. The album has received mostly positive reviews, along with More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse, which was released the following year. Moby's next album Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt was released on March 2, 2018.
Moby has also co-written, produced, and remixed music for David Bowie, Daft Punk, Mylène Farmer, Brian Eno, Pet Shop Boys, Britney Spears, New Order, Public Enemy, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Soundgarden, and others.
Early life and name
Richard Melville Hall was born in the Manhattan, New York City neighborhood of Harlem to Elizabeth McBride (née Warner), a medical secretary, and James Frederick Hall, a chemistry professor who died when Richard was two years old. He was raised by his mother in Darien, Connecticut.
According to Hall, his middle name and the nickname "Moby" were given to him by his parents because of an ancestral relationship to Moby Dick author Herman Melville: "The basis for Richard Melville Hall—and for Moby—is that supposedly Herman Melville was my great-great-great-grand uncle."
He has also released music under the names "Voodoo Child" and "Schaumgummi."
During the 1980s, Hall played guitar for the hardcore punk band Vatican Commandos. Later in the decade, he was a guitarist for the alternative rock group Ultra Vivid Scene and appeared in the video for their 1989 single "Mercy Seat."
1988–1993: "Go" and rise to fame
Moby's first live solo performance was witnessed by future longtime manager Eric Härle, who later described the occasion to HitQuarters by saying: "The music was amazing, but the show was riddled with technical mishaps. It left me very intrigued and impressed in a strange way."
Moby released his first singles for Instinct under several different names, such as Barracuda, Brainstorm, and UHF. His first single was a commercial failure—a rap record with vocalist Jimmy Mack, titled Time's Up, featuring several remixes and stems for remixing. Very few copies were ever sold.
His first single under the pseudonym 'Moby' was "Mobility", but it was his remix of Mobility's b-side, "Go," that proved to be his first breakthrough. Go (Woodtick Mix), a progressive house track using the string line from "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the TV drama Twin Peaks, reached the UK top ten in October 1991 and earned him his first appearance on Top of the Pops. He released his eponymous debut in 1992. Some of his other singles in 1992 and 1993 were "Next Is the E", "Thousand" (with its 1,000 Beats Per Minute tempo), and "Voodoo Child."
In 1991 and 1992 he remixed The B-52s, The Prodigy, Orbital, Bob Taggett - Mind Metal, Erasure, Michael Jackson and Ten City. He also provided a rap for a Recoil track called Curse.
1993–1998: Everything Is Wrong, Animal Rights, and I Like to Score
In 1993, Moby signed with Mute Records (Elektra in North America) and released an EP titled Move. This became his second appearance on Top of the Pops.
He then released his first album on Mute Records (Elektra in North America), Everything Is Wrong, in 1995. Early copies in the UK and Germany came with a special bonus CD called Underwater. This was a 43-minute five-track instrumental ambient CD.
Everything Is Wrong earned early critical praise (Spin magazine named it "Album of the Year") and some commercial success. He followed this up in early 1996 with the double album Everything Is Wrong—Mixed and Remixed.
Disillusioned by the lack of feedback he was receiving from the music media, who struggled to comprehend the artist's new electronic music and refused to take it very seriously, Moby decided to release a punk rock album, Animal Rights, in 1996. It included a cover version of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and was followed by a tour of Europe with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden. The single "Come on Baby" from Animal Rights was Moby's third Top of the Pops performance. It was notable for its very aggressive look and sound. Ironically, just as Moby decided to change direction, the electronic music he had moved away from started to gain recognition and popularity through artists like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy. Also in 1996, Moby contributed the song "Republican Party" to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization.
According to manager Eric Härle, the album almost ruined his career, because the new direction not only left audiences cold—with music media uninterested and his existing fan base largely alienated—but led to people being confused as to what kind of artist Moby really was. Härle has stated that Moby "managed to wipe out all of his early good work and we found ourselves struggling for even the slightest bit of recognition. He became a has-been in the eyes of a lot of people in the industry".
