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For other uses, see Moby (disambiguation).

Richard Melville Hall (born September 11, 1965),[1] better known by his stage name Moby, is an American musician, DJ, record producer, singer, songwriter, photographer and animal rights activist. He is well known for his electronic music, veganism and support of animal rights. Moby has sold over 20 million records worldwide.[2]AllMusic considers him "one of the most important dance music figures of the early 1990s, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in the UK and in America".[3]

Moby gained attention in the early 1990s with his electronic dance music work, which experimented in the techno and breakbeat hardcore genres. With his fifth studio album, the electronica and house music-influenced Play, he gained international success. Originally released in mid-1999, the album sold 6,000 copies in its first week, and it re-entered the charts in early 2000 and became an unexpected hit, producing eight singles and selling over 10 million copies worldwide.[4] Moby followed the album in 2002 with 18, which was also successful, selling over 5 million copies worldwide and receiving mostly positive reviews, though some criticized it for being too similar to Play.

His next major release, 2005's mostly upbeat Hotel was a stylistic departure, incorporating more alternative rock elements than previous albums,[citation needed] and received mixed reviews. It sold around 2 million copies worldwide. After 2008's dance-influenced[citation needed]Last Night (2008), he returned to the downtempo electronica of Play and 18 with 2009's mostly-ambient Wait for Me,[citation needed] finding higher critical acclaim and moderate sales, as well as 2011's Destroyed. Moby released Innocents on October 1, 2013, to positive reviews.[5] Following the release of Innocents, Moby released two albums in 2016: the ambient Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. on February 25, which was given away for free on his website[6] and These Systems Are Failing on October 14, with his book Porcelain – A Memoir coming out between. The album has received mostly positive reviews, along with More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse, which was released the following year.[7][8] Moby's next album Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt was released on March 2, 2018.

Moby has also co-written, produced, and remixed music for David Bowie, Daft Punk, Mylène Farmer, Brian Eno, Pet Shop Boys, Britney Spears, New Order, Public Enemy, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Soundgarden, and others.[9]


Early life and name[edit]

Richard Melville Hall was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, to Elizabeth McBride (née Warner), a medical secretary, and James Frederick Hall, a chemistry professor who died when Richard was two years old.[10][11][12] He was raised by his mother in Darien, Connecticut.[13][14]

According to Hall, his middle name and the nickname "Moby" were given to him by his parents because of an ancestral relationship to Moby Dick author Herman Melville: "The basis for Richard Melville Hall—and for Moby—is that supposedly Herman Melville was my great-great-great-grand uncle."[15]

He has also released music under the names "Voodoo Child"[16] and "Schaumgummi."[17]

During the 1980s, Hall played guitar for the hardcore punk band Vatican Commandos.[18] Later in the decade, he was a guitarist for the alternative rock group Ultra Vivid Scene and appeared in the video for their 1989 single "Mercy Seat."[19][20]

1988–1993: "Go" and rise to fame[edit]

Moby's first live solo performance was witnessed by future longtime manager Eric Härle, who later described the occasion to HitQuarters by saying: "The music was amazing, but the show was riddled with technical mishaps. It left me very intrigued and impressed in a strange way."[21]

Moby released his first singles for Instinct under several different names, such as Barracuda, Brainstorm, and UHF. His first single was a commercial failure—a rap record with vocalist Jimmy Mack, titled Time's Up, featuring several remixes and stems for remixing.[22] Very few copies were ever sold.

His first single under the pseudonym 'Moby' was "Mobility", but it was his remix of Mobility's b-side, "Go," that proved to be his first breakthrough. Go (Woodtick Mix), a progressive house track using the string line from "Laura Palmer's Theme" from the TV drama Twin Peaks, reached the UK top ten in October 1991 and earned him his first appearance on Top of the Pops.[21] He released his eponymous debut in 1992. Some of his other singles in 1992 and 1993 were "Next Is the E", "Thousand" (with its 1,000 Beats Per Minute tempo), and "Voodoo Child."[1]

In 1991 and 1992 he remixed The B-52s, The Prodigy, Orbital, Bob Taggett - Mind Metal, Erasure, Michael Jackson and Ten City.[23] He also provided a rap for a Recoil track called Curse.[24]

1993–1998: Everything Is Wrong, Animal Rights, and I Like to Score[edit]

In 1993, Moby signed with Mute Records (Elektra in North America) and released an EP titled Move. This became his second appearance on Top of the Pops.[25]

He then released his first album on Mute Records (Elektra in North America), Everything Is Wrong, in 1995. Early copies in the UK and Germany came with a special bonus CD called Underwater. This was a 43-minute five-track instrumental ambient CD.

Everything Is Wrong earned early critical praise (Spin magazine named it "Album of the Year")[26] and some commercial success. He followed this up in early 1996 with the double album Everything Is Wrong—Mixed and Remixed.

