Moby has always been a bit of a force. Conformity really doesn’t fit the bill when describing the man, the artist, the author. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone he talks a lot about aging.
“Forty was a very big deal,” he reflects. “I remember turning 40 and I couldn’t make sense of it. In my mind, I was a young person. I drank and I did drugs and I dated young people and I was a young person. I hit 40 and it really was, like … it gave me existential dread and doubt to the core of my being.”
By that point, he had scaled the heights of fame. Every song from Play had been licensed for inclusion in films and ads. He played hundreds of shows, and 18, his 2002 follow-up, sold more than 4 million copies. But in the years that followed, he says, “I bottomed out on liquor and drugs and got sober and started looking at the ways in which other people resist the aging process. … I may feel very differently when I’m 80 years old and covered in my own filth. But at present, it just seems so much more interesting and enjoyable to accept and almost even embrace getting older.”
He also discusses not worrying about people not caring about his music and wishing older bands would embrace the concept.
When I think of Animal Rights, I’m actually, in a weird way, proud that I was able to do that. There’s a little pat on the back like, “Good for you in making a record that everyone hated.” Why not? I thought that was a part of the musician’s job description. Not to make people hate it, but when I was growing up, all of my musical heroes at some point changed and at some point did something completely unexpected. I thought that musicians were only supposed to be predictable if you could predict what they loved. Meaning if you look at a musician’s creative output and they do the same thing year after year, I was like, “Oh, that’s OK if that’s what they love.” But if they’re doing the same thing year after year because that’s what they think will maintain and sustain their career, that to me is antithetical to the whole idea of being a musician in the first place. It sounds too judgy on my part. I’m sure people make safe choices for legitimate reasons, they have kids in school, they have to, I don’t know, keep their parents in old age homes and pay for dialysis treatment. But it feels defeatist to me.
I was doing an interview with someone a couple of weeks ago and they asked me about my career. I hate the idea of having a career. It actually is like nails on a chalkboard to me, because if you dedicate your life to doing something you love and a career ensues, fine. But when you start making creative choices based on sustaining a career, especially if you don’t have to, it feels like an affront to all that is good. You probably experience this far more than I do, when you encounter people where you’re like, “This is a career choice.” Like, come on. You could understand it if it’s a bass player in an indie-rock band who needs to pay the rent, who needs to pay doctor bills for his kids. But when you have musicians who are worth 10s of millions of dollars making safe career choices, it makes me queasy.
He goes on to discuss his days in New York, his book and the new album. Read the entire story here.