Synthesizer maestro and resident alien of alienation, Gary Numan’s music was, and is, dark, strong, and rich — goth when goth wasn’t cool. He took time from touring behind his new album, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), for some email questions. He plays March 5 at Belly Up.
- Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 8 p.m.
143 South Cedros Avenue,
What are your memories of playing San Diego?
“I do remember the gigs have always gone well, so that’s a good thing. My best memory, though, is hanging out by the beach and just enjoying what is a very cool place to be.”
How has your stage show evolved over the years?
“My personal performance has become more animated, more aggressive, more energetic. Before, I would be totally aware of the audience and easily distracted. These days I lose myself in the moment. I suppose I have a lot of confidence and knowledge now that I didn’t have back then. I’ve been doing this for about 35 years, so it’s not surprising that it feels like second nature now.”
“Cars” is the song most Americans know you by. Does it become more or less of a chore to get through that one onstage?
“I’ve learned to appreciate it. It is so famous now, so successful, that it seems ridiculous for me to grumble about having to keep playing it. It isn’t the highlight of the live set, though.”
How has relocating to America come along? Are you settling in?
“We’ve all settled in very well and love living in California. We have a very lovely house, close to the school the children go to, a short drive from Hollywood in one direction, Malibu in another. We are all very happy we made the move. The most obvious difference from England is the weather and the things that you can fill each day of your life with in a warm climate. I lost so many valuable days in England sitting indoors looking out at yet another rain-soaked day. I felt my life was just wasting away. In the U.S. I live life far more fully.”
Do your daughters ever watch your stage show and/or old performance footage?
“They have been to see me play live many times. They dance around and cheer. It’s a lovely thing to see and makes me pretty teary-eyed if I’m truthful. They say kind things but in reality they really love Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Beyoncé.”