Disillusioned by the lack of feedback he was receiving from the music media, who struggled to comprehend the artist's new electronic music and refused to take it very seriously, Moby decided to release a punk rock album, Animal Rights, in 1996.[21] It included a cover version of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and was followed by a tour of Europe with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden. The single "Come on Baby" from Animal Rights was Moby's third Top of the Pops performance. It was notable for its very aggressive look and sound. Ironically, just as Moby decided to change direction, the electronic music he had moved away from started to gain recognition and popularity through artists like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy.[21] Also in 1996, Moby contributed the song "Republican Party" to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization.

According to manager Eric Härle, the album almost ruined his career, because the new direction not only left audiences cold—with music media uninterested and his existing fan base largely alienated—but led to people being confused as to what kind of artist Moby really was.[21] Härle has stated that Moby "managed to wipe out all of his early good work and we found ourselves struggling for even the slightest bit of recognition. He became a has-been in the eyes of a lot of people in the industry".[21]

In 1997, he released I Like to Score, a collection of his music that had been used in movies. Among those tracks were an updated version of "The James Bond Theme" used for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and "New Dawn Fades" (a cover of Joy Division's original), which had appeared without vocals in Michael Mann's film Heat.[27]

Moby made a special guest appearance in a 1998 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast where Space Ghost is possessed by the Curse of Kintavé.

1999–2004: Play, 18, and worldwide success[edit]

In 1999, Moby released the album Play. The album had moderate sales after its release, but eventually went on to sell over ten million records worldwide a year later.[4] Every song on the album was licensed internationally to various films, advertisements, and TV shows, as well as independent films and non-profit groups.[28] Moby performed three times on Top of the Pops with singles from the album. Play mixes songs from Alan Lomax's 1993 Atlantic recording Sounds of the South: A Musical Journey From the Georgia Sea Islands to the Mississippi Delta. For the song "Natural Blues", Moby mixes "Trouble So Hard" performed by Vera Hall from the Alan Lomax Sounds of the South compilation.[29]

In 2000, Moby contributed his song "Flower" to the intro of the Nicolas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds.[30]

In July 2001, Moby: PlaytheDVD was released. Produced by Moby and Jeff Rogers (Swell), the DVD was nominated for a 2002 Grammy award. The DVD included various sections: "Live on TV", most of the music videos from the album (excluding "South Side" with Gwen Stefani), "Give An Idiot a Camcorder" (Moby was given a camcorder and the tape was later edited by Tara Bethune-Leamen), and an 88-minute "Mega Mix" of all the remixes created for the album. The "Mega Mix" was accompanied by visuals created in Toronto at Crush, led by director Kathi Prosser.[31]

In 2002 Moby released the follow-up to Play, 18, which earned gold and platinum awards in over 30 countries, and sold more than four million copies. Moby toured extensively for both Play and 18, playing well over 500 shows in the course of four years.[32]

He founded the Area:One Festival in 2001, a popular touring festival that features an eclectic range of musical genres. The Area:One tour featured Outkast, New Order, Incubus, Nelly Furtado, Paul Oakenfold, and Moby himself. Area2 tour (2002) featured David Bowie, Moby, Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, and Carl Cox.[33]

In the next few years, Moby co-wrote "Is It Any Wonder" with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, remixed the Beastie Boys, David Bowie, Nas and Metallica, produced and co-wrote the track "Early Mornin'" for Britney Spears' fourth studio album In the Zone, and collaborated with Public Enemy on "Make Love, Fuck War", which was released prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election.[34] Moby also had his song "Extreme Ways" used in all five of the Bourne movies.[35]

In 2003, Moby headlined the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury.[36]

2005–2008: Hotel, Last Night, and other work[edit]

In 2005, Moby released Hotel under the labels V2 and Mute. Instead of his relying on samples for vocals, all of the vocals and instruments were performed live in the studio, by Moby and vocalist Laura Dawn.[37]

Hotel spawned two of Moby's biggest European hits, "Lift Me Up" and "Slipping Away", both of which were number 1 European singles.[38] In the UK, ITV used a specially remixed version of "Lift Me Up" as its Formula 1 coverage theme music.

In 2006, he accepted an offer to score the soundtrack for Richard Kelly's 2007 movie Southland Tales, because he was a fan of Kelly's previous film, Donnie Darko.[39]

In 2007, Moby also started a rock band, The Little Death with his friends Laura Dawn, Daron Murphy, and Aaron A. Brooks.[40] The Little Death released an album in 2010. In 2008, Moby released Last Night, an eclectic album of electronic dance music inspired by a night out in his New York neighborhood (the Lower East Side). The singles from Last Night include "Alice", "Disco Lies", "I Love to Move in Here", and "Ooh Yeah". The album was recorded in Moby's home studio in Manhattan, New York and features a number of guest vocalists, including Wendy Starland, MC Grandmaster Caz (one of the writers of "Rapper's Delight"), Sylvia from the band Kudu, British MC Aynzli, and the Nigerian 419 Squad.[41]

In 2007 Moby produced and performed on a remake of "The Bulrushes" by The Bongos that appeared on the special anniversary edition of the group's debut album Drums Along the Hudson, on Cooking Vinyl Records.

