Moby was born in New York, but grew up in suburban Connecticut. He studied classical guitar, played in punk bands and worked as a DJ while studying philosophy and photography. He loved house, hip-hop and experimental music. When he began making music, all those sounds came into play. His albums have sold more than 20 million copies and his songs have been used in countless films, TV shows and commercials. His latest, Destroyed, is accompanied by a book of photos he took on his last tour.

Did you take a new approach when composing the music on Destroyed?

I don’t like touring, so I gave myself two projects to occupy my time. I documented the tour, taking as many photos as possible, and wrote the songs for the next album. Most were started in hotels late at night, when I had insomnia, and finished in my home studio. Rather than sit around and let the fact that I can’t sleep bother me, I stay busy writing music. Some [songs were written] on acoustic guitar, others on a laptop using ProTools and headphones. Almost every aspect of writing and recording is quiet, except playing drums, so I didn’t bother anybody. Ironically, when I’m in my home studio, I tend to hear my neighbors more than they hear me.

Destroyed is accompanied by a book of your photos also called Destroyed. Do the pictures and music compliment each other?

They were made by the same person at the same time and inspired by the same events. They may work together or may not, but by the time I released them, my objectivity was completely gone. I’m the worst person to ask about the relationship between the music and the pictures.

Until recently, you waited tables at a small restaurant you owned in New York. Do people recognize you when you’re not being Moby?

I’m a short, bald, middle aged white guy and there are a lot of short, bald, middle aged white guys in the city. It’s easy to be anonymous, especially if I’m washing dishes or taking out garbage. I didn’t have the skill set to do any of the other jobs in the restaurant. I used to clean houses with my mom when I was young, so I’m comfortable with manual labor. If I’m willing to have someone do a job for me, I’m willing to do it too. Carrying a bag of stinking garbage to the dumpster and chasing away the rats that are living in it is about as menial as menial can get, but I was comfortable doing it.

– J. Poet