That Time Mike Patton Interviewed Moby About Area:One, Fantômas & Stomach Stapling

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Moby released his seventh album, Hotel, in 2005. Instead of doing a typical interview with him for our print edition, we somehow convinced Mike Patton of Fantômas and Faith No More fame, to chat with Moby. However, Patton didn’t listen to the album in advance of their chat. What resulted was an awkward conversation about Moby’s Area:One festival, John Kerry, stomach stapling and Patton’s band, Fantômas.

Mike Patton: A couple years ago you organized a tour called Area:One. From what I understand it was a financial bomb; a massive loss of money, and promoters were devastated. Looking back, do you think if one of my bands was on the bill it would have done better?

Moby: Well, I don’t mean to be disagreeable, but [Area:One] actually did quite well. The line-up was great: New Order, Outkast, The Roots, me, Incubus, etc. It certainly would’ve been improved by including one of your bands, especially Fantômas.

Mike Patton: A follow-up question: So I’m assuming you fired your manager, your lawyer, your publicist and your booking agent after that debacle, huh?

Moby: I’m glad to see that we’re starting out on such amicable footing. Again, I don’t mean to be disagreeable, but it wasn’t a debacle — not at all. [The tour] was actually quite successful from both a financial and from a creative perspective. That’s why a year later we followed it up with Area:2 with the same promoters and agents.

Mike Patton: One last follow-up. I heard rumors that you like one of my bands, Fantômas. How come you have never made a good offer for me to open for you? Afraid? Huh? You are made of cash, dude. Your fans are open-minded.

Moby: Yes, I love Fantômas. I’m getting the feeling from the tone of these questions that my appreciation of your work might not necessarily be reciprocated. Oh well.

Mike Patton: I heard that you licensed every song off of one your records to various corporations. Where do you draw the line? Is there any company that you would not license music to? What if Outback Steakhouse was interested? What if the Klan chose one of your tunes for their theme song?

Moby: Back when I played in hardcore bands, I remember some of my die-hard punk rock friends saying that anyone who charged money for a 7″ or for a show was a commercial sell-out. So the truth is that any of us who have ever accepted money for our creative services has sold-out. So unless you’ve never accepted money for your music I assume that you have chosen to join me and almost every other musician on the planet in the sell-out-club. To address your question, I choose to license my music to TV shows and movies and advertisements because it’s been a way to bypass what has traditionally been a very conservative radio environment and still get my music heard.

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Mike Patton: You didn’t vote for that green party twit Nader, did you?

Moby: No, I didn’t. I campaigned and voted for Al Gore in 2000 and for John Kerry in 2004.

Mike Patton: I didn’t vote because none of that shit matters.

Moby: That’s a very responsible and mature position…I wonder if the families of the 125,000 dead Iraqis might agree with you? Or the families of the 3,000 dead American soldiers? Or, perhaps the soldiers who have lost limbs? The soldiers who have put their lives on the line for a war waged on false precepts? I have a feeling that they might be of the opinion that voting is, in fact, quite important.

Mike Patton: Didn’t you think it was a joke that all these music industry hipsters actually thought that Kerry was cool or that he cared about them? Gary Coleman is way cooler and he knows how to shoot a gun!

Mike Patton: About your new record [Hotel]. I haven’t had time to listen to it. Been too busy killing video game prostitutes. Is it more of the same electronic wallpaper shit or did you try something different?

Moby: If you get the chance, watch Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry. It’s a remarkable documentary and it might make you think differently about Senator Kerry. John Kerry was shot three times in Vietnam. When either Gary Coleman, you, or I are shot in the line of duty, then I believe we’ll have earned the right to criticize John Kerry. Again, watch Going Upriver: the Long War of John Kerry and then we’ll talk.

Mike Patton: Has anyone mentioned to you that you remind them of GG Allin? Not sure if it is the look or the music. Ever wore a diaper onstage?

Moby: A lot of us little bald guys look the same. I’ve never worn a diaper onstage, but I’m in no way opposed to diaper wearing for fun or profit.

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Mike Patton: Are you comfortable with your sexuality? Do you date anyone over 80 lbs? The reason I ask is that it seems that rock stars have something against fat people. What’s up with that? You would date Carnie Wilson, wouldn’t you?

Moby I’ve dated thin women. I’ve dated un-thin women. I would actually much rather date a woman who had curves and wasn’t emaciated. And I believe that Carnie had her stomach stapled on TV, so she’s no longer the zaftig, Rubenesque object of desire that you might imagine.

Mike Patton: I saw that movie The Passion of the Christ. Man, that dude really got his ass kicked. Have you ever had your ass kicked? I’m assuming you’ve never been crucified. Jesus even forgave the Jewish people that did it to him. Would you be able to forgive those pricks?

Moby: Probably not, unfortunately.

Mike Patton: About your new record [Hotel]. I haven’t had time to listen to it. Been too busy killing video game prostitutes. Is it more of the same electronic wallpaper shit or did you try something different?

Moby: As far as I know it’s not electronic wallpaper shit. Well, the first disc isn’t. I guess the second disc, Hotel:Ambient, could easily be considered electronic wallpaper shit. The first disc is more song oriented and wouldn’t really, from my perspective, be considered wallpaper shit. You might disagree, but it’s primarily composed of drums, guitars, and singing (although I freely admit that singing isn’t really my strong point). No Lionel Richie covers, though.

Mike Patton: Call or e-mail me if you need my booking agent’s info. I’d go to any country for the right offer. Besides Fantômas, I could tour with my Kaada/Patton project, the X-ecutioners or with Rahzel. I’m flexible.

Moby: I’m sure we’d have a lot of fun. We could talk about politics, stomach stapling, Ipecac, liberation theology, and a whole bunch of other fun things. It would be a blast.

Darren Ressler

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