Global icon, musician, and animal rights activist, Moby (né, Richard Melville Hall) has lived many lives right before the gazes and judgment of the world.
Self-discovery is a continual process that each time, when done right, unravels a new purpose and even newer challenges. This conversation is about the rise and fall of ego, fame, fortune, self-destruction, and eventually self-rediscovery and redemption.
Moby came onto the entertainment scene with his 1991 single, ‘Go’ — the start of a remarkable critical and commercial success. He went on to sell over 20 million records globally; especially with his 1999 album ‘Play’. In the interview, Moby describes the success of the PLAY album as unanticipated. Each track on the record was licensed to films, television shows, and commercials making it one of the most licensed albums in history.
The accomplishments brought in a wave, and he rode it. Alcohol and drugs became part of that wave, even missing his mother’s funeral because he was passed out drunk in bed.
Moby’s journey to healing, self-peace, and sobriety has not been all unicorns and rainbows. In spite of living the dream life and having the world at his feet, the peak of his career was a period when he suffered deep depression. He sought to turn the course of his fears into a vision of purpose. By, regaining control of his life – sobering up since 2008, finding spirituality that works for him, and crystalizing his imperfect, yet extraordinary life and career in his new documentary, Moby Doc.
Moby doc is the creative, offbeat, wry, music-filled chronicle of an eventful life examined. filled with existential discussions, extraordinary concert footage, deep cuts from 30 years of moby’s music, unconventional narrative, quirky animation, rare clips, and thoughts from moby’s friend David Lynch, it’s a vibrant, eclectic conversation between a man and his past. as music and a commitment to veganism and animal rights guide him, moby delves into himself to share honestly what he’s gone through, what it might mean to others, how he turned confusion about life into the beauty of art…and why the answers to some of the deepest questions we can ask as human beings may not be found in the way we’re actually living.
It was an honor to have this conversation with this remarkable artist and human being. Please, enjoy my sit-down with the iconic, Moby.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 011
Alex Ferrari 0:22
I'd like to welcome to the show Moby How you doing Moby?
I'm good. Thank you. How are you?
Alex Ferrari 2:40
Very good. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I have had the pleasure of watching your documentary. And it is it is jaw dropping, to say the least. It's wonderful. And I think it's I think it's needed in the world today, in so many ways to kind of get this message out. But I have to ask you right off the bat, what made you want to do such a revealing in raw documentary about your life's experience?
Well, over the last 12 years, especially since I got sober, I've really come to appreciate people who are willing to tell their stories, you know, whether it's just strangers at a meeting, or someone writing a memoir, or someone in a documentary, like I've just developed so much appreciation and gratitude for other people willing to tell their stories. And I realize now at this point in my life, like I've been around for a little while. I've had some odd, unique experiences. And I just thought that if I'm grateful for other people telling their stories, I need to be willing to tell mine.
Alex Ferrari 3:45
Yeah, and love By the way, I love the the figures and the like little like almost puppet shows and things like that you were telling some of the darker stuff in the documentary was a really wonderful way of directing and telling that story, as well. Now, when you were coming up, how did you you know, like all artists like music video, like music artists, or filmmakers, or anyone coming up? How did you deal with failure? You know, when you were on your way up trying to break through? How did you deal with that failure on a day in day out?
Well, I mean, I've been playing music since I was about nine years old. And I never even up until the time I was I'm 16 or 17. I never thought of myself having a career as a musician. And then when I guess I was around 19 or 20. I started thinking that maybe I could possibly have a career as a musician. But my goals were so humble. Like really all I wanted was a regular DJ gig and the ability to you know, make a couple of records, you know, make a couple of singles 12 inches. That may be a few people wanted to play beyond that. I didn't really have much ambition. So almost everything that's happened has been really surprising. And failure failure is really interesting because on one hand, and to state the obvious No one likes failure, you know, but on the other hand, failure is such a great teacher, you know, and then there are times when failure is actually a protector, you know, I mean, there have been times in my life when I've wanted to do something, I've wanted to pursue something, and I've ended up failing. And in hindsight, realized, oh, that I'm actually grateful for the fact that I failed because it protected me from making even worse mistakes.