From 2007 to 2008 he ran a series of New York club events titled "Degenerates".[42][43]

2009–2010: Wait for Me[edit]

In a November 2008 interview with SuicideGirls, Moby spoke about the follow-up album to Last Night: "I want to make a really emotional, beautiful record. I don't know if I will succeed, but my goal is to make something very personal, very melodic, very beautiful."[44] On April 14, 2009, Moby confirmed that the album would be released on June 30.[45]

I recorded the album here in my studio on the lower east side (although 'studio' always seems like an overly grand word for a bunch of equipment set up in a small bedroom). In the past I've worked in large and small studios, but for this record I wanted to record everything at home by myself", Moby said on his journal.[45] "I started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a David Lynch speech at BAFTA, in the UK. David was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine and good. It seems as if too often an artist's, musician's or writer's creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, and how much market share it commands and how much money it generates. In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it's a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I've made in the past.[45]

The album, titled Wait for Me, was released in June 2009.[46][47]

Moby and David Lynch discussed the recording process of the album on Lynch's online channel, David Lynch Foundation Television Beta.[48] The first single off the album was "Shot in the Back of the Head", and the video was directed by David Lynch.[45] The single was available for free download from Moby's website.

Wait for Me was mixed by Ken Thomas, who had previously produced some Sigur Rós albums.[45] According to Moby,

mixing the record with him [Thomas] was really nice, as he's creatively open to trying anything (like recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like. It's on the record as a 45 second long track called "Stock Radio"). And as a geeky technical aside, we mixed the record using purely analog equipment in true stereo, akin to how records were mixed in the late '60s, some of the songs sound pretty amazing in headphones, if I do say so myself...[45]

Moby toured for the album with a full band, something that occurred rarely during Moby's Last Night promotion, except for selected festival performances.[49] Moby raised between $75,000 and $100,000 to help those affected by domestic violence[50] after all funding for the state's domestic violence program was cut in July. To do this, he donated the profits from his upcoming shows in California (San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles). Moby headlined the Australian 2009 Falls Festival,[51] as well as the other Sunset Sounds festivals.[52]

On February 22, 2010, Moby announced a UGC competition with Genero.TV asking his fans to create a videoclip, that will be serviced worldwide as the official videoclip for his upcoming single "Wait for Me", the last single from the album. On April 19, Moby chose the winning videoclip out of 500 entries, "based on its creativity, production value, concept, and humor".[53] The chosen videoclip, written and directed by Nimrod Shapira from Israel, portrays the story of a girl who decides to invite Moby into her life. She attempts to do so by using a book called How to Summon Moby Guide for Dummies, putting herself through 10 bizarre and comical steps (each is a tribute to a different Moby videoclip). The single was released on May 4, 2010.

On May 3, 2010, Moby released the title track from the album, "Wait for Me", as a single.[54]

2010–2012: Destroyed[edit]

In January 2010, Moby announced that he was to begin working on his next record. He said "the mood for this record will be more acoustic and less electronic than before".[55] Around this time Moby started a heavy metal band with his friend Phil Costello, Diamondsnake, getting back to his roots. Diamondsnake released two albums on Facebook.[56]

On February 15, 2011, Moby announced the release of his new album, Destroyed. It was released on May 16, 2011.[57][58] A photography book with the same name was also released around the time of the album.[58]

"Musically", he said, "it's very melodic and atmospheric and electronic, and if i had to sum it up i would describe it as: 'broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2 a.m'." The album cover, which was released with the new information, was taken in LaGuardia Airport. It is a picture of a sign that reads 'destroyed', part of the longer phrase "All unclaimed baggage will be destroyed."[58] The album consists of 15 tracks, one of them previously featured on the compilation A Night in NYC, titled "Rockets". Along with the album's announcement came the release of the EP Be the One, which contains 3 of the tracks from Destroyed[58] The EP was released free for those who signed up for Moby's mailing list.[57] For the next single, Moby put a poll on his website for fans to choose which single should be released next, and it came to be "Lie Down in Darkness".[59]

On August 30, Moby posted another request for the third official single, this time asking fans to say which should be next, without a poll.[60] After this, he announced the following day through his Twitter that the next singles are "After" and "The Right Thing".[61]

On April 30, 2012, Moby released Destroyed Remixed, a limited edition 2CD collection of remixes of songs from the 2011 studio album, Destroyed. The release included three new exclusive remixes by David Lynch, Holy Ghost!, and System Divine, and also featured a brand new 30 minute ambient track by Moby called 'All Sides Gone'. Compiled and mixed by Moby, Destroyed Remixed was described as 'an eclectic mix of some the most exciting and interesting artists and DJ's in contemporary music'.

