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but just lost my way so badly that by ‘92 I thought my career was over. It was then I met Gemma, who I’ve been married to ever since, who managed to convince me to look at what I was doing and to think again. She introduced me to music I hadn’t heard before and she reminded me of why I got into music in the first place. From then on I started to work differently, and to think differently. Te music became much heavier, much darker, and I fell in love with making music all over again. I’ve kept that newfound attitude ever since and my music has grown because of it. You married Gemma, in ‘97 and have a delightful family now. I’m really happy for you that that’s worked out because on paper in must have had an imbalance to it at the start as she was originally a huge fan of yours before she met you? Fans are people, not less than me, not better than me. We all have our talents and our quirks, our good points and our bad. I’m a fan of things, we all are, whether we have nothing to show for our efforts or whether we are the President of the USA, but I don’t see myself as less than the person I’m a fan of. I see everyone the same. Gemma was a fan, but she was also the most fascinating person I’d ever met, with a heart the size of a small planet. I have never met anyone like her, on so many levels. Te only imbalance, if there was one, is that it’s very hard to live up to your glowing press releases and your airbrushed posters and album covers. It was Gemma that had all the unpleasant discoveries to make, and to deal with. You have Asperger’s Syndrome. How does that affect your life? It was Gemma who noticed it immediately when we met, her brother is diagnosed Asperger’s, and so I looked into it again via the Internet. I have never seen it as a major problem, and the things it adds to my life far outweigh the few negatives. It’s particularly useful to an artist in the music business I think, but probably many other areas as well. It gives me a phenomenal sense of focus, I obsess about things that need an obsessive amount of drive and attention. My level of concentration is exceptional, I have a detachment from some levels of emotion that come in quite handy when dealing with negativity or arseholes, I can let the biggest setbacks or bad opinions just slide off me as though it didn’t happen. I’m fueled by set backs in fact, driven by difficulties, fiercely independent. Much of this, if not all, comes from my level of

12 / September 2016/

Asperger’s. Te down side is I’m not much good at small talk, I offend peoples sensibilities by accident, I’m emotionally challenged around people being emotional, shit at eye contact and a number of other things, none of which hinder my life that much. Especially as I have Gemma, who is about the friendliest and most chatty person on the planet. Everything that I lack she has bundles of. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the documentary about your life, Android in La-La Land which comes out this autumn. Did you enjoy being involved in it, and did it give you the chance to gain some insight into your own life? It was an interesting experience but I certainly didn’t get any insight into my own life. Te film really just looks at the immigration to the US, the making of the Splinter album, my first for a few years, and my relationship with Gemma. I don’t think it told any of those stories as well as they could have been told so I’m a little disappointed with the film. People seem to like it though. You’ve been living in America for a few years now. What do you miss most about the UK? Friends and family most of all, but also the quaintness, the colour, the prettiness, fish and chips, our quiet afternoon meals in our local pub garden, many, many things actually. But, having said that, I am very happy in Los Angeles. Te never ending beautiful weather, mountains and oceans just minutes away, a very outdoor lifestyle. I do go back to the UK often though, sometimes to work, often to just visit. I like to show the children different parts of it each visit. On your upcoming tour you’re going to be playing material from three of your most iconic albums, Replicas, Te Pleasure Principle and Telekon. You’ve never been one to rest on your laurels or look back to the past much, but have always been pushing forward with new ideas. Why is now the right time for you to treat your fans to some of these early albums played live? To be blunt it’s because I’m in between albums. My last album came out in 2013, my new one will be out next year, so this was a perfect opportunity to get out and play some songs that I don’t usually play. I have a great relationship with my fans but one of the grumbles they do have is that I don’t play enough older stuff. Tese ‘inbetween’ periods allow me to do that without diluting my main tours, which are there to specifically promote new material. I’m much happier playing new

stuff as a rule but I have found that doing these back catalogue tours, once in a while, is a nice change for me and the fans. Your upcoming album is being Pledged. How are you finding that process? I’m lucky in that I have more than enough money to make albums. I have my own studio for one thing, so I’ve never needed to generate money specifically to make an album. Te idea behind the Pledge campaign isn’t about funding, it’s about trying to find ways of making the fans more involved. I want them to be aware of what it takes to make an album. Te ups and downs, the exciting moments, the horrible moments, the entire creative process and all the factors of life that have an impact on that. I want them to listen to the finished thing and be able to relate to everything on it more deeply, because they would have been a part of every thing done, every decision made, during the making of it. Why lyrics were written, why sounds were chosen, why titles were picked, what happened in my life to influence the music and the words, all of it. It’s an attempt to bring us closer together, and in so doing, it gives me the financial freedom and knowledge to be able pick and choose what happens to it after Pledge. Tat is a situation I’ve never had before. You have a huge fanbase which includes many well respected and famous musicians like Dave Grohl and Beck, and your music and look has undoubtedly influenced many acts. What would you like your legacy to be? I think it’s already there. To be seen as an innovator, to be considered influential, to be acknowledged as a pioneer of a new genre of music, to still be a viable and creative artist. Tese are the amazing things that are mentioned now, more accolades than I could ever have hoped for, more than I ever dreamed of, so I couldn’t ask for anything more. My legacy seems to be intact and all I need to do is make sure I don’t put out a shit album and ruin it all.


INFORMATION Gary Numan plays at UEA on 23rd September. Tickets are available from

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