Alex Ferrari 5:39
Yeah I would agree with you. 100%. At the time, failure sometimes feels like the end of the world. But then a few months, a few years down the line, you're just like, Oh, my God, thank God, I dodged that bullet.
Alex Ferrari 5:51
Now, when you were in, when you were coming up that part of the documentary when you were in the the abandoned factory, or something along those lines, was that almost like a, an art commune almost like, there's a bunch of other artists there, and it was so raw, and it just when I saw that, I was like, it just You mean, being a fan of yours all these years and listening to your music as like this. This makes sense as an origin story of where that music, that energy came up, because you were basically free to do whatever you wanted in that space. Right? Almost.
Yeah. I mean, I spent, actually, I all totaled, I spent about 15 years living in decommissioned factories. The one that's in the one that's in the movie was the most decommissioned of them all in that I didn't have running water, I didn't have a bathroom. You know, and it was in the middle of a crack neighborhood. And I want us I wish that there had been more of a community. But the truth is, it was too unpleasant for most people to want to live there. Like there. There was one photographer, there was one filmmaker, but the compound was so massive. I mean, there's this huge 19th century factory. So I would go days in the factory complex and never see another human being. So it was actually a very solitary existence, in the abandoned factory.
Alex Ferrari 7:19
But you got to play in a way that you might have not been able to play with your own music, and very loudly and everything because there's nobody around. So you got to kind of DJ practice DJing, if you will.
Well, and I have my the beginnings of a small recording studio there. So you know, I had my first, you know, guitar, guitar, amp sampler, sequencer, synthesizer. And, yeah, the beauty of it, you know, it didn't have heat, it didn't have running water didn't have a bathroom, but it had free electricity. Wow. Someone had wired it for free for electricity. So I could work on music. And it's something that's missing from a lot of, I think young people's lives today is the ability to pursue your craft, and not go broke, you know, because back then this is this is back in the 80s, you could find a place to live almost anywhere that was really inexpensive. It was dangerous. It was disgusting. But it was cheap. Whereas now I look at like, LA, San Francisco, London, New York, Toronto, all these cities. I don't know how any 2021 year old artists can afford to live in these places. And back then all of my friends who are aspiring young artists and musicians, you could live anywhere if you are willing to live in an incredibly dirty, dangerous environment,
Alex Ferrari 8:39
right. And that's what youth is for, in many ways to deal with. You can handle that stuff, things that you could handle in your 20s you really just don't want to handle in your 40s
ideally, not Yeah. as I've gotten older, I've definitely come to appreciate like clean sheets, running water, a bathroom, kitchen, with food in the fridge, etc. You know, like the creature comforts have come to be a little more attractive.
Alex Ferrari 9:04
Yeah, exactly. No, I want to ask you that. What drew you to music in the first place as your preferred art form? Well,
I grew up in a very strange home. You know, we were very, very poor. There was a lot of addiction and violence in the home that I grew up in. And so I gravitated towards things that gave me a sense of comfort and foremost sanctuary. And two things in particular, that really made me feel safe when I was growing up were animals and music. And so for most of my life, I've been an animal rights activist and a musician, and music. The phenomenal thing about music is, whether you're listening to it, whether you're making it whether you're releasing it, is you're essentially creating a unique world, your story you're stepping into a world and And the world that I could step into in music was just so much more appealing than the world I actually lived in when I was growing up.
Alex Ferrari 10:08
Right. So just like a novelist would write a novel and they get lost in their world that they're creating your world was created in music.
Yeah, I mean, to a large extent, um, you know, and then other I also loved science fiction when I was growing up. So it's a similar thing, being able to step into other worlds. Um, I've never written science fiction, but like, with music, it was the best of both situations because I could either step into worlds that were created by other musicians or create my
Alex Ferrari 10:36
own. Now, when, when you were struggling to come up, you had what your first hit, which was go now when you How'd that happen? And then also, how did that affect your psyche? Your your spirit, your your energy when that happened, because it was unexpected from what I from what I gathered.