In 1997, he released I Like to Score, a collection of his music that had been used in movies. Among those tracks were an updated version of "The James Bond Theme" used for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and "New Dawn Fades" (a cover of Joy Division's original), which had appeared without vocals in Michael Mann's film Heat.
Moby made a special guest appearance in a 1998 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast where Space Ghost is possessed by the Curse of Kintavé.
1999–2004: Play, 18, and worldwide success
In 1999, Moby released the album Play, influenced by the Lomax albums that an early friend, Gregor, had lent to Moby. The album had moderate sales after its release, but eventually went on to sell over ten million records worldwide a year later. Every song on the album was licensed internationally to various films, advertisements, and TV shows, as well as independent films and non-profit groups. Moby performed three times on Top of the Pops with singles from the album. Play mixes songs from Alan Lomax's 1993 Atlantic recording Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta. For the song "Natural Blues", Moby mixes "Trouble So Hard" performed by Vera Hall from the Alan Lomax Sounds of the South compilation.
In 2000, Moby contributed his song "Flower" to the intro of the Nicolas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds.
In July 2001, Moby: PlaytheDVD was released. Produced by Moby and Jeff Rogers (Swell), the DVD was nominated for a 2002 Grammy award. The DVD included various sections: "Live on TV", most of the music videos from the album (excluding "South Side" with Gwen Stefani), "Give An Idiot a Camcorder" (Moby was given a camcorder and the tape was later edited by Tara Bethune-Leamen), and an 88-minute "Mega Mix" of all the remixes created for the album. The "Mega Mix" was accompanied by visuals created in Toronto at Crush, led by director Kathi Prosser.
In 2002 Moby released the follow-up to Play, 18, which earned gold and platinum awards in over 30 countries, and sold more than four million copies. Moby toured extensively for both Play and 18, playing well over 500 shows in the course of four years.
He founded the Area:One Festival in 2001, a popular touring festival that features an eclectic range of musical genres. The Area:One tour featured Outkast, New Order, Incubus, Nelly Furtado, Paul Oakenfold, and Moby himself. Area2 tour (2002) featured David Bowie, Moby, Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, and Carl Cox.
In the next few years, Moby co-wrote "Is It Any Wonder" with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, remixed the Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Nas and Metallica, produced and co-wrote the track "Early Mornin'" for Britney Spears' fourth studio album In the Zone, and collaborated with Public Enemy on "Make Love, Fuck War", which was released prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Moby also had his song "Extreme Ways" used in all five of the Bourne movies.
In 2003, Moby headlined the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury.
2005–2008: Hotel, Last Night, and other work
In 2005, Moby released Hotel under the labels V2 and Mute. Instead of his relying on samples for vocals, all of the vocals and instruments were performed live in the studio, by Moby and vocalist Laura Dawn.
Hotel spawned two of Moby's biggest European hits, "Lift Me Up" and "Slipping Away", both of which were number 1 European singles. In the UK, ITV used a specially remixed version of "Lift Me Up" as its Formula 1 coverage theme music.
In 2006, he accepted an offer to score the soundtrack for Richard Kelly's 2007 movie Southland Tales, because he was a fan of Kelly's previous film, Donnie Darko.
In 2007, Moby also started a rock band, The Little Death with his friends Laura Dawn, Daron Murphy, and Aaron A. Brooks. The Little Death released an album in 2010. In 2008, Moby released Last Night, an eclectic album of electronic dance music inspired by a night out in his New York neighborhood (the Lower East Side). The singles from Last Night include "Alice", "Disco Lies", "I Love to Move in Here", and "Ooh Yeah". The album was recorded in Moby's home studio in Manhattan, New York and features a number of guest vocalists, including Wendy Starland, MC Grandmaster Caz (one of the writers of "Rapper's Delight"), Sylvia from the band Kudu, British MC Aynzli, and the Nigerian 419 Squad.
In 2007 Moby produced and performed on a remake of "The Bulrushes" by The Bongos that appeared on the special anniversary edition of the group's debut album Drums Along the Hudson, on Cooking Vinyl Records.
