Gary Numan Reflects on "Savage (Songs from a Broken World)" & Looks Toward the Future: "A Good Crowd Makes it All Worthwhile"
Iconic new wave artist, Gary Numan is proof that no matter how much you've accomplished or how long you've been involved in music, there is always room to grow and evolve. Nearly a year after the release of his latest album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World), Numan is still searching for new ways to continue expanding. With Savage, Numan began managing himself as an artist for the first time and saw the release of the album on a new record label alongside a world tour, music videos and even chart success in the UK.
Now, Gary Numan is gearing up to hit the road stateside before finishing up the year with a run of special orchestral shows overseas, closing in on over 130 shows in support of Savage. It's safe to say that he has been busy, but that doesn't mean that Numan isn't already looking toward the future. With plenty planned for the rest of the year and 2019 already, he has plenty more in store for fans.
Gary Numan will be performing at The Gothic Theatre in Denver, CO on September 28th. Tickets are available now HERE.
Interview by Dom Vigil
You have had an incredibly busy year since the release of your latest album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World) last year, full of tour dates, festivals and exciting holidays. What have been some of your favorite moments of the past twelve months?
I love touring so having a year packed with live shows around the world has been very exciting. The Savage album has done very well, it got to Number 2 in the album charts in the UK, so that has been very satisfying. I also got an Ivor Novello award for Innovation in song writing just before the album came out. An Ivor award is about as good as it gets for songwriters so that was amazing. It’s just been an incredibly good period for me.
Now that the album has been out for nearly a year and you’ve had the chance to play the songs live and reflect on them, what are some of your favorite things about it? What stands out to you now, a year later?
I think that with Savage I managed to get all the parts working together exactly as I’d hoped they would. The music, the lyrics, subject matter, production, image, artwork, label, PR, all of it. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often so, when it does, it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling. My favorite thing though is that my daughter Persia sings on it, and really makes a difference. She’s also sung with us many times as the Savage tours have moved around the world and I've loved that. It was the first album I've ever released as a self managed artist as well (my wife Gemma and I look after that side of things now) so the fact that it went so well was a huge boost to our confidence.
The album arrived at such a pivotal (and both fortunately and unfortunately perfect) time in the U.S., considering the subject matter and theme of the songs. What do you hope listeners take away from the album, whether it’s the first time listening or their fiftieth?
It’s not meant to paint a picture of an inevitable future and I doubt it’s even remotely accurate scientifically, so I’m sure it could be pulled apart on a number of levels. But, if it can help in some small way to keep the climate change conversation in the public consciousness then that’s a good thing. I believe global warming to be a very real danger and much of what the current administration has said about it is frightening and frustrating. So, we need to make sure it doesn’t get lost under the weight of daily shocks and drama’s and that people stay aware of it, and vote accordingly when the time comes.
What were some of the most rewarding or exciting moments of working on the album? Did you learn any important lessons during the writing and recording process?
I learned not to be frightened of managing my own career, that was a big thing for me, definitely the largest career step into the unknown I've taken for a very long time. As far as writing and recording the album was concerned I don’t think I learned that much, but I've made about 21 I think so I’m probably getting the hang of that by now :)
I found the entire project to be very rewarding though, and exciting. I remember clearly day one of the writing process. To have guided it from that first nervous morning, with no clear ideas in my head about where it was going, to the finished album with a brand new record label alongside, a world tour in place, videos made, chart success, was just an amazing experience. Almost everyone I spoke to said it was too much for the two of us to handle alone, but we did okay. Better than okay actually.
Next month, you’ll be hitting the road stateside for a run of headlining shows in support of Savage (Songs from a Broken World). What are you looking forward to the most on these upcoming dates?
I love almost everything about touring. The shows themselves obviously, the traveling (I genuinely love living on a bus), the friendships, the daily challenge of making it all happen, the excitement, meeting the fans at the Meet and Greets each day, all of it. Touring makes you feel as you’re living life to the full. Each day is busy and demanding but you are living a life that’s extraordinary in many ways. I appreciate being able to live that sort of life very much.
What can fans expect from these upcoming shows? It seems that the set has been larger than life lately!
I tend not to wallow in nostalgia so although we’ll play some older stuff the focus is definitely on Savage and other recent albums. The songs we play live are all aggressive and dynamic sonically so it’s a hard set from the bands point of view, it takes a lot of energy to get through. If the crowd are with you though that lifts you more than enough to get through it night after night. A good crowd makes it all worthwhile.
Following this upcoming run of U.S. dates, you’ll be playing a few orchestral shows in November. What inspired you to do these special performances?
I’ve wanted to do shows with an orchestra for a very long time, just never got it together until now. I think much of my music has a very filmic quality to it so should lend itself to a more orchestral adaption quite easily. It will still be a band performance though, the orchestra is just adding another level to what we normally do. I’m looking forward to those shows enormously. We’re playing some of the biggest venues I've played in a very long time with those shows, it’s sold out already, so it should be epic.
Do you have any other big plans in the works following these orchestral shows? What is the rest of 2018 looking like for you?
With Savage we will have played over 130 shows by the time it’s all finished which is the most I've ever played for an album campaign since I started. We really have worked hard to help the album as much as possible. After the orchestral shows we have one more European Tour which will take us up to December. After that I have more studio work, then a break for Christmas, then I’m trying some new things in 2019. Still putting ideas for that together though. I have a big film score to help out with as well, plus I need to finish the novel that I've been writing for the last few years. In fact, most of the ideas on Savage have been taken from that book so, in many respects, Savage is a musical version of that unfinished novel.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say how much I appreciate people coming out to see us. I don’t take it for granted at all and I’m very grateful.