Yeah, so in 1989, I got my first ever real DJing job at my club in New York called Mars and Mars was this phenomenal nightclub, like, you know, it was a hip hop club, it was a house club, they played dancehall, reggae, and it was rammed with people, it was really exciting. And I got my first record deal as a result of working there. And the first single I released, go was the beside and the single, excuse me, sold around 1000 copies, which I thought was phenomenal. The fact that 1000 people had bought a piece of music that I've made, I thought that was just like, the greatest success in the world. And then I did a remix of the song go, and it became a hit single all throughout Europe. And I think ended up selling close to a million copies. And so, but at the time, I was living in an abandoned factory. So I was, you know, like, basically flying to the UK to do Top of the Pops and other TV shows, and making $2,000 a year and still like collecting cans to return them at the recycling center at the local supermarket. that most of the trippy is all I mean,
Alex Ferrari 12:12
like you're like, on the other side of the world, you're like huge, and people know who you are, and you're on shows, and then you come back home and you're collecting cans just to make a living. It's insane.
I mean, I thought it was okay, it didn't, I guess it is surprising. But because I grew up very poor I was you know, like everyone, my family, we were all very poor and very sort of weirdly, okay with being poor, you know, like, so like when I growing up, we never bought new clothes, we never bought new shoes, it was everything was secondhand. But that was sort of it just felt normal to me. So like, if I needed money to buy groceries, I would go out and collect cans and bottles and you'd make $5 and you'd go buy groceries, it was just sort of like a normal way of of living.
Alex Ferrari 12:56
Now, your your breakout hit album, because there's a couple of things you did prior to that. different genres of music and things, but play, but play, but play was really the thing that just put you on the map and what impact that had on that at the time that it came out.
Yeah, well, also, when play was released, I thought my career had ended. You know, I had lost my record deal. I was battling alcoholism and addiction. And I had sort of, even by the late 90s, I had sort of almost become a musical has been for a lot of people. So when play was released, it was released on a friend of mine record label. And we thought it would sell 50,000 copies around to sell over 10 million copies. And it the success of that is just even, it's the most surprising thing even more surprising than the success of that first song go because play. You know, this was the late 90s, early 2000s when pop music reigned supreme, you know, you had like, m sync and m&m and the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, you know, these huge pop records. And I made the album play in my bedroom on cheap equipment. And it sold as much as most of those pop records. It was just so like, it was so surprising. I almost felt like people had made a mistake when they were buying.
Alex Ferrari 14:20
And did you did you think that fame and fortune would fix all of your problems? Like so many people out there think that once you're famous and you've got money, you've got power and all this, all your life's problems go away? Did you feel that and obviously that the answers it didn't?
Well, that's one of the central themes of the movie of Moby doc is showing people the lengths that I went to, to try to fix my psychological issues or fixed personal issues through fame through external validation. And how I learned that I can't I can't you know, like, I can't use fame. I can't use a degree of affluence or material success, to fix psychological issues to fix internal issues. And as I show in the beginning of the movie, clearly, a lot of people have tried to do the same thing. You know whether it's a Vici, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, I mean, the list is just endless of people who probably assumed that fame was going to fix things. And paradoxically, it ends up sort of destroying things.
Alex Ferrari 15:34
Yeah. And you were one of the lucky ones, you made it out. Because that list is that list is not a very positive list at the end of their lives. So you were one of the lucky ones?
Yeah, I think so. And also, one of the things I'm really grateful for is that I've had this firsthand experience with fame, not just the experience of fame, but the assumptions around the experience of fame, you know, the assumption that fame is this magical thing that will fix all your problems. And so I can now try to talk to other people and say, Look, look at the evidence. You know, like, if fame and affluence made you happy, Donald Trump and Kanye would be the happiest people on the planet. And as far as we can tell, they are the two least happy people on the planet, you know, so it's, uh, but yet people keeps buying into it. They keep coming to LA to be an influencer or trying to be the next pop star. And I'm like, okay, there's nothing wrong with wanting to perform. There's nothing wrong with loving making music or movies or what have your acting. But if you expect public figure validation to fix any issues, it certainly it absolutely will not it will take those issues and twist them up and make them 1000 times worse.
