David Lynch and Moby Talk Blues Guitar, Meditation, Quinoa & the Joy of Los Angeles

Elec­tron­ic musi­cian Moby and mak­er of dis­turb­ing films David Lynch might, at first, seem an odd con­ver­sa­tion­al pair. What could the shaven-head­ed Gen­er­a­tion Xer from New York who made the album Play have in com­mon with the mess­i­ly yet elab­o­rate­ly coiffed Baby Boomer from Mon­tana who made the movie Blue Vel­vet? But as the record­ed event from this year’s Inter­na­tion­al Music Sum­mit demon­strates, they’ve got a lot to talk about. Enthu­si­asts of both cre­ators may know that they actu­al­ly do have pro­fes­sion­al con­nec­tions: Lynch direct­ed the music video for Moby’s “Shot in the Back of the Head,” Moby has made his music free to film­mak­ers, and Lynch has even record­ed an album of his own, com­plete with trou­bling video.

They’ve even become friends, ones close enough that Lynch just calls Moby “Mo,” and Moby once gave Lynch a slide gui­tar as a present. They’ve got such a rap­port, in fact, that Moby can ask Lynch, lead­ing­ly and admit­ted­ly so, if Lynch con­sid­ers that slide gui­tar the best present he ever received. He asks it, in fact, right up there onstage at the IMS, along with such oth­er ques­tions, pre-writ­ten on a sheet, as “Have you ever grown mag­gots?,” “Is Inland Empire my favorite movie of the last ten years?,” “What would your favorite birth­day meal be, keep­ing in mind this is a con­fer­ence about elec­tron­ic music?,” “Do we fear death?,” and “Would you like to grow quinoa in your back­yard?”

Though both Moby and Lynch love their quinoa, they make even more of a con­nec­tion over their city of res­i­dence, Los Ange­les. The for­mer points out that three of the lat­ter’s pic­tures — Lost High­way, Mul­hol­land Dri­ve, and Inland Empire — star not any par­tic­u­lar human actor, but Los Ange­les itself. “Any­thing goes,” Lynch explains about the city that inspires him (some­times, no doubt, dur­ing the med­i­ta­tion ses­sions he also dis­cuss­es here) with its light and its jas­mine-scent­ed air. “You’re free to think and do things” — two pur­suits that both of these guys have engaged in, unceas­ing­ly and fruit­ful­ly, over their entire careers.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch’s Music Videos: Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Chris Isaak & More

David Lynch Explains Where His Ideas Come From

David Lynch Explains How Med­i­ta­tion Enhances Our Cre­ativ­i­ty

David Lynch Teach­es You to Cook His Quinoa Recipe in a Weird, Sur­re­al­ist Video

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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