Moby: Rave on

For a good portion of the 10 million-odd people who bought Moby’s 1999 album Play, that’s what he’ll always be known for. Of course there’s so much more to Richard Melville Hall, though, than one inescapable LP.

The 46-year-old has been making music for almost half his life, from early rave records like Next Is The E and Go to the out-and-out punk of Animal Rights right through to his tenth studio album in 2011 (and actually one of his best), Destroyed. What hasn’t changed since 1991 is Moby’s abiding love of dance music, and in a matter of weeks he’s embarking on his first-ever DJ tour of Australia for Field Day, Summadayze and Summafieldayze.

The reason Moby keeps DJing, as he tells inthemix down the line from his adopted home of L.A., is that it’s simply “so much fun”. He might have been saddled with a reputation as a pious, intellectual vegan, but that’s not the man who steps on-stage with an arsenal of bangers under his arm. Here’s what we managed to cover in our too-brief 15 minutes with the deep-thinking raver.

So, have you already done a lot of talking today?

In the course of my life, I’ve probably done 5,000 phone interviews and I have to say phone interviews with people who speak the same language as I do tend to go a lot smoother than when there’s a huge language barrier.

Are you at home in L.A. at the moment?

I was born and raised in New York but I moved to L.A. about a year ago, for a whole bunch of reasons, one of them being the desire to be warm in the winter time. Also there’s the cliché of L.A. being filled with plastic surgery disasters and entitled movie stars, but there’s a fascinating creative community here that I find inspiring.

As time has passed, New York has become a lot more conservative and a lot wealthier. A lot of the artists and musicians and writers have been forced to move elsewhere.

The thing is L.A. is so big – it’s the size of Belgium. It’s 15 million people and just so vast. It’s one of the only cities I know where you can drive for 90 minutes and still be in the same city. So there are parts of L.A. that are awful – dirty, depressing and soul-destroying – but then there are parts that are beautiful and wonderful. I try to ignore the ugly bits and pay attention to the pretty stuff.

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