Moby Earnestly Play ful
Published Feb 01, 2000"I think that I became one of 'the faces of electronic music' in the early to mid-'90s because I was one of the only people willing to do some of the conventional things that musicians had always done, like play shows and do photo shoots and interviews. I certainly don't think that I was making music that was better than anybody else's at the time - I'm just kind of a populist and I was a little more visible."
He can be an understated guy, that Moby. Thinking back to the early '90s, one might recall that Moby was, in fact, a great deal more visible than many of his electronic music-making contemporaries. Songs such as "Go" and "Feeling So Real" not only became rave anthems, but crossed over to larger audiences and zoomed up the charts. He was heralded as a saviour of sorts, a musical messiah come to wake North Americans up to the New Sound of youth culture. He was alternately adored and mocked; as a straight-edge, Christian, vegan environmentalist who spoke passionately and frequently of his values, Moby was a bit of a curiosity, and the press - British in particular - often had a field day.
"One problem that I've had is that I understand the world to be an ambiguous place, but ambiguity doesn't play well in the press. People are uncomfortable with ambiguity, so when I express my beliefs, a lot of times in the press they get turned into concrete, rigid ideas." On the other hand, "A lot of times I get to read in print things that I've said, and it makes me realise that sometimes I come across as being quite strident and didactic. I think it's softened me a little bit and made me realise that a lot of my opinions actually change over time."
As have his forms of musical expression. From techno to house, self-indulgent thrash to commercial soundtrack work, the man has travelled some rather uneven terrain. InPlay , resplendent with its sampled gospel and blues vocals and gorgeous melodies, Moby has created his most consistent and inviting release to date.
"I'm not trying to make avant-garde or experimental music; I'm just trying to make something that affects me on an emotional level. If you enjoy something, sometimes there's no point in thinking about all of the other possibilities. You know, like if you're out to dinner and you're having a nice time, the food could always be better, your friends could always be smarter, everyone's clothes could always be nicer, the restaurant could have better music, but if something's nice, why complain?"