Alex Ferrari 17:01
I think Jim Carrey said it once he's like, I wish everybody on the planet could get everything they've ever wanted, as far as fame and fortune is concerned. And so they understand that it's not the answer.
Yeah, yeah, he and I've actually had that conversation. It's, it's a hard realization to come to, because everything in our culture pushes that idea that like, fame and affluence will fix things. And again, there's nothing wrong with fame and affluent, but there is something wrong with expecting them to fix your psychological issues and to protect you from the human condition, you know, and so he's absolutely right, that it's only by experiencing things firsthand that you can really see what they are, you know, which is, I guess, in a way, it makes my movie potentially even pointless, because people might watch it and think, Oh, well, that Moby, he couldn't handle fame. But I can't read Oh, yeah,
Alex Ferrari 18:00
I can't, I can't. It's always that like, that person who put their hand in the fire. They got burned, but I won't. Yeah.
It's a pretty insidious process. And you just hope, that maybe by telling your story by having a cautionary tale, that someone might learn something from it.
Alex Ferrari 18:18
Yeah. And that's what I respect so much about the documentaries. It seems like you're trying to use your fame and have with your books as well, your memoirs, trying to put positivity out into the world trying to help people with the lessons you've learned, many, many artists who have gone through these things have gone up and down and up and down in their lives don't put themselves out there like you have, but you're truly trying to be of service to humanity at this point.
Trying I mean, I'm still there, still a very selfish part of me that likes being uncomfortable. You know, I like having a nice bed. I like you know, watching movies on a nice TV. I like eating nice food. But ultimately, I and it goes back to this quote that I read from the Dalai Lama A long time ago. And I'm not a Buddhist, I don't know that much about the Dalai Lama. But I read this quote, and he said, that the key to happiness is to not be selfish, you know, to be of service. And I read that when I was an alcohol, I was drinking a lot and doing a lot of drugs. And I hated that quote, because I wanted him to be wrong. I wanted I wanted the key to happiness to be selfishness. And, but then my selfishness led me to misery to anxiety to depression, to bottoming out as an alcoholic and a drug addict. And then over time, by getting sober and getting healthier, I realized, Oh, he's right. Like, it's this paradox that the more you try to be selfish, the less happy you'll be. And the more you try to be of service to others, the actual The less selfish you are, the happier you'll be. And it's, it's something that used to really frustrate me. But now I've made peace with,
Alex Ferrari 20:08
oh, I agree with you 100% when I started my shows, I started to be of service to my community, and my entire life changed. The second I started giving and giving and giving and giving doors open that was shut to me. And it's bad. It's magical. And I'm happier now than I've ever been in any time of my life, especially those times where you are like me, and why am I not getting these jobs? And why am I getting these opportunities? Why did that guy get her why she'd get and I didn't get it. That energy goes nowhere. But giving is the ultimate Happy Happy juice.
It. Yeah, it is that odd paradox. And again, maybe it's not true for everyone. Maybe there are some people who by being consumed with selfishness, they're gonna find happiness. But all I know, for me, I, I tried so hard for so long, to be really selfish. Just the more selfish I was, the more I went down the spiral of anxiety, depression and unhappiness.
Alex Ferrari 21:07
Yeah, without question. Now, the one thing I love to ask you is, Can you discuss the Battle of ego within this whole paradigm? Because ego is at the center I feel of selfishness is ego. So how did how did you kind of over finally overcome that battle with your own ego, which we all have to go through? And I know it's a daily battle? I mean, every ever it's always a daily battle. At its height of its power, the ego had you completely in its grip?