From 2007 to 2008 he ran a series of New York club events titled "Degenerates".
2009–2010: Wait for Me
In a November 2008 interview with SuicideGirls, Moby spoke about the follow-up album to Last Night: "I want to make a really emotional, beautiful record. I don't know if I will succeed, but my goal is to make something very personal, very melodic, very beautiful." On April 14, 2009, Moby confirmed that the album would be released on June 30.
I recorded the album here in my studio on the lower east side (although 'studio' always seems like an overly grand word for a bunch of equipment set up in a small bedroom). In the past I've worked in large and small studios, but for this record I wanted to record everything at home by myself", Moby said on his journal. "I started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a David Lynch speech at BAFTA, in the UK. David was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine and good. It seems as if too often an artist's, musician's or writer's creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, and how much market share it commands and how much money it generates. In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it's a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I've made in the past.
The album, titled Wait for Me, was released in June 2009.
Moby and David Lynch discussed the recording process of the album on Lynch's online channel, David Lynch Foundation Television Beta. The first single off the album was "Shot in the Back of the Head", and the video was directed by David Lynch. The single was available for free download from Moby's website.
Wait for Me was mixed by Ken Thomas, who had previously produced some Sigur Rós albums. According to Moby,
mixing the record with him [Thomas] was really nice, as he's creatively open to trying anything (like recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like. It's on the record as a 45 second long track called "Stock Radio"). And as a geeky technical aside, we mixed the record using purely analog equipment in true stereo, akin to how records were mixed in the late '60s, some of the songs sound pretty amazing in headphones, if I do say so myself...
Moby toured for the album with a full band, something that occurred rarely during Moby's Last Night promotion, except for selected festival performances. Moby raised between $75,000 and $100,000 to help those affected by domestic violence after all funding for the state's domestic violence program was cut in July. To do this, he donated the profits from his upcoming shows in California (San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles). Moby headlined the Australian 2009 Falls Festival, as well as the other Sunset Sounds festivals.
On February 22, 2010, Moby announced a UGC competition with Genero.TV asking his fans to create a videoclip, that will be serviced worldwide as the official videoclip for his upcoming single "Wait for Me", the last single from the album. On April 19, Moby chose the winning videoclip out of 500 entries, "based on its creativity, production value, concept, and humor". The chosen videoclip, written and directed by Nimrod Shapira from Israel, portrays the story of a girl who decides to invite Moby into her life. She attempts to do so by using a book called How to Summon Moby Guide for Dummies, putting herself through 10 bizarre and comical steps (each is a tribute to a different Moby videoclip). The single was released on May 4, 2010.
On May 3, 2010, Moby released the title track from the album, "Wait for Me", as a single.
In January 2010, Moby announced that he was to begin working on his next record. He said "the mood for this record will be more acoustic and less electronic than before". Around this time Moby started a heavy metal band with his friend Phil Costello, Diamondsnake, getting back to his roots. Diamondsnake released two albums on Facebook.
On February 15, 2011, Moby announced the release of his new album, Destroyed. It was released on May 16, 2011. A photography book with the same name was also released around the time of the album.
"Musically", he said, "it's very melodic and atmospheric and electronic, and if i had to sum it up i would describe it as: 'broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m'." The album cover, which was released with the new information, was taken in LaGuardia Airport. It is a picture of a sign that reads 'destroyed', part of the longer phrase "All unclaimed baggage will be destroyed." The album consists of 15 tracks, one of them previously featured on the compilation A Night in NYC, titled "Rockets". Along with the album's announcement came the release of the EP Be the One, which contains 3 of the tracks from Destroyed The EP was released free for those who signed up for Moby's mailing list. For the next single, Moby put a poll on his website for fans to choose which single should be released next, and it came to be "Lie Down in Darkness".
On August 30, Moby posted another request for the third official single, this time asking fans to say which should be next, without a poll. After this, he announced the following day through his Twitter that the next singles are "After" and "The Right Thing".
