Here, Gary answers a selection of your questions recently sent to us via the Feedback page.
I noticed your ‘newspapers’ comment on Twitter after the recent Daily Mail interview was published. Were you unhappy with the article?
I was a little but the comment was more to do with newspaper coverage over the last year or so. I have to say first though that my treatment in the national press is, generally speaking, very good. They are not overtly hostile towards me these days, as they have been in the distant past, and so I have no reason to complain too much. It’s just the lack of accuracy that rankles a little. Comments being attributed to you that you did not say, words missing here and there, deliberately perhaps, which make something you said very innocently read quite differently. They can make you look an idiot, even in an article which is essentially on-side and supportive. They can say you smiled when making a comment when you didn’t. That tiny untruth can change totally the perceived meaning behind a comment. It can make you seem sarcastic when in fact you were being quite sincere for example. These are l things that can have a huge effect and it can be quite frustrating to read them. And you wonder why they do it.
They can ask you things that are quite private, you can answer in a very minimal way because of that, and yet they can be printed as though you skipped into the room with that topic top of the list of things to talk about.
They can make comments about other people, often negative, to try and get you to join in and be disrespectful, to cause controversy perhaps. When you don’t join in, they write that you said them anyway. It is often embarrassing and at times it causes a fair degree of friction between me and people I’ve supposedly made comments about. It makes talking to certain newspapers seem more like a stroll through a minefield of already written nonsense just waiting to explode in your face. I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the whole process so I’ve backed out of much of it.
That doesn’t help much though as I discovered recently. A local Sussex newspaper printed a big article, an exclusive interview with me apparently, about my reasons for emigrating to America. I have never spoken to this newspaper. They rang the house but I didn’t want to talk to them so they made it all up. They had stolen quotes from other papers, quotes already nothing like the words I actually spoke on the day, they had then twisted them further, and then added entire pieces of fabricated conversation, things that I had never said, anywhere. It was a shameful mix of stolen inaccuracies and out and out invention. They then took this piece of nonsense masquerading as journalism and interviewed local dignitaries, the mayor, a councillor, the village vicar, and asked them to comment on the things I had supposedly said. They then printed all this and, on-line, had feedback from readers that went on for so long it took nearly an entire drive from Manchester to London to read through it. Some of it rather unfriendly as I’m sure you can imagine. All based on things I had never said.
When you read something in the newspaper which is presented as a direct quite from the person concerned, it probably isn’t. And what’s worse, they may not even have spoken to that person at all. And that’s a shame for all of us, public and celeb alike.
Are you still planning to move to America?
Yes we are. In fact we should know within the next week or so if that’s going to be possible. It’s taken nearly two years to get to this point so it’s not an easy thing to do but, if it is possible, then we will move in early October. A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes in preparation as it is no easy matter moving a family and business to another country. In truth though, as I think I’ve said before, I will still be here so often it will hardly feel like I’ve left, even to me. For example, if it all goes as expected, I will be back in just a few weeks for the Dead Moon Falling tour in December.
I have been surprised at how some people have reacted to my decision to leave the UK, both amongst fans and the UK public. To be fair, the negative stuff has been minimal, but it amazes me how some people seem to have taken it as a personal insult. How dare I want to live anywhere else? They have then added a whole range of points of view that are not mine at all. So, just to clear up a few things, I have never insulted the British, I am and always will be, extremely proud to be British. I think Britain is an extraordinary country with far more than it’s fair share of creative genius’ in every walk of life. I think the British are an extraordinary people and have a history that is, or should be, the envy of the world. But we have shit weather and, at the moment, opportunities to excel are better elsewhere, both for me and for my children. I want to spend the rest of my life looking back on days full of fun and satisfaction. I do not want to spend anymore of them looking out of wet windows at the rain drenched ground and regretting another day wasted. It really is as simple as that. No insult to the British intended but it seems I might be able to go somewhere that will give me and my family a better life and I intend to find out if that’s the case.
In any case, I have a sneaky suspicion that some of the people grumbling about my leaving are just a teeny weeny bit jealous.
Is it true you are buying a castle in Los Angeles?
I almost did, kind of. We found a house that looked like a castle that was owned by a singer in another band. We tried to talk ourselves into it in so many ways but it was just too far away from the school. It was at least an hours drive from the Santa Monica area so we had to, very reluctantly, give up on that one. There was another house that looked very castle like in a place called Agoura Hills. We intended to try for that one but it was sold before we had a chance to bid for it. That was an amazing house, turrets, battlements (all fake but looked great).
The first thing we did when we decided to move was pick the school we wanted for the children. We found one very close to the beach which the children loved and so that tied us to a distance when it came to choosing the house. Our school drive here in the UK is about 35 to 40 minutes so we made that the maximum we wanted over there. We still haven’t bought a house actually. It seems likely now that, if we go at all, we will probably rent for a while until we find the one we want.
What can we expect on the Dead Moon Falling tour in December?
The lovely people at Artrocker Magazine are going to be publishing an iPad Gary Numan special edition. As part of that will be a free download of remixes of Dead Son Rising done by some extremely cool people. We are then going to add a number of new songs and release it as the Dead Moon Falling CD album.
Also, we will be releasing the single called ‘Petals’ before the tour. This is a collaboration project between me and ‘Officers’ who are supporting us again in December. ‘Petals’ is a great track, written by ‘Officers’, that I have done a guest vocal on. This track will also be added to the Dead Moon Falling CD I believe.
