What We Discuss with Moby:
- How Moby’s illustrious heritage made it imperative for him to write his own memoirs instead of passing the job off to a ghostwriter.
- Why, in his early fifties, Moby has not one but two memoirs under his belt.
- What it was like to grow up as a latchkey kid, impoverished and on food stamps, in the wealthiest city in the United States.
- Why Moby “was so happy” during the time he lived in an abandoned factory on the crack-infested side of Stamford, Connecticut.
- How Moby felt at the realization that he was making more for an hour-long performance than his New York City executive grandfather had made in a year.
- And much more…
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Many of us dream about what life would be like with the trappings of fame and fortune at our disposal, never imagining how too much of these good things could conspire to make us miserable. But Then It Fell Apart author, award-winning musician, and Herman Melville’s great-great-great-grandnephew Moby testifies that the excesses of success can be deceptively unrewarding.
On this episode, Moby joins us to to reveal how he was unexpectedly catapulted into fame after living in an abandoned factory and DJing for $25 a night, the self-destruction that ensued, the lessons learned along the way, and how he evolved beyond the excesses of his own success to enjoy its rewards and make the world a better place on his own terms. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!
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More About This Show
Then It Fell Apart author and award-winning musician Moby has lived a life of highs and lows, and there have been times when — to an outside observer — his behavior might not have been appropriately matched to the circumstances.
He was perhaps at his happiest while squatting in an abandoned factory making $25 for six-hour DJ sets, and had to do a lot of soul searching when he reached the pinnacle of “success” among the self-centered pantheon of the rich and famous. Now he’s sober, considers music a hobby, and gives away work for donations that go to charity.
“I hope that I’ve evolved or moved past the total drug-addicted narcissist,” says Moby. “One of the goals in the book — and I don’t know if this comes across or not — but is contextualizing the roots of that self-centeredness. That’s why I juxtapose childhood chapters with adult chapters, sort of saying, ‘Here’s the terrible adult behavior, and here are the experiences in childhood that don’t necessarily justify it or excuse it, but contextualize it.’
“I got sober 10 years ago and I realize that the years I spent obsessively self-involved trying to be more famous, trying to get more money, trying to sleep with more people, now I look back at that and I don’t even recognize that person. But I also understand where it was coming from. Those were ways of trying to fix things that I thought were really broken and dysfunctional in me.”
Moby’s achievements brought him awards, fortune, and fame, but he wasn’t experiencing the warm and fuzzy feelings he was always told should naturally follow in the wake of such massive success. What was he doing wrong?
“I would think, ‘Okay, well, I went on vacation and spent a lot of money, and I didn’t have a good time. So next time, I’ll go somewhere different and spend more money.’ You do that and you’re still miserable,” says Moby.
“Eventually it caught up with me and I was like, ‘Oh, the problem isn’t where I’m going. The problem isn’t who I’m dating or where I’m living or what publicist I have. The problem is my brain. The problem is my assumption that anything external can fix my brain.” And it’s hard because we spend our entire lives in this culture where we’re told from Day One: ‘If you have the right portfolio of stuff, all your problems will be fixed.’ Except there’s no evidence that supports that idea.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about what constitutes a fulfilling level of success to Moby these days, how Moby evolved beyond the excesses of success and what he learned in the process, why you shouldn’t be surprised to discover that Moby (or Alicia Keys, for that matter) can play real instruments, early shows playing for an unimpressed dog and American jazz royalty, and much more.
If you enjoyed this session with Moby, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Then It Fell Apart by Moby
- Porcelain: A Memoir by Moby
- mobygratis: Free Music for Independent Filmmakers by Moby
- Little Pine Restaurant
- Moby’s Website
- Moby at Instagram
- Moby at Facebook
- Moby at Twitter
- Moby at Spotify
- Moby at YouTube
- Moby on Transforming Electronic Music, Elevating Consciousness, and Saving the Planet, Rich Roll Podcast 226
- 10 Fascinating Facts About Herman Melville by Kat Long, Mental Floss
- Wealthiest Cities in the United States 2018: 1. Darien, Connecticut by Colin Grubb, Consumers Advocate
- University of Connecticut
- Crack and Its Violence Surprise Stamford by Richard L. Madden, The New York Times
- Venue Notes: The Beat, Port Chester NY by Pat Sabatino, Hüsker Dü Database
- Is President Trump Having Any Fun? by Michael D’Antonio, CNN
- Play by Moby
- Animal Rights by Moby
- Once in a Lifetime with Moby, Netflix
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- Vatican Commandos at Mercury Lounge, July 17, 2010, unARTigNYC
- The Power by SNAP!
- Moby Covering for SNAP! in 1990
- So What by Miles Davis
- Why I’m a Vegan by Moby, TEDx Venice Beach
- Moby on Addiction, Sobriety, and Surrender by Anna David, Workit Health
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) | 12-Step Program for Alcoholism Recovery
- Gelson’s Markets
- Moby Responds to Eminem’s VMA Threat by Gary Susman, Entertainment Weekly
- Moby Thinks Eminem Has a Secret Crush on Him by Jeff C, rapdirt.com