Moby, born Richard Melville Hall, has traveled the world, played for stadiums full of adoring fans and sold over 20 million albums worldwide, but now he is putting on a new hat; that of visual artist. With his recent Los Angeles exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery and new book of photography titled, "Destroyed," Moby has turned the lens on his own life, capturing moments of crowd euphoria and the occasional lonely moment in the wee hours of the morning. HuffPost Arts asked Moby a couple of questions about his forays into photography and how "Destroyed" shows a side of the artist that has previously been shielded from the public eye.
This new book and show seems to be an exercise in isolation, do you feel as though this project is a kind of coping mechanism for your unrelenting schedule?
Yes, definitely. In all honesty: I don't really like touring. I can't complain about it, and I love playing live, but I don't really like living in airports and being away from home for months and months. So I take pictures as a way of both making sense of the strange environments in which I find myself and also as a way to stave off touring boredom and exhaustion.
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How do you negotiate a career that is inherently social and outgoing in nature with the loneliness of travel? Is it like a switch that you can turn on and off?
Touring isn't all that social. The performing part is only social in that it involves me standing on stage in front of big groups of people, but most of touring is really quite solipsistic.
Imposing architecture and often-overlooked pieces of our urban landscape seem to be a major subject for your work, have you always been fascinated by these subjects or was it only after a prolific career of touring did you start to notice these characters?
For as long as I can remember I've been in love with empty and over-looked spaces and buildings. There's something calm and beautiful about spaces and things which are generally overlooked and undocumented. Maybe it's why I loved dechiricho and Edward Hopper so much when I was growing up.
Your new album sounds a bit more introspective than your previous work, is 'destroyed' a catharsis of sorts? How easily did this album come to you comparatively?
Well, the liberating thing about the demise of the record business is that as no one buys records anyway, you don't really have to worry about record sales... To that end, I made 'Destroyed' as a more atmospheric, introspective album without any concern for record sales or commercial success. I don't know if it's cathartic, but, simply, I love trying to represent my subjective inner experiences and perspectives through more atmospheric music.
How have you learned to use all of the elements at your disposal (crowds, eerily empty airports) to create a unique composition?
I grew up in a strange artistic family. My uncle was a photographer, my other uncle was a sculptor, my mother and grandmother were painters. So I believe I was around discussions of form and aesthetic criteria from a really early age. I've been taking pictures and looking at pictures since I was quite young. So I think that my brain is, for better or worse, hard wired to see fairly formal compositional structures.
On your website, you include photos that your fans have contributed to this aesthetic if I am correct, how did the idea come about to include submissions and what have you gained by viewing other interpretations of this same idea?
It's the fascinating dialectic that's possible these days. One person makes something (a song, a picture, a piece of art) and puts it out into the world. Other people are then free to re-interpret it or re-work it or be inspired by it and respond with their own creation. I guess it's the opposite of solipsistic art.