2013–2015: Innocents[edit]

Between February and August 2013, Moby performed both acoustic and DJ sets at the Wanderlust Festival, which hosted events in Hawaii, Vermont, California and Colorado in the United States, and also in Canada and Chile internationally.[62] He added a single Asia performance date at the 1 World Music Festival in Singapore.[63] Moby also performed two 75-minute DJ sets at the Coachella festival in April which featured a unique visual collaboration with NASA, with various images from space projected onto screens during the performance.[64] Moby followed-up with another DJ set at the Movement Detroit festival in May.[65]

For Record Store Day 2013, Moby released a 7-inch record called The Lonely Night which featured former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan. An accompanying video was created by Colin Rich, of which Moby stated: "I’m really excited to have an experimental music video from this great video artist, and I feel like the slow, rich, and languorous desert visuals fit the song perfectly."[66] The track was subsequently released as a download with remixes by Photek, Gregor Tresher, Freescha and Moby himself.[67]

In July, Moby announced that he would be releasing a new studio album entitled Innocents. The album had been written and recorded in the previous 18 months and was due for release in October. The album was recorded in Moby's apartment and features a number of guest vocalists, in keeping with earlier releases such as Play,18 and Wait For Me. As with Destroyed, the photographs comprising the album's artwork were all shot by Moby. The first official single from the album is titled A Case for Shame while the previously released track The Lonely Night will also appear on Innocents. The album was produced by Grammy-winner Mark 'Spike' Stent.[68] It was later revealed in August that The Perfect Life, which features Wayne Coyne, would be the next single, after a casting call for a music video was announced, calling "for obese Speedo-sporting bikers, nude rollerskating ghosts, and an S&M gimp proficient in rhythmic gymnastics"[69]

Moby performed a DJ set in Las Vegas on September 1,[70] before flying to Australia to DJ at an intimate show in Sydney, on the 19th.[71] Moby will then DJ at the 10th annual Decibel Festival in Seattle.[72] He then returned to Los Angeles to perform three shows at the Fonda Theatre on October 3–5 to promote the album, which would be his only "full live shows" for 2013 and 2014.

Moby stated that the reason for doing little to no touring for this album was that "when I go on tour I sit around a lot (cars, airports, hotels, etc), and when I sit around I can't spend my time making music. And pretty much all I want to do in life is stay home and make music. So, thus: a 3 date world tour." [73] He conceded that he might return to world touring in the future.[73]

2016–2017: These Systems Are Failing & More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse[edit]

In September 2016, Moby announced a new album named These Systems Are Failing.[74] It was released on October 14, 2016, under the name Moby & The Void Pacific Choir.[75] The first official single of the new album "Are You Lost In The World Like Me?" was included in the announcement.[76] The video for that single, created by animator Steve Cutts, addressed smartphone addiction.[77] The video won the film & video: animation category at the 2017 Webby Awards.[78] In 2016 a first track "Don't Leave Me" of the then unnamed new album was made available at the same time as the announcement of the Circle V festival – a vegan festival created by Moby taking place on October 23 in Los Angeles, which featured his only live performance of 2016.[79] Less than a year later, in June 2017, a follow up record called More Fast Songs About the Apocalypse was released for free online. It was marketed from a fake website using Donald Trump's alleged PR alter-ego, John Miller.[80]

2017–Present: Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt[edit]

On December 11, 2017 Moby announced his new trip-hop inspired album Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt in an interview with Billboard Magazine to be released March 2, 2018.[81] The announcement came with the video for 'Like A Motherless Child', the first single from the album. On the 29th of January this was followed up by the second single and video 'Mere Anarchy' which Moby described as "post apocalypse, people are gone, and my friend Julie and I are time traveling aliens visiting the empty Earth."[82]

Film scores[edit]

Moby contributed two songs to the score of Michael Mann's film Heat: a cover version of the Joy Division song "New Dawn Fades," and the original composition "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters."[83] The filmmakers of The Bourne Identity used Moby's song "Extreme Ways" to play over the credits of all the Bourne films. Moby explained in a 2012 interview, after rerecording the song for the fourth film, that the producers of the franchise sought a different musical work for the second film, but "simply ran out of time", after which they accepted "Extreme Ways" as the accidental theme song for the entire series.[84]

In 1997, Moby released an album of music that has appeared in films called I Like To Score. The compilation album features Moby songs that have appeared in films such as Cool World (1992), Scream (1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).[85]

Moby contributed four songs to the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Next Three Days, including the single "Mistake".


Moby has collaborated live with many of his heroes while on tour or at fundraisers. He has performed "Walk on the Wild Side" with Lou Reed, "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson, "Heroes" and "Cactus" with David Bowie, "Helpless" with Bono and Michael Stipe, "New Dawn Fades" with New Order, "Make Love, Fuck War" with Public Enemy, "Whole Lotta Love" with Slash, and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" with Mission of Burma.

He has performed two duets with the French singer Mylène Farmer ("Slipping Away (Crier la vie)" in 2006 and "Looking for My Name" in 2008) and produced seven songs on her eighth album, Bleu Noir, released on December 6, 2010.[86]

In 2006, Moby released a Spanish version of his song "Slipping Away" called "Escapar", in which the Spanish group Amaral took part.

