Moby: You Ask The Questions

What would you prefer, height or hair? Is George W the spawn of Satan? And are you still obsessed with breasts?
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The Independent Online

YOU HAVE A TEA SHOP IN NEW YORK: ARE YOU THINKING OF BRANCHING OUT TO THE UK?
DEVIKA BHAT, BY EMAIL

When Kelly (my ex-girlfriend) and I opened teany we had no idea what we were doing. Now we're three years into it and we only barely have an idea what we're doing, although it has been successful. We'd love to open a teany in the UK, but we'd need a partner who knows how to open a restaurant. We have a lot of Anglophiles in Manhattan, and a lot of lapsang-souchong-ophiles, as well.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EMINEM THESE DAYS AFTER HIS COMMENTS ABOUT YOU ON "WITHOUT ME"?
DAMON LISTER, BY E-MAIL

I had criticised him for writing songs that were misogynistic and homophobic, and he took offence. I think that things are patched up now, and I admit to having a newfound respect for him after his criticism of the Bush administration in "Mosh".

PLAY WAS THE FIRST ALBUM TO HAVE ALL ITS TRACKS LICENSED FOR USE ON ADVERTS. DOESN'T THIS COMPROMISE YOUR ANTI-GLOBALISATION BELIEFS?
HELEN LEWIS, BY E-MAIL

Two things. Firstly, not every track was licensed for adverts. All of the tracks from Play were licensed, but some were licensed for films and some for TV shows. Secondly, I wouldn't say that I'm anti-globalisation, I'm just a fan of tying environmental and human-rights standards to globalisation.

HOW DO YOU ANSWER PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DERIVATIVE NATURE OF SAMPLE-HEAVY MUSIC?
KATHERINE MADDON, TAUNTON

I find that it's hard to make sweeping generalisations about any style of music. There's great sample-heavy music and there's terrible sample-heavy music. The same could be said of jazz, hip-hop, rock, and any other style.

WHY HAVE YOU RELEASED YOUR MUSIC UNDER SO MANY NAMES?
SONIA HUSSAIN, W YORKSHIRE

Most likely it's a function of my multiple personality disorder.

ARE YOU STILL OBSESSED BY ENORMOUS BREASTS AND PORN?
ANTHONY JONES, BY E-MAIL

I've never been obsessed by enormous breasts and/or porn. I have nothing against enormous breasts or porn, but I'm not obsessed with either.

IF YOU HAD THE CHOICE, WHICH WOULD YOU GO FOR: HAIR OR HEIGHT?
MARIE BRUNEL, BY E-MAIL

How about tall hair?

HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICS AND ETHICS TO YOUR MUSIC, OR DO YOU TRY TO KEEP THEM SEPARATE?
MADELINE LACEY, MANCHESTER

I've tried to write politically inspired music, but it's always ended up being either didactic or uninteresting. I envy people who can write great political music. Maybe someday I'll figure it out.

YOU TAKE YOUR PERFORMING NAME FROM MOBY DICK. IS IT BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY CONNECTION?
MATTHEW MOSES, BY E-MAIL

I love the book, but my nickname came from my parents. My legal name, Richard Melville Hall, was deemed too big for a baby, so at one day I was nicknamed Moby. They had a strange sense of humour.

HOW HAS YOUR PRESBYTERIAN BACKGROUND INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE, AND DOES IT HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR BELIEFS TODAY?
GEORGINA RICHARDS, NOTTINGHAM

I'm not sure. The Presbyterian church in which I was raised was a lot looser and more secular than the Calvinism that originally resulted in Scottish Presbyterianism. So although I was raised Presbyterian, I never really knew what that meant.

ARE THERE ANY FILM DIRECTORS YOU WOULD FEEL FLATTERED BY IF THEY CHOSE TO USE YOUR MUSIC?
JOHN JONES, LUTON

Well, I'm currently working with Richard Kelly (who directed Donny Darko), so needless to say it was flattering to have him express an interest. Some of my other favourite directors are Takeshi Kitano, Gore Verbinski, and, of course, David Lynch. I would be thrilled if any of them ever chose to use my music.

YOU ARE NEIGHBOURS WITH DAVID BOWIE, DO YOU OFTEN BUMP INTO HIM OUT BUYING GROCERIES?
BILL WAINWRIGHT, BRIGHTON

Not often, but it has happened. It's a bit disconcerting to run into your all-time musical hero while buying orange juice.

YOU SAID THAT GEORGE W IS "THE SPAWN OF SATAN", BUT HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ROBERT MUGABE OR SADDAM HUSSEIN?
DAVEY LEES, BY E-MAIL

I don't know that I ever described George W as "the spawn of Satan". I didn't vote for him and I think that he's a terrible President, but I don't think that he's a spawn of Satan. However, "Spawn of Satan" would be much more applicable to someone like Mugabe or Saddam.

YOU KEEP A JOURNAL RUNNING ON YOUR WEBSITE. DO YOU THINK YOUR FANS ARE INTERESTED IN MOBY THE MUSICIAN OR MOBY THE PERSON?
NATHANIEL EMERSON, BY E-MAIL

I think that a lot of people who visit moby.com don't actually like me or my music. I get great pleasure from subsidising a forum where people routinely slander me.

YOU COLLABORATE WITH A FEW DESIGNERS TO CREATE THE "LITTLE IDIOT" CLOTHING RANGE, BUT WOULD YOU EVER WEAR THE CLOTHES YOURSELF?
MAURICE STEPHENS, DORSET

Yes, but I'm just one of the illustrators, and I prefer the other designs to my own.

WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU'VE EVER EATEN?
BILL LORIE, BY E-MAIL

One time when I was very young I was at sleep-away camp and I was miserable, so I swallowed rocks to make myself ill and thus be sent home. It didn't work.

WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A GEEK?
ALI SHAH, HACKNEY, LONDON

A nerd, not a geek. Nerds are people who like science fiction and computers and electronic music. Geeks are people who travel around with circuses biting the heads off of chickens.

DO YOU EVER GET SICK OF PLAY?
CATRINA BROWN, CAMDEN, LONDON

Of all of my albums, the only ones I listen to are Animal Rights and Hotel Ambient.

WOULD YOU EVER DANCE TO ONE OF YOUR OWN SONGS?
AMANDA BURGESS, BY E-MAIL

Probably not, because I'm a very bad dancer and I don't make good dance music.

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