Arts and CultureMusicNew ShitNewsSan Francisco

Moby Talks San Francisco & the Photography of Rock Stars

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Every now and again we get a good excuse to ask an artist some questions, and this happens to be a very good excuse.  This September Heron Arts is hosting the work of 9 world renowned musicians.  It’s a photography exhibition curated by none other than Sean Yseult of White Zombie.  If you like photography, rockstars, or just dope gallery spaces we suggest you check it out.

heron arts b sides

B-Sides: Musicians Show their Flip Side as Photographers opens on September 10, 2016 with a reception from 6:30-10:00pm and runs through October 1, 2016.   The opening night is going to have Henry Butler playing live, and more than likely a few rockstars in attendance.  The exhibition includes the work of Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Mike Watt (Minutemen & The Stooges), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Henry Butler, and Louviere+Vanessa (The Quaalords) and of course Moby.

photo: Eleanor Stills

photo: Eleanor Stills

We asked Moby about this upcoming show, his photography, and of course San Francisco: ‘Innocents’ (by Moby), is both an album and a photo series, the imagery exudes themes of mortality, natural & supernatural, disguise & mystery, isolation, angels & demons. Did you create the Photo series to reflect the album or vice versa?

Moby: They’re both based on the old idea of humans trying to make sense of a world that is essentially shut to them.  Basing everything, morality, epistemology, etc on our clumsy and flawed perceptions.
and with our flawed perceptions we still work under that assumption that we can make sense of a universe of which we’re a part but paradoxically separated from.
So it’s all the product of separation.

part of the 'Innocents' series by MOby

part of the ‘Innocents’ series by Moby

Did you create this collection in order to create a specific reaction in the viewer, (like a Banksy for example) Or was this more of ‘I have this imagery in my head and I need to get it out of me?’ (like an impressionist painter for example).

Moby: The idea with the work was to present the viewer with something familiar that also contained something contextually other, or even wrong.  So the ‘familiar’ enables the image
to get past the neurological gate-keepers and the otherness tags along for the ride and hopefully elicits a reaction that’s not unpleasantly disconcerting.

Who is your favorite photographer?

Moby: So many to choose from…my mom and I were very poor when I was growing up and we only had one art book, an old book of steichen photos from the early 20th century.
So I’d go with very early Edward Steichen when he was trying to be an impressionist. I also really like some of Jessica Dimmock’s work, especially ‘the 9th floor’.


‘Innocents’ series by Moby

How do you feel about auto-tune, and what has happened to popular music?

Moby: Ha, I’m not too concerned with how music is made inasmuch as how it makes me feel. Some auto tuned and ostensibly anodyne tracks are actually subjectively quite emotional.

Ever had a crazy/fun night out in San Francisco?

Moby: Ah boy, too many…all pre sobriety.


part of the ‘crowds’ series by Moby

Favorite vegan restaurant or store in San Francisco?

Moby: I always stop at Rainbow Grocery for hotel supplies, and usually end up eating dinner at Millennium.

Of the 9 Rockers participating in the upcoming exhibition: Sean Yseult (White Zombie) Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Mike Watt (Minutemen & The Stooges), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Henry Butler, and Louviere+Vanessa (The Quaalords) and of course YOU Moby…who is the coolest?

Moby: Easier to say who is the least cool, and that clearly would be me. I don’t say that in a self-deprecating way, as i think it’s empirically true.

What should people look out for in this exhibit?

Moby: Entropy all around.

RSVP for B-Sides: Musicians as Photographers on Facebook or check out the exhibition info at Heron Arts

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

We wanna send you and a friend to the Pacific Pinball Museum!

Next post

Don't Call it Frisco Parodies What it's Like Moving to SF

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

If you're a writer, artist, or performer who would like to get your work out there, or if you've got great things to promote, we've got 120k social followers and really fun ways to reach them. We make noise for our partners, and for our community.
alex at