In 2012, he collaborated with Spain-based group Dubsidia, making dubstep and electro house.

In 2013, Moby was responsible for the soundtrack of the documentary The Crash Reel, who tells the story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce.

On October 16, 2015, Jean Michel Jarre released his compilation album Electronica 1: The Time Machine, which included the track "Suns have gone" co-produced by Jarre and Moby.[87]

On September 24, 2016, Moby announced the release of an album titled These Systems Are Failing, released under the name Moby & Void Pacific Choir. The followed the release of two singles from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir in 2015, "Almost Loved" & "The Light Is Clear In My Eyes".[88]

He appeared in "Part 10" of TV series Twin Peaks accompanying American singer Rebekah Del Rio performing "No Stars".

Business ventures[edit]

Starting in around 2001, Moby launched a series of co-owned business ventures, with the two most prominent being the "Little Idiot Collective"—a New York City, U.S. bricks-and-mortar clothing store, comics store, and animation studio[89] that sold the work of an "illustrators collective"—and a small restaurant and tea shop called Teany. Teany was cofounded in 2002 with his ex-girlfriend Kelly Tisdale.[90] In a November 2006 interview, at which time he had removed himself from any previous business projects:

About five years ago, I tried to make my life as complicated as possible. So I started this restaurant, and I started this Little Idiot illustrators’ collective, and I started a bottled beverage company, and I bought this piece of property upstate. And suddenly I had this very complicated life, and I realized that all the complications that filled my life weren’t making me happy. So I spent the last year basically trying to get rid of everything.[91]

Since ceasing his role as a company owner, Moby stated that his sole focus in life consisted of music, political causes, charitable organizations, and friends.[91]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2008, after Gary Gygax's death, Moby was one of several celebrities identifying themselves as former Dungeons & Dragons players.[92][93] He resides in Los Angeles.[94]

In June 2013, Moby and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning.[95][96]

In January 2018, Moby claims to have been approached by friends in the CIA, and told to post and spread content on the Trump-Russian collusion allegations through social media.[97][98]

Veganism and animal rights[edit]

Moby is a vegan and supports animal rights.[99]

In March 2010, Moby made his debut as an author when Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat), a collection of essays from people in the food industry, was published.[100]

Moby created a vegan restaurant named Little Pine in Los Angeles that opened for business on November 20, 2015. Moby personally runs the restaurant.[101][102]

In March 2016, Moby supported the social media campaign #TurnYourNoseUp to end factory farming in association with the nonprofit organization Farms Not Factories[103]

Drug use[edit]

In an interview with Psychology Today, Moby admitted that when he was 19, he tried LSD and began suffering from panic attacks. He says that he no longer experiences them as frequently as he used to, but occasionally he will "have too much caffeine, be stressed out about work and be in a relationship that's not going well, and it will happen again." He is very open about this in an attempt to help fans who suffer from similar panic disorders.[104]

When asked about drugs in 2001, Moby responded: "I'm sort of a libertarian. People should be able to do what they want. I ultimately defer the wisdom to an adult to make their own choices. If someone wants to do drugs, I think it's their own business and not the business of the state."[105] Moby stated in 2011: "It's one of the lowest depths of misery to be completely destroyed and hung over in an airport at 8 am in the morning after a long rough night."[106] He was a heavy drinker for many years and a user of drugs—which he confirmed in an April 2014 live conference appearance—and then adopted sobriety, which he confirmed in an April 2014 live appearance in Los Angeles, U.S.[107][108]

Spirituality and faith[edit]

In my own strange way, I'm a Christian, in that I really love Christ, and I think that the wisdom of Christ is the highest, strongest wisdom I've ever encountered, and I think that his description of the human condition is about the best description or understanding of the human condition I've ever encountered... I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a Christian in the conventional sense of the word, where I go to church or believe in cultural Christianity, but I really do love Christ and recognize him in whatever capacity as I can understand it as God. One of my problems with the church and conventional Christianity is it seems like their focus doesn't have much to do with the teachings of Christ, but rather with their own social agenda. So that's why I tend to be sort of outspoken about how much I dislike conventional cultural Christianity.

