Futurist pop legend Gary Numan answers 13 questions and tells us about getting arrested in India, his worst gig and why he doesn’t need to cook.
Gary Numan is, let’s not beat about the bush here, a legend.
Into his fifth decade of music he remains, incredibly, at the forefront of music technology and is making music of such power and intensity that many bands of lesser years would give their ears for just a fraction of it all.
Numan was one of our highlights at last year’s Bluedot Festival, where we described his music as “powerful visceral and raw”.
For someone who communicates little with his audience, Numan is a personable and charismatic performer. For all of his aloof presence and android persona, his joy at being on stage in obvious and he moves and acts like a consummate performer.
Likewise his albums also keep this forward momentum, and his last, Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is quite possibly a career best.
A performer with a keen work ethic, Numan still found the time to answer one of our 13 Questions features.
So, what has Gary Numan got to say for himself…
- Where are you and what are you doing?
“I’m in Brighton rehearsing for a festival at the weekend. Flew in to the UK from Los Angeles two days ago. I have a room overlooking the marina which is great. I like boats.”
- How is that working out?
“Very well thanks. This gig will be the 130th, and last, of this album campaign so it’s a mixture of sad to see it end, but exciting to be close to starting something new. I start writing the new album in a few weeks, once this is over.”
- What is the last gig you went to?
“Nine Inch Nails in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. They played one of my songs so I did a guest vocal with them on the night.”
- Recommend one band or album that you think we should check out.
“There’s a musician called Kanga who I think is doing some great things at the moment. She’s essentially electronic and very inventive.”
- What is the worst gig you’ve ever done?
“Back when I was in a punk band we played a set in a local club before the DJ started. Not one single person in the crowd wanted us there or liked what we did, or clapped. Absolutely ignored us, as though we weren’t there at all, for all 45 minutes.”
- What is your favourite meal?
“Roast dinner. My wife Gemma makes the best roast I’ve ever had, she just doesn’t do them very often. It’s mostly a treat at Christmas.”
- Can you cook?
“No. I like very few things to be honest, fish and chips, sausage sandwich, rubbish like that, so I’ve never had a need to cook.”
- Tell us a secret
“I was once arrested in India on suspicion of spying. Absolutely true. In fact they arrested me on suspicion of spying AND smuggling. I was flying a small aeroplane around the world as an adventure and we had to land in a small, out of the way place on the East coast. They seemed to find that very suspicious.”
- What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
“The best night out I ever had became three nights. I don’t think we saw daylight until the morning after the third night. That was in our life BC (before children) of course. It started out as a ‘camp outside’ event with a big group of friends and then it just escalated into something else entirely.”
- Then was the last time you laughed until you cried?
“I went to see Ricky Gervais at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago (quite a few actually), that was probably the last time I actually cried with laughter.”
- What is your favourite view?
“Flying into Los Angeles at night. It still amazes me, the vastness of it.”
- What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a round of drinks?
“I never have strangely enough. I only drink Coke when I’m out so I seem to be constantly excluded from the ‘Whose round is it’ discussions.”
- Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
“Thanks for asking.”