Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
After the one-man band known as Moby finished recording his most recent album, Play, at his Manhattan studio, he considered it perhaps his best effort yet. But not even he thought it would make more than a blip on the pop-music radar. "I expected it to succumb to the fate of a lot of idiosyncratic records," says Moby, 35 (real name: Richard Melville Hall). "I thought some people would like it, and then it would disappear."
Hardly. Play (V2) has sold 6 million copies worldwide, transforming Moby (whose great-great-great uncle was Moby Dick scribe Herman Melville) from underground hipster into the poster boy for electronica. His success has even introduced the enigmatic Moby's songs to Hollywood (The Beach), television (The X-Files) and commercials (a Tiger Woods spot). And he does it all. "When you hear piano, it's me playing piano," he says. "When you hear guitar, it's me playing guitar."
This month Moby, who lives in New York City, will cap the world tour he kicked off at Woodstock "99 with a final show during Nobel Prize festivities in Oslo, where he will perform with a 60-piece orchestra. "To go from playing Woodstock to Nobel laureates," he says, "is a strange way to bookend a tour."