Well, ego, it's a really interesting question. And one that I've actually spent a lot of time trying to understand better. And in a way, like, there's a part of me that wishes, I could say that I have achieved transcendent levels of enlightenment. And I'm no longer in any way affected by ego. But I actually think that as long as we are human, there is ego. The question is, so it's almost not that. I don't know. And again, I'd love to be shown that I'm mistaken. But I think that the issue is not getting rid of the ego. It's examining it, you know, and understanding that a lot of times ego comes from fear, it comes from feelings of inadequacy, it comes from a desire to control our environment, but it never goes away. You know, and it's funny, because like, I can be meditating and think like, Oh, I'm finally like, achieving states of transcendence, and here, a car horn outside and want to punch the guy in the throat. So clearly, no one, no one escapes ego, I think what we do is we just, you try to learn from it, and you try, like, for me, it's a little bit like fire, like you try to avoid being burned by it, but you just accept, okay, it's there. You know, and I know, that's one reason why, like, I personally, I don't read reviews, I don't read articles about myself, if I'm on TV, I don't watch any. So I don't know anything about myself as a public figure. Because that's all ego, because if someone writes something good about me, it fuels my narcissism. And if someone writes something bad about me, it fuels my depression. And I'm like, so in a way, I'm not strong. My ego is too delicate, to expose it to the opinions of strangers, but it's still there.
Alex Ferrari 23:46
Now, in the documentary, you very clearly show that you were at a point in time on top of the world, and especially that time, and you were at the top of that hotel and bar is at Barcelona, I think it was, yeah, well, you had Madonna in one room, Bon Jovi, P. Diddy, and yourself. And those are the four penthouses, you essentially had everything that anyone could ever, you know, as far as fame and fortune is concerned, from outside, but inside that moment, and that specific moment or any time and during that time, you are screaming, unhappy. Can you explain to everybody what what were What were you thinking what was in the, in the mindset of like, you've got everything? Why are you unhappy? What was that thing that was causing the unhappiness for you? Well,
I guess it's, I had just assumed that to your point, that if I had all of those things, you know, figurative or literal, like, you know, whether it's a degree of money, fame, validation, record sales, big audiences, I just assumed that happiness would result. You know, almost like the effort I thought the effort was in creating this career. Once I expended the effort of baking, the career, happiness would just fall into place. And then all of a sudden, you have the career, you have the success, you're winning awards, you're making money. But the happiness isn't there. And what's terrifying in that moment, is you don't know what else to do. You know, if you spend your whole life, right thinking that climbing a mountain is going to fix all your problems, and you climb the mountain, you're on the top of the mountain, you're like, Oh, I still got the problems. And I don't have any other skill sets to use to address them. And it's a really, that's why in that hotel suite, I was, I actually felt like, I want to throw myself out the window, because I don't know what else to do. Like I've been given everything miserable. And I am terrified that I will never figure out how to actually find a degree of peace and well being
Alex Ferrari 25:53
now in in your books, as well as your, your documentary, you talk about depression a lot. You mentioned that in this conversation as well. How have you been able to overcome depression, because I think we all go through it a one wave stage form, but a lot of people really have a problem with it and dealing with it on a daily basis. What did you do to overcome it? Or we are now?
Well, I think in a way, I would, and this is overly broad. But for me, there are two components to depression, or two components to anxiety. Again, there are many, but broadly speaking, there's the physical and the neurological, you know, the physical, mental. And so one of the first things I'll do is almost figure out how have I, with this organism, this human body? How have I created an environment where depression might result? You know, that means like, you know, have I been eating junky food? Have I been resting enough? Have I been exercising enough? Have I been outside recently have I been in the presence of other human beings, so I like you know, these physical things. Because a lot of times, depression, or being ill at ease, is simply the result of like, oh, I've only eaten the garbage food for the last day, or I've had too much coffee and sugar I've had, you know, like, so that's half of it. And the other half is basically just just like, the multiple sort of modalities that I've learned over the years to sort of try and understand anxiety or depression better. And that can be, you know, different meditations. It can be 12 step programs, spirituality and prayer, it can be different types of therapy. But having what we call in pro step world, a toolbox that you're able to, like, reach into, and have these tools that help you to, you know, to better manage or deal with depression and anxiety.
