Why Moby Says He Won’t Compose Music for Movies

Written by: Rachel Goodman – October 25th, 2019 6:26am PT

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Music producer Moby has sold 20 million records worldwide and has some of the most listened to songs in society, however, there’s one thing he says he won’t do: scoring for films.

In an interview with Popcorn Talk Network host Ileana Douglas on her show The Film Scene, Moby dished on the difference between making his own music and creating songs specifically for film, and why composing for a movie is something he never plans on doing. For a musician with songs that seem to come naturally out of a critically acclaimed sci-fi or fantasy movie, this news sounds quite surprising.

We’ve all heard Moby’s music even if we don’t realize it. Just a quick listen to his most-played song on Spotify—Porcelain—and many people would recognize the electronic beat used in the film The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, Moby’s music has graced countless film and TV shows from The Bourne Identity franchise, to X-Files, to even Stranger Things. It seems only logical that the producer would want to compose music for film since so many directors crave his music and incorporate it into their cinematic vision.

But that isn’t how Moby works at all. 

“What I love doing is licensing music to movies. It’s so fun and easy,” Moby relayed. “You know, like, some music supervisor, some director, some producer calls you up and says, ‘hey, we want to use your song in this movie,’ and all you do is just say yes, and then you get to go to the movies and sort of bask in the reflective glory in their use of your song.”

Moby’s music has been licensed in films by directors such as Michael Mann, Oliver Stone, and Danny Boyle, to name a few. Yet, for a musician whose music falls naturally in line with the silver screen, his aversion to composing for film remains.

“I tried being a composer for a friend of mine’s movie. I can’t do it,” Moby said. “I know how to write music for myself, I don’t know how to write music for films, cause it’s such a specific skill and the people who do it are so good at it.” 

Moby added, “Why should I, like, intrude on their livelihood to do something I don’t know how to do. I’m perfectly happy to just like sit in my little studio and make music that most likely no one will ever listen to.”

“Right!” Douglas responded with laughter. “Everyone in the world has listened to it!”

For now, even if we won’t see Moby composing for film, he’s still around and handling a few different projects. He recently released the song “I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again” as part of the You Don’t Know collaborative album. You can also read his latest memoir Then It Fell Apart published through Penguin Group. Plus, if you’re in Los Angeles, you can check out his vegan restaurant Little Pine, established in 2015, and named one of the top twenty vegan restaurants in the United States. 

If you want even more from Moby, including his favorite movies, his thoughts on Annie Hall, and his views of Nickelback, be sure to check out the full interview with Popcorn Talk Network at the link above!

About The Author:

Rachel Goodman is a Los Angeles based actress, host, and writer originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. In college, Rachel wrote for the Penn State Abington Literary Review and was an editorialist for The Lion’s Roar and The Montgomery County Ticket.

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