On April 30, 2012, Moby released Destroyed Remixed, a limited edition 2CD collection of remixes of songs from the 2011 studio album, Destroyed. The release included three new exclusive remixes by David Lynch, Holy Ghost!, and System Divine, and also featured a brand new 30 minute ambient track by Moby called 'All Sides Gone'. Compiled and mixed by Moby, Destroyed Remixed was described as 'an eclectic mix of some the most exciting and interesting artists and DJ's in contemporary music'.
Between February and August 2013, Moby performed both acoustic and DJ sets at the Wanderlust Festival, which hosted events in Hawaii, Vermont, California and Colorado in the United States, and also in Canada and Chile internationally. He added a single Asia performance date at the 1 World Music Festival in Singapore. Moby also performed two 75-minute DJ sets at the Coachella festival in April which featured a unique visual collaboration with NASA, with various images from space projected onto screens during the performance. Moby followed-up with another DJ set at the Movement Detroit festival in May.
For Record Store Day 2013, Moby released a 7-inch record called The Lonely Night which featured former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan. An accompanying video was created by Colin Rich, of which Moby stated: "I’m really excited to have an experimental music video from this great video artist, and I feel like the slow, rich, and languorous desert visuals fit the song perfectly." The track was subsequently released as a download with remixes by Photek, Gregor Tresher, Freescha and Moby himself.
In July, Moby announced that he would be releasing a new studio album entitled Innocents. The album had been written and recorded in the previous 18 months and was due for release in October. The album was recorded in Moby's apartment and features a number of guest vocalists, in keeping with earlier releases such as Play, 18 and Wait For Me. As with Destroyed, the photographs comprising the album's artwork were all shot by Moby. The first official single from the album is titled A Case for Shame while the previously released track The Lonely Night will also appear on Innocents. The album was produced by Grammy-winner Mark 'Spike' Stent. It was later revealed in August that The Perfect Life, which features Wayne Coyne, would be the next single, after a casting call for a music video was announced, calling "for obese Speedo-sporting bikers, nude rollerskating ghosts, and an S&M gimp proficient in rhythmic gymnastics"
Moby performed a DJ set in Las Vegas on September 1, before flying to Australia to DJ at an intimate show in Sydney, on the 19th. Moby will then DJ at the 10th annual Decibel Festival in Seattle. He then returned to Los Angeles to perform three shows at the Fonda Theatre on October 3–5 to promote the album, which would be his only "full live shows" for 2013 and 2014.
Moby stated that the reason for doing little to no touring for this album was that "when I go on tour I sit around a lot (cars, airports, hotels, etc), and when I sit around I can't spend my time making music. And pretty much all I want to do in life is stay home and make music. So, thus: a 3 date world tour." He conceded that he might return to world touring in the future.
2016–2017: These Systems Are Failing & More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse
In September 2016, Moby announced a new album named These Systems Are Failing. It was released on October 14, 2016, under the name Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. The first official single of the new album "Are You Lost In The World Like Me?" was included in the announcement. The video for that single, created by animator Steve Cutts, addressed smartphone addiction. The video won the film & video: animation category at the 2017 Webby Awards. In 2016 a first track "Don't Leave Me" of the then unnamed new album was made available at the same time as the announcement of the Circle V festival – a vegan festival created by Moby taking place on October 23 in Los Angeles, which featured his only live performance of 2016. Less than a year later, in June 2017, a follow up record called More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse was released for free online. It was marketed from a fake website using Donald Trump's alleged PR alter-ego, John Miller.
2017–Present: Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt
On December 11, 2017, Moby announced his new trip-hop inspired album Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt in an interview with Billboard Magazine, to be released March 2, 2018. The announcement came with the video for "Like A Motherless Child", the first single from the album. On January 29 this was followed up by the second single and video, "Mere Anarchy", which Moby described as "post apocalypse, people are gone, and my friend Julie and I are time traveling aliens visiting the empty Earth."
On Monday, February 26, Moby released the album's third single, "This Wild Darkness", along with an official video. On Twitter Moby described the song as "an existential dialog between me and the gospel choir: me talking about my confusion, the choir answering with longing and hope." The following Friday, March 2, the album Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt was released in full.