Alex Ferrari 28:00
Now, during your journey, your life's journey. So far, I'm assuming there's been a lot of people or things have happened to you that you've held on to grudges, or I've been angry for, I'm assuming that you've had come to grips with a little bit of forgiveness in life, to be able to let go of things. What part of forgiveness has what part forgiveness has played in your spiritual healing, if you will? Well,
I mean, resentment, and anger, especially like resentment you've held on to, it's so easy to hold on to resentment and anger. I mean, it's, and I, there's a part of me that loves holding on to resentment. And, like I wanted, I want to judge everybody, you know, like, like, I want to walk down the street and criticize and judge, I want to spend time like thinking of the people who've done me wrong, and like, How I wish they would all like, you know, be in a car that drives off a cliff, like, sure. But then there's so many elements to resentment. And one of the biggest ones, for me, is the concept of omniscience. And what I mean by that is, in my human form, I'm not omniscient. I'm not God, I don't, I don't fully comprehensively understand anything. And a lot of times resentment is or judgment is based on the idea that you fully understand a person or a situation. And the moment I accept that I don't fully understand people in situations, it makes it impossible for me to hold on to resentment. You know, because I can't because the The other aspect of resentment is looking at someone or some situation and saying, oh, if things had been different, they'd be better. And the moment I realize that that's just simply not true. It makes holding on to resentment almost Impossible. And then recognizing that a lot of times like, the question is not Who should I resent? And why? The question is, what's the role? What's my fear telling me? You know, like, so if I resent a musician who's more successful than me that I shouldn't indulge the resentment, I should be like, Okay, what am I afraid of like, Okay, I'm afraid of getting older, I'm afraid of being less talented, I'm afraid of being less successful, I'm afraid of being invited to fewer cool events, I'm afraid like, and once you start having that conversation with yourself, the resentment sort of disappears.
Alex Ferrari 30:44
Because you're getting underneath the hood of, of resentment, which is,
ideally, I mean, look, luckily, I've been taught some practices that are really simple and direct and practical to help me deconstruct and understand resentment and hopefully be done with it.
Alex Ferrari 31:01
Now, you mentioned a couple times meditation in, in our conversation, I'm a heavy meditator, I meditate a couple hours a day, have been doing so for many years now. And it's completely transformed my life. What part has meditation helped you on your path? We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
In my experience, there are a few different types of, or categories of meditation. Like on one hand, there's one just basic idea around a lot of meditation, which is just simply Calm down, you know, just simply breathe a little deeper and just be more calm and more relaxed, like that is great. And then there's another, which we'll call like, a more sort of, cognitive level of meditation, where like mindfulness metta, and or like, the pasta meditation would be one, where you're just simply observing what's going on. You know, I find that to be incredibly helpful, like observing physical sensations, observing thoughts, observing anger, observing, lust, observing all these things, and you're just simply observing, like, you're not judging, you're not resenting you're just saying, there it is, you know, like, Okay, I've got an ache in my foot. There it is, I'm, you know, like, I'm mad at this person for doing something. There it is like, and so
Alex Ferrari 32:34
they're obviously, as you're aware of their many different types of meditation, but like, having a few different ones to choose from, based on, you know, what I'm going through what I'm hoping to accomplish is really helpful. Do you find when you meditate, do you find answers to questions that you might be asking in life come to you, in one way, shape, or form? Whether because you've just calm with all the noise down? That the answer just presents itself?
Oh, without question. Yeah, I mean, uh, well, what I'll say is, when that happens, it's great. It's wonderful, isn't it? It doesn't always happen. I mean, sometimes I'll meditate and I'll just be like, Ah, fuck, like, I'm three minutes into it. I'm already annoyed. I'm wrestling. Like, I just, I want to go check my phone. But if I can stick with it, like, I've never stuck with meditation and been disappointed, been truly disappointed. Right, you know, like, even just 510 20 minutes is great. Um, and you're right, because sometimes we think that, like, if we're angry, resentful, tense, we think that we need to use that anger intention to find the answer. And sometimes the answer simply be less angry, tense, and resentment.
