Moby Gets Cloned, Romps With Dirty Degenerates

Pinball-headed wizard plays mean five-man band in 'Extreme Ways' clip.

Call Moby's next video "Episode II: Attack of the Clones."

The clip for "Extreme Ways," the second single from 18, will attempt to top the classic cameos by Ron Jeremy, Verne Troyer and others in "We Are All Made of Stars" by focusing on Moby. Lots and lots of Moby.

"I've never made a performance-based video, because I'm a solo musician, but with the benefit of computer technology, it's a performance video of a band, but I'm all five musicians," Moby said backstage at the KROQ Weenie Roast (see "System, Papa Roach Rage On Weenie Roast Stage While Jack Osbourne Holds Court"). "I'm the drummer, the guitarist, [etc.] I don't know how they did it, because I'm kind of inept when it comes to understanding computer technology, but somehow I'm all five people in the band. It's pretty cool."

The video was directed by Wayne Isham, who changed 'NSYNC's outfits while they danced in the "Pop" clip. It also features a sort of bohemian circus performing along with the Mobys.

" 'Extreme Ways' is a song about the pursuit of hedonism and the perils that attend the pursuit of hedonism — you know, degeneracy and its liabilities," he explained, "so while I'm doing this performance, there's this whole backstage area with contortionists and strippers and all sorts of dirty degenerate stuff."

Like most of Moby's music, the poignant mid-tempo track would be perfect for a movie (like "Porcelain" in "The Beach") or a commercial (like "Find My Baby" in that American Express ad), though don't expect it to end up there. While Moby licensed all 18 tracks from Play for movies, TV shows or commercials, he will not be as excessive this time around.

"With Play, it wasn't getting a lot of radio play, it wasn't getting a lot of TV play, so that was part of the reason we had to open ourselves to these alternate strategies," he said. "But with 18, we're getting a lot more support from more conventional media outlets, so we don't have to license it quite as promiscuously as I did last time."

One soundtrack that will include Moby is "24 Hour Party People," the British film about the rise of Factory Records and artists such as the Clash, the Sex Pistols and Happy Mondays. The album, due July 30, will feature Moby collaborating with New Order.

"When I was growing up, two of my favorite bands were Joy Division and New Order, which were basically the same band with a different singer," Moby explained. "And I went on tour with New Order last summer and we did a cover of [Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades"] and it was the first time they had played it since [Joy Division frontman] Ian Curtis killed himself, so it meant a lot to me. And we recorded it and we had Billy Corgan playing guitar as well and [Red Hot Chili Pepper] John Frusciante and it came out so well that we decided to put it on this soundtrack."

Moby recently remixed a track for David Bowie and recruited a few guests on 18, but aside from that and the New Order track, he has not done much collaborating, especially compared to his electronic music peers.

"To be honest with you I don't get asked to collaborate with that many people," Moby said. "You know if [18 guest] Sinead O'Connor wanted me to help her with a song for her record, of course I'd say yes. And I think I might help Angie Stone [another 18 guest] with a couple songs for her next record. I'm certainly not going to be singing on her record, but I might help out producing or writing a song."

And you never know — like last summer, Moby could end up recording with one of his Area2 Tour acts, which this year include Bowie, Busta Rhymes, Blue Man Group, Ash and a herd of DJs (see "Moby Taps Busta, Bowie, More For Area2"). The outing kicks off July 28 in Bristow, Virginia, though Moby will warm up for it with a few weeks of shows before it kicks off (see "Moby Warming Up For Area2 With Epic Solo Shows").

"Last year, it was really like going into uncharted territory, but now that the precedent has been set, I think that people will be coming out to Area2 sort of with an understanding of what's going on," Moby said. "There'll be this inherent juxtaposition between Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, David Bowie and myself. Because the precedent's been set, I think it'll be a little bit easier this year."