Also in 2018 Moby was credited as a guest performer on A$AP Rocky's "A$AP Forever" which samples his song "Porcelain", this resulted in Moby's second ever appearance on the Billboard 100 chart, having previously charted for the song Southside, 17 years prior.
Moby contributed two songs to the score of Michael Mann's film Heat: a cover version of the Joy Division song "New Dawn Fades," and the original composition "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters." The filmmakers of The Bourne Identity used Moby's song "Extreme Ways" to play over the credits of all the Bourne films. Moby explained in a 2012 interview, after rerecording the song for the fourth film, that the producers of the franchise sought a different musical work for the second film, but "simply ran out of time", after which they accepted "Extreme Ways" as the accidental theme song for the entire series.
In 1997, Moby released an album of music that has appeared in films called I Like To Score. The compilation album features Moby songs that have appeared in films such as Cool World (1992), Scream (1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Moby contributed four songs to the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Next Three Days, including the single "Mistake".
Moby has collaborated live with many of his heroes while on tour or at fundraisers. He has performed "Walk on the Wild Side" with Lou Reed, "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson, "Heroes" and "Cactus" with David Bowie, "Helpless" with Bono and Michael Stipe, "New Dawn Fades" with New Order, "Make Love, Fuck War" with Public Enemy, "Whole Lotta Love" with Slash, and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" with Mission of Burma.
He has performed two duets with the French singer Mylène Farmer ("Slipping Away (Crier la vie)" in 2006 and "Looking for My Name" in 2008) and produced seven songs on her eighth album, Bleu Noir, released on December 6, 2010.
In 2006, Moby released a Spanish version of his song "Slipping Away" called "Escapar", in which the Spanish group Amaral took part.
In 2012, he collaborated with Spain-based group Dubsidia, making dubstep and electro house.
In 2013, Moby was responsible for the soundtrack of the documentary The Crash Reel, who tells the story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce.
On October 16, 2015, Jean Michel Jarre released his compilation album Electronica 1: The Time Machine, which included the track "Suns have gone" co-produced by Jarre and Moby.
On September 24, 2016, Moby announced the release of an album titled These Systems Are Failing, released under the name Moby & Void Pacific Choir. The followed the release of two singles from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir in 2015, "Almost Loved" & "The Light Is Clear In My Eyes".
He appeared in "Part 10" of TV series Twin Peaks accompanying American singer Rebekah Del Rio performing "No Stars".
Starting in around 2001, Moby launched a series of co-owned business ventures, with the two most prominent being the "Little Idiot Collective"—a New York City, U.S. bricks-and-mortar clothing store, comics store, and animation studio that sold the work of an "illustrators collective"—and a small restaurant and tea shop called Teany. Teany was cofounded in 2002 with his ex-girlfriend Kelly Tisdale. In a November 2006 interview, he said he had removed himself from any previous business projects.
In November 2015 Moby opened the Vegan bistro Little Pine in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The restaurant serves organic, vegan, Mediterranean-inspired dishes and has a retail section with art and books, curated by Moby himself. Moby's vision was to create a space that includes various aspects of society that he cares about. All of the restaurant's profits are donated to animal welfare organizations.
On August 23, 2016 Moby announced the inaugural Circle V Festival along with the official video for 'Don't Leave Me' by Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. The event took place at LA's Fonda Theatre and featured Blaqk Audio & Cold Cave on the bill amongst others in the evening and talks and vegan food stalls in the afternoon. Moby described Circle V as "the coming together of my life’s work, animal rights and music. I couldn’t be more excited about this event and am so proud to be head-lining."
The second Circle V event took place on November 18 this time at The Regent Theatre in Los Angeles. Moby headlined the event for the second year with artists Waka Flocka Flame, Dreamcar and Raury featuring on the bill.
In March 2008, after Gary Gygax's death, Moby was one of several celebrities identifying themselves as former Dungeons & Dragons players. He resides in Los Angeles.
