Moby Sees Diversity in Techno, Tolerance for All

MOBY

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C: Do you have a favorite album or style?

M: No. I love everything.

C: Everything you ever made?

M: I don't like every song I ever wrote.

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C: Do you think playing the club scene or club circuit is different than Lollapalooza?

M: Yeah, when you play festivals, when you're playing Lollapalooza, you're playing the people who probably wouldn't come see you in a smaller venue. They're both nice; playing a show like tonight [at Axis] is nice because it's fans. There's a much stronger connection between myself and them than there would be at Lollapalooza or a festival where you're playing in front of 60,000 people.

C: You're more political than most [music artists]. Do you think you combine politics with your music or keep them separate?

M: Oh, quite separate. Music is good at conveying ambiguous emotional states, at least for me. Some people have written great protest songs, but what I like to do is sort of let the music be ambiguous and have liner notes and interviews that are much more straightforward and prosaic.

C: Some people would say that techno music is sometimes simplistic or repetitive and boring. How would you oppose that?

M: For one, I don't think of myself as a techno musician. I make techno music but I also started studying classical music when I was nine years old, studying music theory and I play lots of different things.

People who say that techno music is overly simple should go out and buy a classic rock songbook and you realize that almost every classic rock song has maybe four chords. People have been dismissing wonderful music by saying it's simple forever. Most people thought Billie Holiday [was] terribly simple and not worth listening to. Early rock and roll people said was too simple and wasn't music; early hip-hop same thing.

There are always idiot snobs out there that are going to evaluate music from really arbitrary criteria. To me, the only valid criteria for evaluating music is how does it make you feel, how does it affect you. There's no such thing as objective criteria applied to music, it's all subjective. If it makes you happy when you listen to it, terrific. All this notion that music has to be complicated to listen to, I think that's absurd.

I can run rings about almost any other popular musician in the world when it comes to music theory or background, and I love really simple music. I love just a kick drum, a high hat and a simple bass line to me is transcendent because I allow myself to like it.

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