Gary Numan Interview

Published on 20 October 2017

It wasn’t a bad day at the office, really. Jumping in a taxi and heading to the O2 ABC to have an exclusive chat with pioneering synth legend Gary Numan is definitely a good way to spend an afternoon and we were floored when word got to us that he had agreed to meet up!

Everyone knows that guitarguitar is not just about guitars: as well as having the biggest all-digital shop in Scotland, three of our UK-wide stores have vast digital departments offering synths, digital drums, eurorack gear, MIDI controllers, you name it. We know from chatting to our customers that Gary was a big part of the reason why a lot of them were drawn to a synth in the first place. He’s a towering figure on the horizon of many genres including electronic, industrial and rock music. So with due excitement and not a little nervous energy, we made our way into the inner sanctum of the ABC’s warren of backstage areas and into the main arena where Gary was busy meeting and greeting fans.

We were kindly granted permission to watch the (full lights and production) soundcheck before setting our camera and lighting equipment up in one of the on-site bar areas to await our moment. Not long after the PA went silent, we witnessed the doors opening to reveal Dave, Gary’s Tour Manager, and Gary himself, resplendent in military-chic clothes and sporting that unmistakable shock of raven hair. We said our hellos and sat down for a most stimulating chat that encompassed his new album Savage (which hit number 2 in the UK charts) songwriting techniques, urban field recording, world politics, science fiction, the future, the past and what’s actually important in a piece of gear. Gary was very gracious with his answers and displayed a perceptive and restless intellect.

It felt like we were just beginning to get into the good stuff when Jayce Lewis’ (Gary’s tour support act) soundcheck began and we’d realised we’d gone far past our allotted time (thanks, Dave!) and it was time to say our goodbyes. Generously, Gary stuck around a little longer to chat away to us and sign a few books and CDs that the more dedicated of us brought along in the off-chance!

Then, it was back to the office through the rain-drenched Glasgow streets, all of us glowing from our brief but highly inspiring afternoon in the company of a man who single-handedly turned synth music on its head and changed it forever, revolutionising rock music as well as electronic music and redefining just how powerful a synth can be in the correct context. We hope you enjoy our video and we’d like to say special thanks to Gary and Dave for allowing us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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