Back in 1999 Moby, trekked to Indio, California, to perform at the first-ever Coachella: "I remember Paul Tollett, who's one of the guys who started Coachella, told me he had this idea of starting a festival in the middle of the desert," he recalls. "And it seemed like a remarkable idea, but in my short-sightedness I didn't expect it to work."
Sitting backstage at Rolling Stone's Rock Room 14 years later, you'd imagine the DJ and producer would feel pretty good about being wrong on that one. Moby took some time to talk about finishing a new record, a process he found incredibly liberating in the context of declining album sales.
"That way I can make albums purely for the love of making albums," he says. "My criteria for evaluating the music is: am I enjoying making it, do I love it, do my friends seem to like it? But there's no commercial criteria. 'Cause if there was commercial criteria, I'd be depressed."
Moby also talked about the difference between his techno-heavy DJ sets and his more nuanced, quieter original material, as well as getting bored with the repetitive nature of touring and why our chair just happens to remind him of 30 Rock.
Interview by Steve Baltin; text by Jon Blistein.