Animal Rights liner notes

At times, Moby has been reluctant to use the word "Christian" to define himself, due to its ambiguity, but self-identified as a Christian in a 2003 BBC interview. In the BBC interview, Moby spoke about his encounter with the Gospels: "In about 1985 I read the teachings of Christ and was instantly struck by the idea that Christ was somehow divine. When I say I love Christ and love the teachings of Christ, I mean that in the most simple and naïve and subjective way. I'm not saying I'm right, and I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone else's beliefs."[109] Also in 2003, in an interview with Amazon.com, Moby said, "I can't really know anything. Having said that, though, on a very subjective level I love Christ. I perceive Christ to be God, but I predicate that with the knowledge that I'm small and not nearly as old as the universe that I live in. I take my beliefs seriously for myself, but I would be very uncomfortable trying to tell anyone that I was right."[110]

In a September 20, 2006 audio interview with Sojourners magazine, he says, "I read the New Testament, specifically the gospels and I was struck at their divinity, feeling that humans could not have figured this out on their own. We're just not bright enough."[111] He also discusses his faith on his own blog. On January 19, 2007, in his reaction to seeing Alexandra Pelosi's Friends of God, a film about evangelicalism in the United States, Moby writes, "The movie reminded me just how utterly disconnected the agenda of the evangelical Christian right is from the teachings of Christ."[112]

In a 2014 interview with Mother Jones, he was asked if he identifies as a Christian and said that he has been "led ... away from any sort of conventional Christianity," but that he "still love[s] the teachings of Christ." Moby explained to Mother Jones that if he needed to label himself, it would be as a "Taoist–Christian–agnostic quantum mechanic."[113]

Moby's 2016 book Porcelain: A Memoir introduces him as a "devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler" and discusses the evolution of his spiritual views.


Moby is an advocate for a variety of causes, working with MoveOn.org, The Humane Society and Farm Sanctuary, among others. He created MoveOn Voter Fund's Bush in 30 Seconds contest along with singer and MoveOn Cultural Director Laura Dawn and MoveOn Executive Director Eli Pariser. The music video for the song "Disco Lies" from Last Night has heavy anti-meat industrial themes. He also actively engages in nonpartisan activism and serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, a nonprofit organization that implements injury prevention programs in Africa.[114]

Moby is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing scientific inquiry on music and the brain and to developing clinical treatments to benefit people of all ages.[115] He has also performed on various benefit concerts to help increase awareness for music therapy and raise funds for the Institute. In 2004, he was honored with the IMNF's Music Has Power Award for his advocacy of music therapy and for his dedication and support to its recording studio program.[116]

He is an advocate of net neutrality and he testified before United States House of Representatives committee debating the issue in 2006.[117][118]

In 2007 Moby started a website called MobyGratis.com, designed for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short; it allows users to apply for free licences to use Moby music in their film. However, if a film is commercially successful, all revenue from commercial licence fees granted via MobyGratis is passed on to the Humane Society.[119][44]

In 2008, he participated in Songs for Tibet, an album to support Tibet and the current Dalai LamaTenzin Gyatso.

Moby speaks about his experience of transcendental meditation and advocates the use of meditation for high risk youth at the David Lynch Foundation "Change Begins Within" benefit concert, held at Radio City Music Hall on the April 3, 2009.[120] Guest speakers and performers included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Jim James, Bettye LaVette, Sheryl Crow, Angelo Badalamenti, Russell Simmons, Mike Love, Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern.[121][122][123]

He also participated in the 2015 evening supporting the work of the David Lynch Foundation that took the stage at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on April 1, 2015. The evening, entitled "The Music of David Lynch," launched the DLF’s tenth anniversary celebrations, and helped to raise funds to teach Transcendental Meditation (TM) to 1,000 at-risk youth in Los Angeles. Performing artists included Angelo Badalamenti, Chrysta Bell, Donovan, Duran Duran, Jim James, Julee Cruise, Karen O, Kinny Landrum, Lykke Li, Rebekah Del Rio, Rob Mathes, Sky Ferreira, Tennis, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, and Zola Jesus.[124]

Criticism of RIAA[edit]

On June 20, 2009, Moby posted on his blog in response to the RIAA's decision to sue Minnesota suburban mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset for $2,000,000 for illegally downloading music via Kazaa. He called this "utter nonsense" and asserted that "the RIAA needs to be disbanded."[125]


Many of Moby's albums include essays that he has written himself in the inlay card. Everything Is Wrong had essays on over-consumption ("We use toxic chlorinebleach to keep our underpants white") and U.S. religious leaders ("Why doesn't the Christian right go out and spread mercy, compassion and selflessness?"), and End of Everything discussed being a vegan ("Could you look an animal in the eyes and say to it, 'My appetite is more important than your suffering'?"). In "Animal Rights" Moby discussed the granting of basic rights in western society, and called for readers to grant such basic rights to homosexuals and animals. ("a long time ago only kings had rights. then rights were extended to property-owning white men. then all men. then women. then children. then the mentally retarded. now we're agonizing over the extension of basic rights to homosexuals and animals.")

He was interviewed by Lucy Walker for a chapter in Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky.


Moby has been a photographer since he was 10 years old, growing up around film and darkrooms.[126] Moby's uncle was a photographer for The New York Times.[127]

In 2011, Moby released a book of photographs, Destroyed, with photos from his international tours. An album with the same name was released in the same year.

In October 2014 Moby showcased his "Innocents" series in New York City with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, located in New York City, and is currently being represented by the gallery.