Alex Ferrari 33:48
And, and everything. And the answer presents itself. It's very true. doesn't happen all the time. But when it happens, it's wonderful. It's wonderful. Now, you know, as an as an artist, I always love asking artists, this, especially artists that have accomplished what you've accomplished, when you how do you call up or channel the creative energy that comes through you in your music in your preferred art form? Like, what is that that zone or that place that you feel that this is coming from? I mean, obviously, it I mean, as me as an artist, I always I know it's coming from outside, I'm just a vessel, that kind of just things flow through me whether I'm writing or filmmaking, or whatever I'm doing. Is that the same for you?
Well, I hope so. Um, but at the same time, I mean, I just, I love working. And when I work, especially in the early creative part of any project, I don't put any pressure on myself, you know, so if I'm writing music, I'm not thinking about hit singles. I'm not thinking about record sales or reviews. I'm not thinking about streaming numbers. I'm just enjoying the process. I'm making it. And if it leads to something that ends up being commercially successful, that's, that's nice. But I'd say 99.9% of the time when I'm working on music, it's just for the love of working on music. And, but what I've also found is, and this is really self evident, but a lot of people have, I unfortunately have yet to figure it out, which is, if you're working on something, you increase the chances that you're going to make something good. If you're not working, you have removed the chances that you're going to make something good. You know, right. And so, because like some people I look at, you know, friends of mine who want to write a great screenplay, or write a great book, or take great pictures, or make great movies, and I'm like, well, you might want to work more, you know, like, like, smoking pot and playing video games probably is not going to yield the great screenplay and like, going to a barbecue or going on vacation might not yield, the great record you want to make I'm not saying people shouldn't take care of themselves,
Alex Ferrari 36:13
Um, like, if you're not working on music, you're not gonna make great music. If you're not working on writing, you're not gonna write anything great. Like, I there's countless books about, like the work habits of successful artists. And when I've taken the time to read them, there's this recurring thing of just keep working. Like, you just keep working. If you spend six months, and you don't make anything good. You spend another six months like you just you keep going, regardless of whether people like what you're doing or hate what you're doing, regardless of whether you're successful or not successful. The idea is like, every day, you work you try to move forward with whenever you're working.
Alex Ferrari 37:02
And I forgot who said it, but someone said that 80% of life is just showing up. And yeah, it's it's very, very true.
Well, especially like, yeah, I mean, what's that old expression like Fortune favors the well prepared? Yeah, so like, if you live in Los and like, if you live in Los Angeles, and you somehow meet a great, I don't know, light, if you're a singer, you meet a great producer, if your secretary meet a great director. meeting them is great. If you don't have the talent to back it up. And if you don't have the work ethic to back it up, right, you end up like Milli Vanilli, you end up like, you know, like, you become a one hit wonder as opposed to like, you know, fortune and encounters that will help. But talent and hard work and perseverance. That's what creates a life of creativity.
Alex Ferrari 38:00
Now, what is the biggest lesson you've learned on your life's journey so far?
Um, I guess the biggest lesson is that no human being has ever transcended the human condition. You know, like, it doesn't matter who you are, where you are, what your status is, the human condition gets everybody, you know, we all have to deal with it. Yeah, I mean, even like, if you are a billionaire, or you are broke, you end up at the same place. You know, like, no one is exempt from illness. No one. I mean, obviously, like some people, you know, like the billionaire has access to better health care, they're still going to get sick and die. And I feel like trying to have acceptance around that trying to have acceptance around the human condition, but also, compassion for the fact that we are all clueless, you know, we're all stumbling through a universe that we know nothing about. And the biggest question, there is no bigger question facing every living organism, which is what happens after you die. You know, and, and it would be different if we could say, well, there's a way to avoid death. But for the last three and a half billion years, as far as we know, everything that's ever lived, has died. So that question of like, what happens after we die? It's the biggest question. And, but it's also the most frustrating question, because we'll never know.