In June 2013, Moby and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning. In January 2018, he stated that he was approached by friends in the CIA and told to post and spread content on the Trump-Russian collusion allegations through social media.
Moby identifies as heterosexual as well as cisgender.
Veganism and animal rights
Moby is a vegan and supports animal rights.
In March 2010, Moby made his debut as an author when Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat), a collection of essays from people in the food industry, was published.
Moby created a vegan restaurant named Little Pine in Los Angeles that opened for business on November 20, 2015. Moby personally runs the restaurant.
In March 2016, Moby supported the social media campaign #TurnYourNoseUp to end factory farming in association with the nonprofit organization Farms Not Factories. He is an advocate of the anti-cruelty Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, even auctioning off his own musical equipment and his personal record collection to raise funds for the organization.
In an interview with Psychology Today, Moby admitted that when he was 19, he tried LSD and began suffering from panic attacks. He says that he no longer experiences them as frequently as he used to, but occasionally he will "have too much caffeine, be stressed out about work and be in a relationship that's not going well, and it will happen again." He is very open about this in an attempt to help fans who suffer from similar panic disorders.
When asked about drugs in 2001, Moby responded: "I'm sort of a libertarian. People should be able to do what they want. I ultimately defer the wisdom to an adult to make their own choices. If someone wants to do drugs, I think it's their own business and not the business of the state." Moby stated in 2011: "It's one of the lowest depths of misery to be completely destroyed and hung over in an airport at 8 am in the morning after a long rough night." He was a heavy drinker for many years and a user of drugs—which he confirmed in an April 2014 live conference appearance—and then adopted sobriety, which he confirmed in an April 2014 live appearance in Los Angeles, U.S.
Spirituality and faith
—Animal Rights liner notes
At times, Moby has been reluctant to use the word "Christian" to define himself, due to its ambiguity, but self-identified as a Christian in a 2003 BBC interview. In the BBC interview, Moby spoke about his encounter with the Gospels: "In about 1985 I read the teachings of Christ and was instantly struck by the idea that Christ was somehow divine. When I say I love Christ and love the teachings of Christ, I mean that in the most simple and naïve and subjective way. I'm not saying I'm right, and I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone else's beliefs." Also in 2003, in an interview with Amazon.com, Moby said, "I can't really know anything. Having said that, though, on a very subjective level I love Christ. I perceive Christ to be God, but I predicate that with the knowledge that I'm small and not nearly as old as the universe that I live in. I take my beliefs seriously for myself, but I would be very uncomfortable trying to tell anyone that I was right."
In a September 20, 2006 audio interview with Sojourners magazine, he says, "I read the New Testament, specifically the gospels and I was struck at their divinity, feeling that humans could not have figured this out on their own. We're just not bright enough." He also discusses his faith on his own blog. On January 19, 2007, in his reaction to seeing Alexandra Pelosi's Friends of God, a film about evangelicalism in the United States, Moby writes, "The movie reminded me just how utterly disconnected the agenda of the evangelical Christian right is from the teachings of Christ."
In a 2014 interview with Mother Jones, he was asked if he identifies as a Christian and said that he has been "led ... away from any sort of conventional Christianity," but that he "still love[s] the teachings of Christ." Moby explained to Mother Jones that if he needed to label himself, it would be as a "Taoist–Christian–agnostic quantum mechanic."
Moby's 2016 book Porcelain: A Memoir introduces him as a "devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler" and discusses the evolution of his spiritual views.
Moby is an advocate for a variety of causes, working with MoveOn.org, The Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary, among others. He created MoveOn Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds contest along with singer and MoveOn Cultural Director Laura Dawn and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser. The music video for the song "Disco Lies" from Last Night has heavy anti-meat industrial themes. He also actively engages in nonpartisan activism and serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, a nonprofit organization that implements injury prevention programs in Africa.
Moby is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing scientific inquiry on music and the brain and to developing clinical treatments to benefit people of all ages. He has also performed on various benefit concerts to help increase awareness for music therapy and raise funds for the Institute. In 2004, he was honored with the IMNF's Music Has Power Award for his advocacy of music therapy and for his dedication and support to its recording studio program.
