Show 'n' tell: Moby

He's the self-professed "Master of Beats, Y'all," but master of the road might be a more accurate description of Moby, the music industry's favorite bald vegan. Since his mega-selling Play came out in 1998, he's done nothing but tour, tour, tour. If you hear Play's grooves-and-blues everywhere you turn (TV commercials and movies, plus old-fashioned radio airplay), blame Moby's label — they've cleverly licensed every track. Despite headlines about his relationships with everyone from Winona Ryder to Dennis Rodman (blame England's Q magazine for that), it turns out the most famous DJ in the world just happens to be a pretty normal guy. CL recently cornered the man formerly known as Richard Hall to ask him a few questions about life, work and Play.
CL: No one in the Western world can go anywhere without hearing Play. Does this mean you’ve lost almost all of your heretofore anonymity in terms of people recognizing you?
Moby: I’ve been making records for 10 years, so I’ve been dealing with public figuredom for a while. The nice thing [about fame] is, I get to meet more people and more people come to my concerts. I’m not a big fan of privacy, anyway. For the most part, people leave me alone.
Now that you hobnob with the stars, who’s the coolest famous person you’ve met?
I went on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers once and they ended up being really sweet, smart, sensitive guys. And Christina Ricci is also one of the smartest people I know.
Did you really pee on a sushi bar once to impress a friend?
Another one of the interesting things about being a public figure is the things you hear. I just read something about me giving V.D. to all the women in New York (laughs).
We here in the Bible Belt want to know what being a Christian means to you.
From my perspective, what I know of Christ, I love his teachings. The teachings are remarkable. I’m wary of calling myself a Christian, because when people call themselves Christians, that usually means that they’re right and everybody else is wrong.
What’s up with all the commercials that use your songs? Which one is your favorite?
I haven’t seen any of them. But I’ve seen some of the movies in which my music was used. Any Given Sunday, The Beach. Of all the movies in which my music has been used, I’d say Heat is the one I’m most proud of.
A lot of your music uses all this old-time jazz and blues from the Deep South, yet you’ve spent most of your time in Connecticut and New York City.
I have a great love of Southern culture ... all the Southern gothic writers, especially. Whenever I travel someplace, I keep my expectations to a minimum. It’s not like I expect to drive by and hear people playing this amazing music out on their front porches. I really haven’t spent that much time down South. But I’d like to, when I get the chance.
Moby performs at the Tabernacle on Wed., Nov. 1. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, available through Ticketmaster.