Moby could’ve gone into a glitzy recording studio to create his new CD, Wait For Me, but the noted musician opted to make the album in his bedroom.
It’s all a part of his philosophy on music and life.
The master of electronic, dance and ambient beats, Moby has sold millions of CDs worldwide and topped the record charts. Yet he’s got a new bent in life and wants to use his name to aid worthwhile causes.
Who: “etown,” with Moby and Nellie McKay
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St.
That’s why Moby’s donated his time, money and energy to help women’s shelters in cash-strapped California. He’s also set to headline Sunday’s taping of the eco-friendly radio show “etown” at the Boulder Theater.
“The arts really have a potential to really affect people’s lives,” Moby said in a recent interview. “They can be a force for change — and I want to be a part of that.
“Of all the art forms, nothing affects people as strongly as music.”
Moby has devoted his life to music and he’s been performing since he was 9. The artist studied everything from music theory to classical guitar, and he’s gone on to impress the world with his electronica and dance beats.
The musician’s also made a side-trip into the world of restaurants with his New York café and tea company called Teany. Moby even wrote a book about his companies and dubbed it the “Teany Book.”
“After that experience, I decided I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur,” Moby said. “That project was coming from a place of inadequacy, where I felt I had to prove myself and show that I could be a businessman.
“I realized I was terrible at it, and all I wanted to do with my life was make music. That restaurant experience was like making a record while learning how to play guitar. Besides, the restaurant just burned down.”
Back to music
That was just the incentive Moby needed to delve back into his music.
The artist launched a free music Web site for student and indie filmmakers (mobygratis.com), became part of the NYC band The Little Death and released the CD, A Night in NYC, in conjunction with the New York Times.
Moby was ready to make a new record, but he wanted to do things differently this time.
“I wanted to make a different record,” Moby said. “I wanted the record to be more introspective and atmospheric sonically. The music that means the most to me is emotional and atmospheric.
“I decided to record the project in my home bedroom and not go into a studio. I didn’t want to make a generic record that was overproduced — I wanted to make something that was more interesting sonically.”
Moby released Wait For Me this summer, and the artist’s proud to have moved into a less commercial music zone.
Director David Lynch inspired Moby’s musical and philosophical directions on the new record. The musician attended a lecture in the U.K. where the filmmaker advised artists to express themselves through integrity.
“When you’re involved in the Top 40 commercial world, you have to make so many compromises,” Moby said. “That’s why when you produce something generically, it’s just not interesting.
“I wanted to create something that had integrity and I didn’t want to compromise with this record. This is not a club record — it’s quiet and atmospheric. It makes sense to play it with headphones on a rainy Sunday morning.”
Moby also is flexing his activist muscles, using his music to aid worthwhile causes.
“I was raised in a family of activists,” Moby said. “I want to have a meaningful life spent helping other people. As a public figure, one can draw assistance to good causes.
“My intent is to use fame to draw attention to issues. You can see where artists like Bono have used their fame to make the world a better place.”
Moby recently used his musical prestige to help the state of California.
A few weeks ago, the performer donated proceeds from three concerts to the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.
“The state was cutting funding to these programs that work with women, so I donated all the revenue I made from the shows,” Moby said. “This affects the California shelter system and I’m hoping other people will give money to the cause.
“Every penny counts and this was the right thing to do. Life is short, and I don’t want to spend all my time just enriching myself. I want to help others.”
Moby’s now ready to hit “etown.”
“I work with some environmental organizations, so I agreed to do ‘etown,'” Moby said. “The show seems the perfect fit for my ethos. The issues that ‘etown’ covers make sense.”
Moby has long-term plans to fuse his music and worthy causes. The artist’s touring to promote his new record, but he plans to help out more organizations with his innovative music.
“I just want to make music ’til the day I die,” Moby said. “I want to work with different charitable organizations and spend time with friends. That’s what matters.”