Music Interviews

Q&A: Moby

After a period of downtempo introspection, Moby returns with Last Night, a relatively upbeat return to old school rave, with a smattering of disco. It seems he fancies a wee dance.

Not only does he have a new record out but it’s been a decade since the nine-million selling Play album was released. So the vegan electrohead New Yorker said he’d answer some questions if we asked them nicely.

Of course we did our best to oblige…

Last Night is being held up as a return to your dance/rave roots. Do you agree?
Well, sort of? In making Last Night I was just trying to make a record that sounded like a night out in my neighborhood (Lower East Side). Most of my friends who are DJs in NYC play new and old records equally, so going out involves hearing records from the ’80s as well as records from five minutes ago.

How would you describe the album?
In simple terms: an eclectic dance record. I know, that sounds vague.

Was it a conscious decision to step away from the overall downtempo tone of the last three albums?
I really just wanted to make a gregarious record that was maybe a bit less introspective than the last three albums. Okay, a lot less introspective.

Is Last Night a concept album? If so, could you describe it for us?
Last Night’ is an eight-hour night out in my neighborhood condensed into a 65 minute CD. It starts innocent and naive, gets dark and dancey in the middle, and ends quietly as the sun is coming up.

How does having a multi-million selling album like Play affect your creative process? Does it place more pressure on you either externally or internally?
It’s a good question, but no, the success of Play doesn’t really affect my creative process at all. The success of Play was a fluke.

Do you believe ‘new rave’ has anything at all in common with the music you were producing at the start of your career or indeed with tracks like Everyday It’s 1989?
I like a lot of new rave, but it doesn’t really sound like dance music to me. I do like it, but it seems more in line with things like renegade soundwave and meat beat manifesto.

You don’t seem afraid to change your style and do whatever you want creatively. How important is it to you to keep changing direction musically?
There are so many different styles of music that I like, I couldn’t imagine choosing one style of music and sticking with it for the rest of my life. That would be like only eating Thai food every day until you die.

Do you think you’ll ever return to the more guitar-based territory of Animal Rights?
I hope so. I love playing loud guitar and screaming at the top of my lungs.

You’re renowned for being very outspoken. Do you ever regret speaking your mind and does it ever get you into hot water?
I’m just an old punk rocker. I try to keep my opinions to myself, but usually not very successfully. Maybe I have opinion Tourrette’s.

Moby’s album Last Night is out now through EMI.

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More on Moby
Moby – Reprise
Moby – All Visible Objects
Moby – Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt
Moby & The Void Pacific Choir – These Systems Are Failing
Moby – Innocents