Moby published an autobiography entitled Porcelain: A Memoir in May 2016.[128]


Main article: Moby discography

Studio albums


Moby performs a DJ set at NASA Rewind March 4, 2004, in New York City
Moby's success in the late 1990s led him to launch the Area One festival; he is seen here performing in 2001
Moby performing at the David Lynch Weekend, Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, April 26, 2008.
Moby promoting the Destroyed book and album at a performance and discussion in the Brooklyn Museum, 2011
Moby playing guitar with Joy Malcolm in 2008
Teany, a tea store that Moby co-owned

Moby's Essays from Everything Is Wrong

facts that i've collected:

In the past 20 years approximately 1 million species have disappeared from the world's tropical forests. From 1960-1985 over 40% of the central american rainforests were destroyed to create grazing land for cattle. The united states imports over 100,000 tons of beef from central america each year. It takes 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of tomatoes. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. One acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes. One acre of land can produce 165 pounds of beef. The u.s. cattle industry produces 158 million tons of waste per year. Livestock production is the #1 cause of water pollution in the u.s. 22 million acres of land have become unusable due to desertification. 85% of the topsoil loss in t he u.s. is the result of livestock production. In the u.s. 33% of ALL raw material consumption is used solely in the production of meat, egg, and dairy products. It takes 1 pound of grain to make 1 pound of bread. It takes 20 pounds of grain to make 1 pound of beef. 75% of the grain sent to third world nations goes to livestock production. The countries with the diets highest in animal products are also the countries with the highest rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc. 50 percent of men who eat meat regularly die of heart disease. 80% of usda chicken inspectors no longer eat chicken. If the average commuter passenger load in the u.s. were increased by just 1 person per day we would save 33 million gallons of gas each day. Americans spend over 1 billion hours stuck in traffic each year. 30% of u.s. greenhouse gas emissions come from cars. Air is sold in mexico city for $1.15 a minute by sidewalk vendors. What greenpeace spends in a year general motors spends in 4 hours. million children under the age of 6 suffer from lead poisoning. in europe 50% of the cars still use leaded gas. 2 million gallons of motor oil are dumped in american waterways each year. over 8 million tons of oil are spilled in the world's oceans every year. 5 billion gallons of water are flushed each day in the united states. Sewage treatment facilities in the u.s. discharge 5.9 trillion gallons of sewage wastewater into coastal waters every year. u.s. tuna fisherman are permitted to kill over 20,000 dolphins every year. 2 million sharks die in driftnets in the north pacific every year. Only 1 in 10 baby chimpanzees survive the trip form the jungle to the zoo. 1 billion animals are killed each year in experiments. 17 million animals are trapped in the u.s. each year for fur. Many traps are so painful that animals check through their own limbs to escape. For every fur animal trapped two other animals (dogs, cats, deer, etc.) are trapped and killed. In 1997 450,000 minks died on fur farms from heat exhaustion. 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and enough energy to heat the average home for 6 months. Enough wood and paper is thrown away each year in america to heat 1 billion houses for a year. Six times more jobs are created by recycling as opposed to landfill operations. The amount of money spent on trash disposal in american schools is equal to that spent on new textbooks. Out of every $10 that americans spend on food, $1 pays for packaging. 65% of garbage in the u.s. is packaging. 50% of all trash thrown away could be recycled into new products. 500 new dumps are built each year in the united states. Over 1 billion trees are used to make disposable diapers every year. Americans throw away 20 billion disposable diapers each year. Americans dump the equivalent of 21 million shopping bags full of food into landfills every year. billion batteries are thrown away each year by americans. over 700,000 tons of hazardous waste is produced in the u.s. every day. americans throw away 10 million cigarette lighters every week. 500,000 people die of cigarette related diseases in the u.s. each year. pesticides that are banned in the u.s. (such as ddt) are regularly sold to third world countries. 90% of all food borne pesticides are found in meat and dairy products. 10% of nursing mothers who were vegetarians had ddt in their breast milk. 90% of nursing mothers who were meat eaters had ddt in their breast milk. In 1945, before widespread pesticide use, u.s. corn growers lost 3% of their crops to insects. Last year they lost over 12%. 74 different kinds of pesticides have been found in drinking water. Over 100 chemical contaminants have been found in the breast milk of nursing mothers in the u.s. of the 34 chemicals most widely used on lawns, 25% are widely believed to cause birth defects, genetic mutation, and cancer. Americans spend 6 billion dollars on their lawns each year. 25% of u.s. nuclear reactors would not be able to contain a core breach meltdown. A 1985 study predicted a 45% chance of core breach meltdown in the u.s. before 2005. In 1992, 430,000 people in the world died from cancers resulting from nuclear testing radiation. More money is spent in the u.s. on nuclear weaponry in one year than was spent on housing from 1980-1992. To date cleaning up storage facilities for nuclear debris has cost taxpayers 200 billion dollars. In 1989 the u.s. military used 200 billion barrels of oil, enough to keep all american public transit systems running for 22 years. 1 ton of toxic waste is produced by the u.s. every minute.

