Signore e signori, questa settimana Le Cannibale accoglie un ospite d’eccezione. Non che quelli delle scorse settimane ci facessero schifo, ma scusate, venerdì 10 febbraio abbiamo l’onore di muoverci sulle note pregiate di Gary Numan.
Lui è stato produttore, autore, musicista e dj dagli anni ’70 ad oggi, cambiando vita e costumi con la stessa duttilità con cui Madonna passa dagli abitini di pizzo bianco e le croci ai cappelli rodeo e ai camperos di cuoio. Le sue sonorità new wave, synthpop, elettroniche e rock hanno fatto da apripista a numerosi artisti dei decenni successivi, influenzando i più disparati nomi contemporanei, dai Monarchy con loro pop sintetico al rap anni ’90 di Afrika Bambaataa. Insieme ad Ade Fenton si dividerà il palco del Tunnel e l’attenzione del pubblico affamato, tutti ad aspettare Are friends electric, Cars e Conversation ché tanto ci piacciono, pure se non eravamo ancora nati. Oppure no, ci sorprenderà con un djset completamente techno, quasi industrial. Partecipare per fugare ogni curiosità.
Questa l’intervista in esclusiva per DLSO.
1) Hi Gary, introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello. My name is Gary Numan. I’m an English musician and performer. I have been making music professionally since 1978 when I released my first album called ‘Tubeway Army’. I released my most recent album ‘Dead Son Rising’ just a few months ago. I have three children, all girls, and I have been with my wife Gemma for twenty years.
2) You’re singer, songwriter, producer, dj. What is the role you prefer ?
Of all the things I do singing on stage is by far the most exciting. I love touring and the rather unique lifestyle that comes with it. Having said that, I think the most rewarding and satisfying experiences have come through songwriting. It’s been a great pleasure for me to have my songs covered or sampled by some of the greatest bands and artists in the world. It’s something I’m very proud of.
3) You play a lot of different instruments such as piano, guitar, drums. What’s your mental and physical relationship with them ? Is there another one you would like learning to play ?
The guitar is very physical to play, very sexy in a way. The piano is beautiful and emotional, drums I’m very bad at but, when played well, can be very exciting and often is the backbone in music that makes us want to move. My favourite is the guitar though. I have spent a lifetime making electronic music with synths and various bits of high technology but my favourite has always been the guitar.
4) The pleasure principles – realesed in 1979 – is one of your most celebrated rock album, also beacuse there were not real guitars but only guitars effects. Why this choise ? What are your memories of it ?
I released an album in 1979 called Replicas which went to Number 1 in the UK. The music press were very insulting about it because it was primarily an electronic album, one of the very first to become successful, and they didn’t like electronic music back then. I decided that, with the next album, ‘The Pleasure Principle’, I would try to prove that electronic music could work entirely on it’s own on a rock album and so I decided to take away the guitars and see what happened. That album also went to Number 1 so the public seemed to like electronic music more than the press in those days. It was a very exciting time to be making music. Every day seemed to arrive with new possibilities and new challenges.
5) Last three decades you lived – 80es, 90es, 2000s – seem to be three different lives of three different people because of all the things you’ve done. Which one you choose?
I was an aerobatic display pilot for many years in the 80’s and 90’s, flying World War 2 combat aeroplanes at airshows all over Europe. I miss that at times but, generally, I choose now. I very rarely dwell on the past and only then when people ask me about it. I am always excited about what I’m going to do today and even more so by what might happen tomorrow. Most of the time I only look forward. Just sometimes I will think about the past but it’s usually to regret something I did, or didn’t do, or some part of my life that’s over. It’s not very positive so I don’t allow myself to do it very often. Stay positive, stay excited, think of what’s possible in the future, I think that’s the best attitude to have.
6) You have been source of inspiration for a lot of contemporary musicians. Who were in your playlist when you was tweenty ?
I was just discovering electronic music so I was listening to bands like Ultravox (when John Foxx was the singer) and early Human League. Ultravox were my target in many ways. I wanted to sound as good as they did. I was also a massive T-Rex fan for most of my younger years.
7) How do you imagine your old age ? In the suburbs of London, in the Tuscany hills or in a loft in New York ?
We’re are immigrating from the UK to the U.S. this year so it seems likely that my old age will be spent mostly on a sandy beach in California, watching the sunset every evening, listening to the waves. I intend to spend my older years writing novels so sitting on a beach seems like a good place to be :)
8) You have enough material to make a film about your life. Imagine the beginning and the end.
I doubt anybody will be interested in a film about my life. Musicians are too plentiful, there are thousands of us, and we are so easily replaced (except for a special few). I’m grateful that I’m able to live my life the way I do. Not many people get to live the live they choose. I love what I do and I hope the end is as far away from now as the beginning. That’s a bit unlikely though.
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