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See Moby talk about what he loves about music, and how he takes simple lyrics and gives them meaning through his unique sound.
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Host: All the music that you have combined; electronic, new wave, punk, it's not necessarily the lyrics that people will listen to, it's the whole sensation of the whole song. So how do they translate into messages?
Moby: Well, that's interesting because when I was a Philosophy major, I mainly focused on linguistic philosophy and a big, I am afraid I am about to get really boring but a big part of linguistic philosophy is understanding how people respond to information and where meaning is derived from and I grew up, my mom was an English major and I grew up in a very sort of, like intellectual literary household and I like words quite a lot but what I am really fascinated by and it was one of the reasons that I was drawn towards dance music and disco was the ability to take denial words and infuse them with tones of really pointing meaning, you know, like the lyrics of I love you. You know, it's been sung a million times and it means a million different things and that's one reason I love working with disco divas because you give a great disco diva really trivial lyrics but somehow they can sing them in such a way that it's so pregnant with meaning and significance and I certainly like I love the Lender Cohan approach to lyric writing or someone like Bruce Cuber and people who really focus on lyrics and I also really love taking almost painfully simple lyrics and trying to infuse them with some text and meta-text and different, like there is one song on this album Last night called I am in love and I think the whole song has nine words and to me, that's kind of an interesting challenge like how do you take a song with nine words and give it meaning. So that's and it's almost like an inside challenge that like me, the former sort of Philosophy major who focused on linguistic studies, it's like a challenge I give myself to an extent because you could write 800 words and actually convey less meaning than you could with just a few.
Host: I mean when you work with vocalists, what do you look for in a vocalist for electronic music?
Moby: Well, what I love in a vocalist, either great technical proficiency like some of you just got a beautiful or someone with a really distinctive voice. More often than that, actually I think I prefer the distinctive voice because there are a lot of people who have technically great voices without lot of character but someone who has like a truly unique voice. You know that, even if it's not technically perfect, something that really strikes a chord within you.
Host: What do you see is the future of dance music?
Moby: Well, from my perspective, dance music and I do not want to sound a really reductionist or simple but dance music is any music that makes people dance and that could be a polka, it could be klezmer music, it could be disco, it can be the Rolling Stones, it can be hip-hop, I mean I just love that idea of music that makes people dance, whether they are dancing at a wedding, whether they are dancing in the living room or in the nightclub, whether they are dancing at really cutting edge electronic music or whether they are dancing to Porgy and Bess. You know like, I just love that music has that power to get people to stand up and move around.
Host: And finally, sorry to jump around like this but your name, Moby, as inspired by your great, great uncle's, book classic Moby Dick. Have you had any attachments from this special origin of your name?
Moby: Yeah, I mean, well my full legal name is Richard Melville Hall and I am supposedly related to Herman Melville. It's complicated because he had a really strange life. He had a lot of success with a book, I think was called Typhoon, when he was young and then as he became better at writing, he became a lot less successful and he sort of ended his life penniless and in obscurity. You know, he was a shipping clerk and he had written Moby Dick and when it was released, none liked it. He got terrible reviews, did not sell very well and I think it was only about 20 years or 30 years after he died that people started to discover it and on that side of the family like the Melville side of the family, there are a lot of very sort of dark tragic men and it's weird. I am always aware of that because I definitely have a propensity to be a little dark and take myself too seriously and so I almost have to force myself to not be too self-involved and take myself too seriously.
Host: Well, it's been a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for your time. Seriously I am very happy to meet you.