Entertainment Music Ten years sober, electro king Moby is back with a new album
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Ten years sober, electro king Moby is back with a new album

MOby releases his 15th studio album
Moby playing with David Bowie in 2002. Photo: Getty
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Veteran electronic producer Moby found fame in 1999 with his breakthrough album Play, which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.

But ironically, at the peak of his fame, Moby was at his most depressed – drinking too much, taking drugs and unable to hold down a long-term relationship.

The longest to this day has only been 10 months (and that’s excluding destructive non-monogamous ones that he says went on forever in between).

In October this year, he celebrates 10 years of being sober. He quit booze and drugs after too many one-night stands, which wore him down emotionally.

The event that tipped him over the edge was when a woman he woke up beside the following afternoon had a bedpost covered in backstage passes.

“I was a notch in someone’s belt,” says Moby.

“I didn’t like that feeling and wanted to end that pattern of having sex with strangers right away.

“I tended to date women who were emotionally unavailable – exactly what my mother [Elizabeth] was when I was growing up,” he recalls.

“Mum and I became friends as I got older, but she was busy trying to get her life together by dating gang-member, biker guys and working a day job when I was young, and I suffered as a result of it,” he says.

The 52-year-old, who lives between LA and New York, has just released his 15th studio album, Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, an album locked in fragile emotion and trip-hop-inspired beats.

The techno nerd who became a rock star celebrated for his penchant for blues, soul and shoe-gazing sorrow, now tackles life’s big issues of love, loss and moving on.

Born in Harlem, Moby moved to Connecticut at the age of three – a year after his father died in an alcohol-related car crash in New York.

Moby at an animal equality gala in Los Angeles last December. Photo: Getty

It was a life-changing moment for his artist mother (she was a water colourist) – who lived on welfare and food stamps thereafter, and relocated to be closer to her parents.

When Moby speaks about his life reflecting on that past, it’s as if he’s somewhat detached from it.

“I never knew my father, so you can’t really miss someone you don’t know. My mother never spoke of him either,” he says.

He wrote an autobiography titled Porcelain in 2016, which he says was inspired by Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles. It reveals many Moby on- and off-road adventures and debauchery.

The famous vegan chose the animal-free lifestyle at 29 and opened his first vegan café in New York’s East Village, called Teeny, back in 2002. Now he has a restaurant in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of LA called Little Pine which is hugely popular.

These days he’s much happier being sober, hanging at dinner parties with good friends including the late Lou Reed’s partner Laurie Anderson, and feminist Gloria Steinem.

“I’m all about females ruling the world,” he says. “I’m done with patriarchy and think women should be running the planet.

“I told a bunch of feminists that at a dinner table recently – they all looked at me – I was nervous but glad I said it because it’s true.”

Moby’s new album Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt is out now on Pod via Inertia Music.

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