Moby Explores space in new video

Singer describes high school nerdiness, accepts Barack Obama as a fellow nerd

Steve Baltin

In Moby’s latest video, “Lie Down In Darkness,” the singer once again explores the final frontier, space. “I realize it’s another video involving outer space and astronauts,” he says in this exclusive first look at a Behind The Scenes making of the video. “If I look back at all the videos I’ve made I’d say at least 50 percent of them, or 60 percent of them have some outer space or astronaut theme.  Basically I’m a science fiction nerd and also in my heart of hearts I kind of wish I were an astronaut.”

When did he first realize he wanted to be an astronaut? “I remember being about three years old and watching the moon landing with my grandparents at the time. I was completely transfixed, but at one point I turned to my grandfather and I said, ‘This is pretty good, but it’s not nearly as good as ‘Star Trek,’” he tells Rolling Stone. “I didn’t know that Star Trek was fiction, so I’ve been, maybe this is something I shouldn’t admit in polite company, but I’ve been a sort of obsessive sci-fi nerd and science nerd since I was really young.”

He seems a little shy about revealing his nerdiness, but in an age when everyone’s celebrity crush, Mila Kunis, is a self-professed Trekkie, nerds are cool. As someone who had garbage thrown on him in high school though, Moby has a bit of problem with all these so-called nerds.

“What I’ve noticed in the last maybe 10 or 15 years suddenly every public figure claims that they were a nerd when they were growing up,” he says. “And I take slight issue with that because I really was and I think there are certain questions that would have to be asked of people who claim that they were nerds in high school. Question number one, did you work in the AV department? I, for four years, worked in the AV department. I guess question number two would be how many Star Trek books have you read? That’s the true depth of my shameful nerdom is I believe I’ve read the vast majority of Star Trek books and there are hundreds of them.”

He and comedian John Hodgman, known for his work on The Daily Show, are working now on a nerd exam. “John Hodgman and I were talking about how we would set up sort of like a litmus test for basically establishing firm criteria for who in fact in high school was a sad tragic nerd,” Moby says. One person who did pass the test, President Barack Obama. “John Hodgman was the comedian at the correspondent’s dinner and at one point Obama reached up and did the live long and prosper hand signal, and at that moment John Hodgman knew he was in the presence of another full-fledged nerd.”

So nerd status is granted by doing the live long and prosper hand signal made famous by Mr. Spock of the original Star Trek? Fair enough, but admittedly Moby may be a little biased. "Growing up he was the one I related to the most and also he was the chief science officer so he got to play with all the cool electronic equipment," Moby says of why Spock was his favorite. "So when I was growing up and I told people I wanted to be a scientist what I really meant was I wanted to spend my days playing with cool electronics equipment and oddly enough that’s what my life has turned into."