So, the tour will be a mixture of Dead Son Rising remixes and originals, plus a number of tracks from Splinter which, if you have been following my Tweets, you will know is now well underway with ten songs written and many more still to come. Plus some of those songs you are more familiar with but hopefully reworked. We’ve been playing some of those versions for quite a while and we all need a breath of fresh air I think.
For me it will be the most musically exciting thing I’ve done in a long while and I can’t wait to get it started.
Are you pleased with the Big Noise Transmission package and has the fan reaction been what you hoped for?
I think it’s a fantastic package and I’m very pleased with it. The audio is fantastic and, in my opinion, is probably the best live recording we’ve ever released. The DVD is just amazing. A lot of time was spent on editing and getting the look of it just right and it was all worth it. It really captures the intensity and energy of the show in a way that seems to take everything we’ve done before and just move it up another few notches. The crowning glory of all though is the photo book. I actually didn’t get to see it until nearly a week after the first copies were mailed out to people. I had obviously seem countless proofs and early versions when it was still a work in the progress but I was one of the last to get to see the finished thing so it was a bit of a worry. I love it. Ed Fielding’s photos are stunning. Page after page after page of incredible photos, all put together in a beautifully and elegantly designed book. I couldn’t be happier with it.
The reaction to it has been just as enthusiastic thankfully. To make these special packages is not cheap, and I know that the prices are getting up there, but you only have to look at the finished items to see that we have created something just that little bit extra special. We have had an avalanche of compliments and a tiny trickle of grumbles. As before, we will continue to learn from you what we are doing right, and what you feel we are doing wrong. In the future we will be releasing more special packages and will continue to look for ways of making them unique and interesting, listening closely to the fans at every turn. After all, you are the people we are making them for.
Will the Machine Music tour be released as a CD/DVD/Book along the lines of Big Noise Transmission?
Quite possibly. We filmed the Brighton show, which was easily the most spectacular on that tour, and Ed Fielding came along to a number of shows and took yet another batch of extraordinary photos so we have all the ingredients. Work at the moment is all focused around the new Splinter album though. Both Ade and myself are fully engaged in trying to get it ready as soon as possible so some things are being left to one side to give us the time we need. However, the BNT package has been so well received we would be stupid not to seriously consider doing another one for Machine Music. Not quite the same format perhaps but we will have to see. Got my hands pretty full at the moment what with writing the new album, selling houses, touring and emigrating. But, I think we have the raw materials to make something even better than Big Noise Transmission.
Why didn’t you play any North West dates on Machine Music tour?
People seem to have lost interest in me a bit in the North West so I thought I’d give it a break. I’ve played Manchester Academy regularly, for a long time, and it always sold very well. In fact, it would often sell out in advance of the gig and I considered it my jewel in the crown. Every bit as important and special as London.
Then, quite suddenly, when we started to sell tickets for the Back To The Phuture shows it was as if no-one was interested. We even moved the shows back several months to give ourselves more time to sell tickets but it still ended up being poorly attended, by our usual standards anyway. So, with Dead Son Rising, we moved to the Ritz. A smaller venue, but one where we could gauge if the Academy slump was just a blip. Sadly it didn’t seem that way as even the Ritz didn’t sell out on the night. So, it seemed to me that I may have over exposed myself a bit in the North West and thought I’d give it a break for a while. If people lose interest you can only make it worse by keep banging on their door like a love sick teenager trying to win them back.
For me it was a great shame and a huge disappointment. The shows that have always ranked at the very top for audience enthusiasm, noise and commitment are not shows I want to stop playing. So, we are back in the North West in December and we will see how it goes.
Has the excellent feedback to the Dead Son Rising album changed your mind about the musical direction of Splinter?
Not so much the feedback, although that has been amazing, more the realisation that the musical variations on Dead Son Rising are so much better, and more interesting, than the one dimensional ambition I previously had for Splinter. Splinter will have some huge moments, and it will have some songs which are riff monsters, but it will also have the strange, haunting and quirky. It already has a wide range of feel and I still have a number of songs to write. As I said in a previous answer, we are going to be playing a few things from Splinter on the DMF tour in December, so that would be a good time to find out how it’s shaping up.
Are there any plans for shows outside the UK?
Yes. When Splinter is released in the new year we have an extensive and far reaching plan for touring which will see us on the road, off and on, for the following 18 months. Our aim is to tour in as many countries as will have us, and we can afford to go to of course. No point offering me ten quid and a free night in a flea pit hotel as that isn’t very tempting.
There are many places that we have never been to, despite my 34 year career. That is both an embarrassment to me and, obviously, a clear waste of opportunity. This is something I would like to start to put right and we intend to do that with the Splinter world tour. I still have the same restrictions, I don’t like to be away from my children for more than two weeks if at all possible, so the tours will be a regular series of little tours all over the world.
I am convinced that Splinter will be my best album ever and so I am genuinely excited at the prospect of taking it to as many places as possible. Playing live is the pinnacle of what being in a band, being a musician, is all about and I love it now more than ever.
Will we be seeing a 30th anniversary tour of the Warriors album?
It seems highly unlikely to be honest. Next year will be entirely devoted to Splinter and so, even I wanted to tour Warriors, and I’m not sure I do, I couldn’t. I’ve done a lot of retro stuff in recent years, far more than most fans ever expected me to do I would guess, given my previous comments about it, and I am now looking forward to a sustained period of moving forward again. I couldn’t even begin to guess when the next purely retro thing will come along but it certainly isn’t on the horizon for me. Working on Splinter is exciting, it’s the reason you become a musician in the first place. Writing new songs, finding new sounds, creating new things. Then the intensity of touring those new songs and seeing the reaction to them. That’s why I do this for a living.