He is an advocate of net neutrality and he testified before United States House of Representatives committee debating the issue in 2006.
In 2007 Moby started a website called MobyGratis.com, designed for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short; it allows users to apply for free licences to use Moby music in their film. However, if a film is commercially successful, all revenue from commercial licence fees granted via MobyGratis is passed on to the Humane Society.
In 2008, he participated in Songs for Tibet, an album to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.
Moby speaks about his experience of transcendental meditation and advocates the use of meditation for high risk youth at the David Lynch Foundation "Change Begins Within" benefit concert, held at Radio City Music Hall on the April 3, 2009. Guest speakers and performers included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Jim James, Bettye LaVette, Sheryl Crow, Angelo Badalamenti, Russell Simmons, Mike Love, Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern.
He also participated in the 2015 evening supporting the work of the David Lynch Foundation that took the stage at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on April 1, 2015. The evening, entitled "The Music of David Lynch," launched the DLF’s tenth anniversary celebrations, and helped to raise funds to teach Transcendental Meditation (TM) to 1,000 at-risk youth in Los Angeles. Performing artists included Angelo Badalamenti, Chrysta Bell, Donovan, Duran Duran, Jim James, Julee Cruise, Karen O, Kinny Landrum, Lykke Li, Rebekah Del Rio, Rob Mathes, Sky Ferreira, Tennis, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, and Zola Jesus.
Criticism of RIAA
On June 20, 2009, Moby posted on his blog in response to the RIAA's decision to sue Minnesota suburban mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset for $2,000,000 for illegally downloading music via Kazaa. He called this "utter nonsense" and asserted that "the RIAA needs to be disbanded."
Many of Moby's albums include essays that he has written himself in the inlay card. Everything Is Wrong had essays on over-consumption ("We use toxic chlorine bleach to keep our underpants white") and U.S. religious leaders ("Why doesn't the Christian right go out and spread mercy, compassion and selflessness?"), and End of Everything discussed being a vegan ("Could you look an animal in the eyes and say to it, 'My appetite is more important than your suffering'?"). In "Animal Rights" Moby discussed the granting of basic rights in western society, and called for readers to grant such basic rights to homosexuals and animals. ("a long time ago only kings had rights. then rights were extended to property-owning white men. then all men. then wymyn [sic]. then children. then the mentally retarded. now we're agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals.")
Moby has been a photographer since he was 10 years old, growing up around film and darkrooms. Moby's uncle was a photographer for The New York Times.
In 2011, Moby released a book of photographs, Destroyed, with photos from his international tours. An album with the same name was released in the same year.
In October 2014 Moby showcased his "Innocents" series in New York City with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, in New York City, and is currently being represented by the gallery.
Moby published an autobiography entitled Porcelain: A Memoir in May 2016.
