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Mad About Miami: Moby Loves White Room Most (And the Carl Cox Tent at Ultra)

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Being a Miami native, I'm always curious to hear what folks think about my hometown. And, as you might suspect, I'm not afraid to ask. When it's bold-faced name folks, I get even more curious. Not that their thoughts are any more or any less important than those of plain text folks, mind you; but that their thoughts do seem to get around more. And they're much more likely to have an impact too.

So here is  what I hope will be the first in an occasional series called Mad About Miami, where I ask some bold-faced names to come clean about Miami. And it is with great good pleasure that I begin with no less a name than Moby.

Here we go now, after the jump -- and get a free MP3 from Moby, too.

New Times: Do you recall coming down to perform Crobar's big South Beach opening back in 2000?

Moby: Sure. I did Crobar twice. And the first time was New Year's Eve 1999/2000. My friend Claudia [Gessel] was working there then. And [laughs], um, it was New Year's Eve and it was the millennium and the world didn't end. And I remember it ended up being quite a crazy night. A friend of mine ended up in the hospital. If we were just hanging out and this wasn't for press I'd tell you one of the funniest stories anyone could ever hear. [He told me off the record, and it is hilarious.]

When did you play Crobar again? Did you do a live set or a DJ set?

I've played Miami so many times over the years, uh...

I remember Studio A, and I remember a bunch of Ultras.

... I know I played Crobar twice, I just don't remember when. But yeah, the last few times I've played there I played either Ultra or much smaller places.  

When you do come down here, what's your favorite place to hang out?

Um, [laughs]...

I know you hung out at White Room the last time you were here.

Is that the one with the outdoor space?

Yeah, that's it.

That's in the Design District or something, right?

Close. Just north of Downtown.

Yeah, that bar in particular I liked because it sort of reminds me of the Lower East Side where I live in New York, in that it's understated and relaxed and the beer is cheap. That was probably my favorite club to hang out at down there.

But usually when I'm in Miami [I hang with] my oldest friend in the world.  His name is Michael Meacham -- he owns a lighting company down there, used to work at Crobar. And my favorite place to hang out is his house because he's got three pugs. You know, given the choice of hanging out in a nightclub with 1500 people or eating spaghetti and watching Family Guy, surrounded by pugs, I think I would go with Family Guy, spaghetti and pugs.

That's funny. You did both live and DJ sets at Ultra, right?

I played Ultra live about four or five years ago and I DJed the last two years with Carl Cox in his tent.

Which do you prefer?

In general I prefer playing live. But playing live at a dance festival just isn't that great because people are there to hear DJs. And I find that a live show at a dance festival in my experience just doesn't go over that well; whereas DJing for 15,000 people in that tent, well, it's hard to beat.

You're right. It does get insane. Do you plan on coming back in 2010?

I have no idea. I mean I just DJed with Carl in Ibiza. He does a weekly night there, so they flew me over. That was really fun, to be able to stay in this nice villa that has a nice pool. It was very civilized.

Of all the places you've played down here -- live and spinning -- do you have a favorite?

Well, it's a predicable answer but I'm gonna have to go with the two times in the Carl Cox tent. The energy coming from people is really wonderful.

I see Miami's not on your upcoming tour list though. Do you have any plans to play here any time soon?

I hope so. The tour that we're doing is a bus and truck tour and Miami is really far away from any of the venues we're playing. We tried to schedule it in, but it basically involved a two day drive there and a two day drive back from there.

I'd really like to see you stage at The Fillmore Gleason. Live Nation took over the place awhile back and renovated it; it's a beautiful theater.

I'm hoping to figure out something. I might do a second leg of the tour in 2010 to basically go to the places we weren't able to schedule this time.

That would be dynamite.

Yes, it would be.

MP3: Moby - "Shot In the Back of the Head"

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