---sources available upon request

Transcription source: http://www.serve.com/damien/personal/chain/moby.html

essay one

by "everything is wrong" i mean EVERYTHING. i look around me - i'm typing on a plastic and metal and glass computer perched on a desk made from cut down trees and toxic paint. i sit in a building made of wood and bricks that were taken from the earth on a street made of poisonous asphalt that was laid over an ecosystem that had thrived for hundreds of thousands of years. i'm clothed in cotton that was saturated with pesticides while it grew and treated and dyed with toxic chemicals while it was being processed. all of my possessions were made hundreds or thousands of miles away and shipped in styrofoam and plastic wrap via gas burning engines and destructive road and air ways to me. my food, although organically grown and completely vegan, is shipped from where it was grown to my local store and is often packaged in paper, plastic, metal, and toxic inks. i know tons of people that eat meat, smoke cigarettes, drive cars, use drugs, etc., even though they know that these things will ultimately hurt the quality (and length) of their lives. i live in an apartment building where no one is on a first name basis. i know more about idiot actors in hollywood that i've never met than i do about the womyn who lives next door to me (and is probably more interesting). while walking to work i inhale toxic exhaust from cars sitting in traffic.
to make sure that eating 3 cans of oven cleaner will make you sick, or to make sure that pouring nail polish remover into your eyes will hurt you, we torture mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. we use toxic chlorine bleach to keep our underpants while. we cut down the rainforests to drill for oil so that we can drive to the video store. do you see what i mean? everything really is wrong. even the back to nature people still drive cars and use products made from materials ripped out of the earth. people struggle all of their lives doing work that they hate just to be a functioning member of a system that is wasteful, destructive and unhealthy.
what i advocate is sensible, pragmatic, and non-destructive approach towards existence. we need to re-evaluate our practices. just as it doesn't make sense to hire an elevator operator to run an automatic elevator it doesn't make sense for billions of people to drive to work alone in their cars. it doesn't make sense to consume animal products. it doesn't make sense to use pesticides on agricultural products. it doesn't make sense to derive power from nuclear, coal, and petroleum when we have solar, hydro, and wind power. it doesn't make sense to maintain destructive systems just because people earn their livings form them. it doesn't make sense to pour billions of tons of toxic chemicals onto our lawns so that they'll look pretty and green. i could go on but you're probably either bored or overwhelmed by now. i advocate change; massive, massive change.
basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing. - that's it.

essay two

the christian right is neither. god is angry, i think. here in the u.s. vast numbers of politicians and religious leaders (the line between the two being blurry) are masquerading hate, racism, sexism, and ignorance under the banner of conservative christian values.
conservative christian values are these - humility, mercy, compion, love, honesty, etc. nowhere in the bible does christ encourage his followers to be intolerant, greedy bigots. nowhere in the bible does christ encourage his followers to lie, slander, steal, or be divisive along economic or cultural lines. preserving the 'american way' has nothing to do with christ. in fact, the 'american way' of greed, cruelty, environmental destruction, racism, ism, homophobia, etc. would seem to have nothing to do with christ. christ is wonderful, loving, compionate and honest. today's right wing evangelical christians seem to be insecure, hate-filled creatures and although i should probably pity them, right now i'm angry. we sit back and watch as the christian right tries to legislate their petty morality at the city, state, and federal level. they successfully ousted the best chairman the new york city school system ever had because he encouraged condom distribution and an open minded curriculum. here's a question - how are teen pregnancy, hiv/aids, and a redundant, ineffectual curriculum christian? instead of spreading hate, ignorance and a narrow-minded social agenda why doesn't the christian right go out and spread mercy, compion and selflessness?
two thousand years ago christ called the religious & political leaders of his day 'whitewashed tombs, clean on the outside but inside full of evil'. god sent prophets, the religious political leaders killed and d them. god sent christ, the religious & political leaders killed and d him. the religious and political leaders of 2,000 years ago were 'whitewashed tombs, full of evil', and the religious and political leaders of today seem to be just as bad. -moby

Transcription source: the Google cache of http://killdevilhill.com/biblechat/messages2/28396.html

"i don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while is medically conservative to cut people open" -dean ornish, md

"i have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual improvement to leave off eating animals." -henry david thoreau

"your choice of diet can influence your long term health prospects more than any other action you might take" -former surgeon general c. everett koop

"nothing will benefit human health an increase the chances for survival on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet" -albert einstein

"until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." -albert schweitzer

"if you have men who will exclude any of god's creatures form the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men" -saint francis of assisi

Transcription source: http://www.serve.com/damien/personal/chain/moby.html

Copyright (c) 1995 Moby

Disclaimer: Moby's essays used to be posted on his website, moby.com, so I decided to post them here in their place. All of the essay text was taken directly from the album verbatim without prior consent of Moby or the record company or webmaster of the transcription source(s) (if any is/are indicated), which I may have edited (according to the original booklet) (but their work has saved me some typing). I do not intend to receive or divert any money or credit away from the Moby or the record company for this album.

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