Photo by Melissa Danis. This post ran originally on THUMP Canada.
If someone had said last year, "Moby will save the republic," a sane person would have replied, "Yes, I totally agree." Because that's what one does with people spouting insane-sounding ideas: one agrees, and moves a couple bar stools down. But we're living in perfectly insane times, and obeying the "any port in a storm" dictum, the techno veteran and Facebook animal post innovator is as good a savior as any.
When he posted on multiple social media platforms that Trump's Russian ties were verifiable and damning this week, we cheered as loud as anyone. Moby seems like a genuinely good guy, and even if some of his claims feel a bit John Schindler-esque in their reliance on unnamed pals and general affection for the deep state, the New York Times published a story days later confirming his intelligence was at least part right. While not every allegation he's made has been proven yet, every generation gets the Nostradamus it deserves.
While he's frequently regarded as an electronic music pioneer, rarely does he receive praise for his unassailable foresight throughout history. To help rectify that, we've rounded up ten people, bands, and dietary movements that Moby was right about (and when we say "right," we mean "right enough"), from Eminem to veganism.
"Nobody listens to techno" is one of the all-time great burns in popular music, but in 2017, Eminem is still rapping about raping and killing women. So fuck him. Point: Moby. (Extra point: techno is still kicking.)
Well before Interpol ushered in the Forever War of baritone sensuality and buh buh buh buh bass lines, Moby was one of the only marquee names on the 1995 Joy Division tribute album, A Means To An End. He covered "New Dawn Fades" and it was solid.
File this one in the "not necessarily 'good'" category, but keep in mind that credit must be given where it's due. Moby saw the writing on the wall about getting rich as a musician before almost everyone. He licensed the holy hell out of every track on his 1999 album, Play, and now we all can purchase our new automobiles and know exactly what's the appropriate soundtrack for driving three blocks to the nearest Whole Foods.
In 1997, when submitting his cover of Mission of Burma's "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" to MTV, he was asked by the network to change lyrics. He retitled the song "That's When I Realize It's Over," saying that he didn't think that the lyric change mattered. While seeing lyrics and words as secondary, and them being stripped of all meaning as acceptable isn't exactly "right," as both the aggressive inanity of the Chainsmokers' lyrics and Kellyanne Conway's entire existence prove, it was certainly prescient.
Before Moby got sober, he was supposedly a regular at this noted NYC shithole (since closed). I don't know that I ever saw him there, but all skinheads look alike to me. He was also for much of his career, before recently veering more into spirituality, a devout Christian. In both these lifestyle choices, Moby anticipated the 24/7 liquid hellfire we are currently wading in. Also, as for both Mars Bar regulars and all good Christians, the sweet release of death can't come soon enough.
Before Miley was doing Replacements covers with Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace, Moby saw the pop star's inner alt. He made a short film with her and the Flaming Lips in 2014. He gets no credit for the Flaming Lips post-Embryonic—probably nobody wants credit for that..
My editor suggested this one. Having never actually listened to Moby before today, I'm going to have to take his word for it. I'm more a Staples Singers kind of guy, but finding ten things that Moby was right about isn't as easy as your parents told you, so let's just say "yes, prevalence of gospel choirs in popular music."
While not exactly ahead-of-the-curve on this one, he's still empirically correct that animals are very fine indeed. He also gets points for being a longtime animal rights advocate without descending into Morrissey-style borderline racist misanthropy.
Reasonable people can disagree as to whether VOID or Los Crudos were the greatest hardcore band of all-time, but Moby is a VOID guy through and through, and wears the t-shirts to prove it. As a former member of punk groups himself, it's unlikely that a stylist chose any of his apparel, and as with all of us grown-ass adults still wearing band t-shirts, he looks kind of silly in them.
Zachary Lipez is on Twitter.