How We Met: Moby & Lucy Walker

'He sat next to me on the subway and asked for my number. I didn't give it to him'

Moby

An American DJ and singer-songwriter, Moby is best known for his hugely influential contribution to the electronica scene; his acclaimed album 'Play' sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. He lives in LA

When I first met Lucy, in the mid-1990s, I had a huge crush on her, but I thought she was out of my league: she was bright, beautiful and had that sophisticated British pedigree that Americans are so obsessed with. I knew her casually through mutual friends who were also living in New York and I was always intimidated by how sophisticated she seemed. She lived in this loft on the Lower East Side and it wasn't till I went there for a dinner party and saw just how crumbling her apartment was that I realised she was like me – a crusty weirdo.

We started going to weird experiential music performances and on to bars. I was a total garbagehead then; my first drink might be respectable, but as I progressed I'd drink anything that came along – a half-warm bottle of Heineken someone else might have been drinking and left a cigarette butt in, say. But Lucy always held things together better and that's why I've had to stop drinking and she still goes out and has fun.

Over time, the crush I had on her morphed into really good friendship. I'd watch her go through lots of relationships and all the turmoil that brought. If you listen enough to a person's problems, eventually you think of them as a friend.

It took me five years of knowing her to realise she was an aspiring film-maker. When I saw Devil's Playground [2002], I was amazed. She's often racked with self-doubt and I feel my role is to remind her she is a kind, creative person.

I'm grateful for the way she used my music [in 2010's Oscar-nominated Waste Land]. I'm excited that it's a way for people to listen to some of my more melodic ambient stuff.

All her movies are arduous to make and involve personal hardship, like living on a garbage dump for a month in Brazil [for Waste Land]. She possesses this combination of masochism and a 19th-century spirit of exploration. You can even see that in the way she goes swimming in the ocean every day off Venice Beach, even in the middle of winter when the water's freezing; it's a strength of character I don't have.

Lucy Walker

An award-winning English documentary film-maker, Walker's body of work has included mountain-climbing documentary 'Blindsight' and the Oscar-nominated 'Waste Land'. She lives in LA

We were in the same music scene in the mid-1990s in New York, passing each other in the same bars, and I was a huge fan. I remember once seeing him on the subway on the way to Times Square. I was reading a book on ambient electronic music and he came and sat next to me and looked himself up in the index as he was chatting to me. He asked for my number and I said, "We'll run into each other again, I don't want to give you my number." He was a wild star in those days and came across as a hedonist.

We ran into each other again when some mutual friends of ours started dating. We all ended up at a party at [US Vogue supremo] Anna Wintour's house and I wound up on the same table as David Bowie, Iman and Moby. I felt shocked to be on the same table as them, and when I shared that thought with Moby, he said the same. I recognised a kindred spirit in him.

When my parents died in quick succession, our friendship deepened. He had lost his parents too, so he of all my friends knew what to say and talked with such kindness when so many of my friends couldn't help me.

When I was making Countdown to Zero about nuclear weapons [which came out last year] I had just broken up with my boyfriend and Moby was like, "Don't stay in a hotel, have my guest room." I stayed there for months. For a private guy, it was so kind. So by the time I was working on Waste Land, I felt I could ask him anything, so I asked to use his music for free. He's as generous as he is genius.

These days he's become very spiritually aligned and does amazing work for the environment, animal rights and domestic violence. I think there's a path to enlightenment through hedonism and that's the path he took; since he's sobered up he seems happier.

Part of his charm is that he's very candid about his neuroses, especially when it comes to relationships. He's a better friend than boyfriend – but it was great to have him as my Oscars "date". I was having a real stress fit, as I didn't like my dress; he held my hand and was wonderfully calming. I just felt bad that he wasn't drinking; it's a difficult night not to drink and at one point he and Russell Brand had a sobriety meeting.

Moby's new album, 'Destroyed', is out on 16 May. An accompanying photography exhibition is at Idea Generation Gallery, London E2, from 18 May. moby.com, ideageneration.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album