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Wait For Me: Moby Interview

2009-09-14 17:10
Photo: Kathy Baugh

What have you been up to since finishing your last album, Last Night?
Well when I finished making the last album…ahhh… I was doing a lot of DJ-ing, and I went on tour and played quite a lot of festivals but really I've just been spending most of my time working on this new album….you know, been home in New York where I have my studio.

Where did you make the new album? And how did you approach the recording and mixing?
Well I made the album at home in my studio. I have a 2 bedroom apartment, and I sleep in the small bedroom and I have the larger bedroom as my studio. I really do like working at home, because that way I'm never worried about how much it’s going to cost or having other people round, so in general I really like making records at home.

What inspired the making of this new album?
Ahhh, I mean I've made a lot of records over the years… especially… well if this record, I really wanted to make a record that I would want to listen to if I was at home, by myself on a Sunday morning and it was raining outside, so I guess with this record I wanted to make something more melodic and more personable, and this is a strange word to use but I wanted to make something that was beautiful.

Are you enjoying this new DIY (Do It Yourself) approach, and what was the idea behind it?
Well I guess for a long time I thought that ahhh, in order to be, you know quote unquote, a real musician I had to make records in big outside studios and I had to make big budget videos and then I realised that the records that the other people were making that I actually liked were made in small studios and sometimes made in peoples bedrooms and so with this record I wanted to get back to that, and with the artwork, and with the videos and with the photographs I just wanted to enjoy the process more and not have to worry so much about major label pressures and instead just try to make something that appealed to me.

How would you describe this new album?
Well, ahhhh, it’s a much…, I guess if I had to describe this record I would say that its melodic and more atmospheric…it has a general… generally to more melancholic record, I mean it has a sense of sadness to it, erm, not because I was particularly sad or mournful when I was making the record, but I think in general I just always really preferred sad, mournful music.

Who are the guest vocalists on the album?
Well there are a bunch of different singers on the record, errr, my friend Amelia, her burlesque name is Lady Rizo – she sings a song, my friend Kelly sings a song, erm -a friend of mine called Hilary sings a song. I only end up singing one song on the record, there are some vocal samples on the record, but predominantly I guess the vocals are being sung by friends of mine.

Can you tell us about "Shot in the back of the head", and why this was initial a free download?
It’s an instrumental, and I guess its not the greatest commercial idea to have the first single from a record be an instrumental because it is almost impossible for any radio station to play instrumentals. But it was a song of the record I really liked, and my friends seemed to like and so….we weren’t really too concerned about any commercial pressure, we just put out a first single as a song that we all really liked.

David Lynch shot the video for "Shot In The Back Of The Head", how did that happen?
Well I've been a huge David Lynch fan for a long time from his early student films to Eraserhead. I really, really also love his last film Inland Empire and in the last couple of years him and I have become friends so for this song shot in the back of the head I sent him a copy of the record and a copy of the song and I guess he liked it. And I very causally asked him if he would make some visuals for the song and he very kindly agreed so we ended up with the video which he’d he made – illustrated and animated – not something I think will get a lot of MTV play but that’s ok with me.

Can you tell us about the second song being release from the album, "Pale Horses"?
Well "Pale Horses" is the third song on the album, well maybe it's the 2nd song on the album, I think it's the 2nd song on the album I should go back and look and it’s a very mournful song…’s a song that I wrote about a year ago and my friend Amelia sings on it and she must have sang it 5 or 6 times but the 1st time she sang it she’d never heard it before and that’s the version that I use as her vocals add a really nice quality of vulnerability to it and ….yeh….so that’s the song.

Track 7, "Mistake" is the only track you sing. Was this a conscious decision to have other singers on the other songs?
Well, when I….when I make an album I never really expect to do any of the singing because as much as I’d love to be a great singer I just don’t like my voice all that much, so normally when I write songs I write them with the idea that someone else will end up singing them. And usually if my voice is on one of my records or if I end up singing…. a lot of times its because I just wasn’t able to find anyone else to sing the song but on this record ‘Wait For Me’ I was able to find, you know, friends of mine who have really beautiful voices and they very nicely came in and sang the songs.

What can we expect from the new live show?
Well for the last album, for Last Night, I did quite a lot of DJ-ing. And the live show for Last Night was very dance heavy, you know with a lot of percussion and a lot of drums. And the live show for Wait For Me, for this album, is going to be much more musical…. You know with a lot of, I don't know….focusing on some of the older material that I've done that its quieter and maybe more ambient, and you know focusing on the…you know…the quieter elements from this record. So I mean there might be some loud, up tempo songs in the live show but in general I want to do something…you know… that is a bit more down tempo and melodic.

Tell us about your other project
Well was started as a way of giving free music to film makers, specifically indy film-makers, film students and people working on non profit films. So any indy film maker or film student can go to and use the music for free. If for some reason the film does get picked up commercially they’ll have to pay a small license fee but that license fee would go to charity, specifically to the main society - that way I can never make any money off - which keeps me honest.

Is there anything else in the pipeline you want to tell us about?
Well, not that I can think of. Errrr I guess right now I'm just getting ready to go on tour and... hmmmm, let me think anything else? No, just writing music for the album after this one because that's all I do, I go into my studio and I work on music but apart from working on new music and getting ready to put out this album, no there isn't anything new.

Originally where are you from?
Well I was born right here, errr I was born here and …. grew up near here,… a suburb, and luckily I had nothing against the suburbs but I’m much happier being back here.

What's your favourite food?
My favourite food, mmmmmmmm, you know I guess it all depends on how hungry I am.

Do you like New York City?
Well, I was born here, and I’ve spent most of my life here and so I love New York. I mean, there are a lot of things about NY that drive me crazy, it is very competitive and it’s very busy and…. I dunno…. because real estate has become so expensive a lot of my friends have had to move to far flung places in NY like Bushwick and Bedsty….but in general I still love NY.

Electro-pop superstar Moby chats about his love for melancholic Sunday morning music, working with David Lynch and more.
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