Alex Ferrari 39:39
just won't it's and, and that confusion is always there, even if we pretend to
Alex Ferrari 39:47
Amen. Apps. Absolutely. Now, what do you believe is your mission in this life?
My mission is threefold. It's gonna sound absurd. Because the problem, it's like it's so it's it is absurd. My first mission is to somehow try in my own tiny way to help humanity to stop being so idiotic. And what I mean by that is like, we're destroying the only home we have, burning through these resources. And we know better, like, we know not to put plastic in the oceans, but we keep doing it. You know, we know that we should not be burning oil and gas, like, we know these things. These are all self evident, like we're, but somehow we keep doing these stupid things, I just want to be one tiny voice trying to like, push the needle away from that, on the other is tried to be a tiny voice, to end the use of animals for food and clothing, what have you because I believe that every animal is entitled to its own life, like, you know, it's not our place to impose our will upon innocent defenseless creatures. And then the third is, I don't know who or what the divine is what God might be. But I love trying to figure it out. You know, and so I just, so that's Goal number three is to just in my own clumsy way, try to figure out what the divine might be. And if the divine exists, maybe it will help me to do a better job with the first two goals.
Alex Ferrari 41:40
Fifth, that's, that's a fair enough. Fair. I mean, some of those, like you said, like, ridiculous, because it's such a grand thing, like make people less idiotic. It's a pretty large goal. Because we are, we're almost self destructive in the way we do our we do our daily life. And it's, it's almost innate in human nature. It's insane that we have to kind of battle through this, I think we're better than we were 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago, but worse, in many other ways, been worse than many other ways.
It's hard to say, I am inclined to agree with you. But then I think about, like, at least 500 years ago, the terrible things we were doing weren't going to destroy the entire planet. Correct. Whereas now like, and you could almost argue that like 500 years ago, 200 years ago, people were doing terrible things. But they didn't know what the consequences were. Right. And now, we're doing terrible things, fully aware of what the consequences are, like. So it's, I think that if there are future generations, they're going to look back at humanity right now. And maybe say that, like, these were the actual Dark Ages, or barians. Because, you know, like, just the amount of suffering we create for others and for ourselves, and all of it is preventable,
Alex Ferrari 42:57
very much. So. And last question, what do you want this documentary to do for the world?
Well, it's a, it's a wonderful question. And what I've learned, or I hope I'm in the process of learning, is that when you are an anyone make something, when you put it out into the world, you have no idea what's going to happen. You know, and a lot of times, we want to, like, I know, I'm a control freak, I want to control how people experience what I make, and I want to control their reaction. But I also understand I can't write and so when I release a book, or a record, or a movie, or what have you, the one my one goal is I sort of say a prayer to like whoever the divine might be. I'm just like, you know what, let this if possible, be of service. That's it, you know, and I don't know who it will reach. I also don't know if it'll reach anyone, you know, it's quite possible. Like, I'll release a record, no one listened to it, I'll make a book, no one read it. And if that's the case, that's fine. But the it's the underlying idea of like, just releasing stuff in the hope that maybe it can help someone who sees it or listens to it. And if not, that's okay, too, like, if not, if it disappears, that's fine. As long as it's part of whatever the Divine Will might be.
Alex Ferrari 44:28
Maybe I appreciate you, my friend for your for everything you're doing and for putting this great content onto the world. Hopefully, it will help people but thank you for for being so raw and transparent with your journey and hopefully helps other people out there. So thank you, my friend.
Well, thanks. I feel like I like need to send you a Venmo for a therapy session.
Alex Ferrari 44:45
Anytime. Anytime is I'm open I'm I'm available here all week. Okay, my friend. Nice speaking with you pleasure, my friend.
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Links and Resources
- Moby – Website
- Moby Doc – Website
- Moby Doc – Watch
- Porcelain: A Memoir – Book
- Then It Fell Apart – Book
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