I was a latecomer to the music of Gary Numan.
It was 2001, and I'd heard Nine Inch Nails cover his song 'Metal'. From there I set out on a mission to discover everything Numan had written – and there was a lot to discover. He's released 20 albums throughout his career, his most recent – Splinter – coming out just last year.
I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with Numan as he prepared for his Auckland concert. He kindly let me quiz him about his life and career, and showed me his gear.
Like me, he's a fan of Nine Inch Nails too. Unlike me, he had a direct influence on the band and is grateful frontman Trent Reznor has recently repaid the favour.
"I have a level of credibility now I couldn't have dreamed of so many years ago, Lots of people do cover versions of my stuff. I've been involved with NIN for quite some time. And that's been a help. With Foo Fighters doing cover versions, Marilyn Manson… every time something like that happens, it introduces you to a new audience. Some of whom will hopefully check you out and like what you do. The credibility that comes with that is enormous. You can't put a price on it."
Numan recently moved with his family from the UK to Los Angeles. He says he loves the upbeat nature of LA's locals.
"I lived there once before, [in] '81 or '82 for six months, and loved it and always intended to go back. And then life happens, doesn't it? The career didn't go so well, then it went a lot worse, then it plummeted!
"My juvenile thinking at the time was, I will stay in Britain and I will sort my career out there, abandon the rest of the world effectively, to secure this anchor point… and then I would move back out again and take over the world!"
"Never really worked out that way at all! It went from bad to worse! And so eventually many years had gone by, and then I had become rooted."
However Numan says in the last five years, looking out the window at a rainy UK, he and his family decided to get out and move to sunny Hollywood.
"While I am not at death's door, I am getting older, and I want to make every day count, a little bit more than I did at 21. And I didn't think I was getting out of life, and that became a problem for me, especially when I crossed 50."
Despite his love of LA, he says a trip to Matamata's Lord of the Rings attraction Hobbiton made for a nice change.
"For life to be like that, where everyone is together, peaceful, and there is a village field that everyone meets on... what a gentle lovely way of life. No phones, no technology. I love it. It's the opposite of what my life is!"
Numan and I talked for ages, and 3 News editor Damian Golfinopoulos has edited our full interview together with some behind-the-scenes stuff. The video is above. It also includes a chat with fan club member Jim Napier, who's been to 32 Numan gigs this year alone.
source: newshub archive