by Joanna Orland
How can I not admit that I was shitting myself at the prospect of interviewing Gary Numan – the LEGEND himself. I kept putting it off saying I didn’t mind waiting until the end of the journalist queue for my interview, trying to go over all of the research I had done about him over the past few days in preparation for our chat. After all, I didn’t want to seem clueless about his epic past, even though I was only aware of dribs n drabs before my date with Google.
The music speaks for itself. His most famous hit Cars is recognized all over the world nearly 30 years after its release. He’s been sampled numerous times by everyone from the Sugababes to Basement Jaxx to who knows who else. He’s also influenced some top artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Beck, Dave Grohl, and countless others. He’s also mentioned rather fondly as well as frequently by Noel Fielding’s Vince Noir on the Mighty Boosh. He’s used to this affectionate fan behaviour as his loyal fanbase call themselves Numanoids.
He’s rather modest about the whole LEGEND status and Numanoid following. He is genuinely flattered by all the attention he gets and cites Noel and fellow admirer Trent Reznor mutual influences as he’s a fan of them as much as they’re fans of his! LEGEND!!!
On the BOOSH attention, Gaz says, “The thing that’s lovely about it is that I am genuinely a fan and I saw the first ever… I actually saw Noel do standup about 2 years before I even knew about the boosh… so I was actually a fan of him before I even knew who he was… Then the boosh came along and I started to get mentioned on it and I just thought HOW COOL IS THAT!”
Is he the nicest rock star ever or what!!?
Anyway, discussing what he thought of those artists that cite him as an influence but copy his sounds rather than his early pop-modernist attitude, he again was just grateful for the attention and the adoration and does not take his success for granted whatsoever. Especially when Trent Reznor told him that he was the reason that he ever got into keyboards in the first place, Gary was just flattered as he was a huge Nine Inch Nails fan!
I didn’t get a chance to get onto the topic of his aviation skills (the man has a pilot’s license! LEGEND!), but I did get to geek it up a bit and ask him how the evolution of technology has affected his music writing process. Gary believes one must learn discipline otherwise it would take 10 years to make an album playing with all the toys now readily available. In some ways he envies guitar bands as he feels it must be ‘easier’ for them to just nail their sounds.
I didn’t have time to ask our usual One Word to Sum You Up question, so I am taking the liberty of deciding that it’s LEGEND.