- Studio albums
- Moby (1992)
- Ambient (1993)
- Everything Is Wrong (1995)
- Animal Rights (1996)
- Play (1999)
- 18 (2002)
- Hotel (2005)
- Last Night (2008)
- Wait for Me (2009)
- Destroyed (2011)
- Innocents (2013)
- Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. (2016)
- These Systems Are Failing (2016)
- More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse (2017)
- Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt (2018)
|1995||MTV EMA||Best Dance||Himself||Nominated|
|2000||Q Awards||Best Live Act||Nominated|
|Music Television Awards||Best Male||Nominated|
|Best Video||"Natural Blues"||Nominated|
|VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards||Visionary Video||Won|
|MTV VMA||Best Male Video||Nominated|
|MTV EMA||Best Video||Won|
|TMF Awards||Best Album International||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Alternative Music Performance||Nominated|
|Best Rock Instrumental Performance||"Bodyrock"||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Video Awards||Maximum Vision Award||Nominated|
|Dance Clip of the Year||Won|
|D&AD Awards||Direction||Wood Pencil|
|MVPA Awards||Electronic Video of the Year||"Run On"||Nominated|
|BRIT Awards||Best International Male||Himself||Nominated|
|2001||NME Awards||Best Live Act||Won|
|My VH1 Music Awards||Best Male||Nominated|
|Best Collaboration||"South Side"||Nominated|
|MTV VMA||Best Male Video||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Dance Track||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Dance Recording||"Natural Blues"||Nominated|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Male Artist of the Year||Himself||Won|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Album of the Year||Play||Nominated|
|IFPI Platinum Europe Awards||Album Title||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Music Video, Long Form||Nominated|
|BMI Pop Songs Awards||Pop Songs||"South Side"||Won|
|Billboard Music Awards||Electronic Album of the Year||18||Won|
|Electronic Artist of the Year||Himself||Won|
|Q Awards||Best Producer||Won|
|BMI Film & TV Awards||Certificate of Achievement||Won|
|MTV EMA||Web Awards||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Male Artist||Nominated|
|MTV VMA||Best Cinematography||"We Are All Made of Stars"||Won|
|2003||BDSCerified Spin Awards||300,000 Spins||"South Side"||Won|
|IFPI Platinum Europe Awards||Album Title||18||Won|
|Hungarian Music Awards||Best Foreign Dance Album||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Pop Instrumental Performance||"18"||Nominated|
|MVPA Awards||Best Electronic Video||"In This World"||Won|
|Best Directional Debut||Won|
|MTV EMA||Best Dance||Himself||Nominated|
|BRIT Awards||Best International Male||Nominated|
|MTV Asia Awards||Best Male||Nominated|
|MTV VMAJ||Best Dance Video||"We Are All Made of Stars"||Nominated|
|2004||Lunas del Auditorio||Espectaculo Alternativo||Himself||Nominated|
|2005||MTV EMA||Best Male||Nominated|
|MTV Russian Music Awards||Best International Act||Nominated|
|2006||ECHO Awards||Best International Male||Nominated|
|Lunas del Auditorio||Musica Electronica||Won|
|2007||MVPA Awards||Best Electronic Video||"New York, New York"||Nominated|
|2008||Music Television Awards||Best Dance||Himself||Nominated|
|2009||Grammy Awards||Best Electronic/Dance Album||Last Night||Nominated|
|2010||Lunas del Auditorio||Musica Electronica||Himself||Nominated|
|2011||Hungarian Music Awards||Electronic Music Production of the Year||Nominated|
|2015||Veggie Awards||Person of the Year||Won|
|2018||UK Music Video Awards||Best Urban Video - International||"ASAP Forever" (with ASAP Rocky)||Nominated|
|Best Colour Grading in a Video||Nominated|
- Eric Härle (March 25, 2003). "Interview with ERIC HÄRLE, manager at DEF for Moby, Sonique, Röyksopp — Mar 25, 2003". HitQuarters (Interview). Interviewed by Kimbel Bouwman. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- "BBC – Press Office – Moby World Service interview". BBC World Service. April 29, 2003. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Lawson, Willow (September 1, 2004). "The Sounds of Moby". Psychology Today. Retrieved September 1, 2004.
- Sarah van Schagen (November 29, 2006). "Moby reflects on his new "best of" album and his not-so-new social activism". Grist. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- Palmer, Tamara (November 3, 2008). "Moby: The Fly Life". SuicideGirls. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- Olivier Laurent (May 3, 2011). "Destroyed: Moby's first photography book video interview". British Journal of Photography. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Moby (May 9, 2011). ""The Humility That Comes From Being Hated": Moby Interviewed". The Quietus (Interview). Interviewed by Stephen Dalton. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Elizabeth Avedon (October 22, 2011). "Moby talks to Elizabeth Avedon". La Lettre De La Photographie. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Lee, Jaeah (September 2, 2014). "Exclusive Premiere of Moby's New Video, 'The Last Day'". Mother Jones.
- Moby (November–December 2015). "Person of the Year: Moby". VegNews (Interview): 26–27.
If the tone of the message is too strident or too didactic or too loud, people won't pay attention to the substance of it.
- Jonathan Goldstein (September 24, 2016). (podcast)