Good Gary Numan Q&A:
If you have enjoyed electronic-oriented music at some point over the last couple of decades then you can feel free to send Gary Numan a thank-you note. Over the past 35 years, Numan has released some of the most influential electro-synth music ever to be performed by an alien-looking English person with a penchant for pancake makeup and robotic stage moves. His early albums as Tubeway Army (Tubeway Army, Replicas) launched a style of synth-driven pop music that would eventually make Numan famous (and many of his imitators much more famous), but it was his early solo work (The Pleasure Principle, Telekon) that would not only make him a kind of electro-icon, but also inspire a generation of young Trent Reznors to sit down at a keyboard and get weird.
This fall Numan will release his 20th album, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind), and embark on a world tour. Having survived a three-decade-long career of terrific highs and more than a few terrible lows, the 55-year-old musician seems to have finally come to terms with the legacy of his back catalog and the various complexities of being viewed as a middle-aged icon. I called him up at his home in sunny Los Angeles to discuss.