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Live Gig Video: watch Gary Numan tinker away on a new track in his studio to promote new PledgeMusic campaign

 
By on Wednesday, 20th January 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

Following on from the incredible reception his last album, 2013’s ‘Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind)’ garnered, Gary Numan is gearing up to work on his next album. But he needs your help to do it: he’s started a PledgeMusic campaign for it. The idea was not so much to finance it – within 24 hours of the project going live, its financial target was reached, and as of this writing, it’s already made over 200% of the original target – but as you will read below, it’s Numan’s desire to let the fans in on the incredible journey to the finished album product:

“Making an album is often a long and tortuous process. As a fan you usually just get the finished product, an album slickly packaged, professional and shrink wrapped for your pleasure. But you miss entirely the journey it took to get that finished product to you. I would like to change that. With my new album, the 21st album of my career, I would like to involve you from the very beginning. I want you to be a witness to the entire process, from the very first note played, through every up and down as the days unfold, as each song comes together, as each lyric takes shape and as the first glimmer of art design comes into my head. Some days will be good, ideas will flow easily and I will be happy and excited. Other days will be awful, and I will be miserable and fighting yet another fight in a life long battle with confidence, or the lack of it. But this is the process. As a songwriter, as an artist, you struggle with a wide range of demons. I’ve said often that making an album is like climbing a mountain. It’s a huge task, a huge challenge, like an emotional roller-coaster, and it is not easy. If anything, they get ever harder to make, but they are always exciting.

More than just wanting you to be involved though, to be a regular viewer to my progress on the album, I want to maintain my independence in the music business. I do not wish to sign conventional, industry standard deals and tread the well worn route that has been the norm for musicians for decades. This campaign will also allow me to do that, to be truly independent.

With this new album I have deliberately held off of writing anything until this campaign is in place. I will start to write it the day the campaign is launched and I have eleven months to get it completely finished as the release date I’ve set for it is mid-October, 2016. Three years exactly since ‘Splinter’ was released. I have no idea how I want it to sound, or who will work on it with me, if anyone. It doesn’t even have a working title as yet. It’s as blank a canvas as I’ve ever had and everything that happens will happen with you as part of it.

I will record regular updates, some audio, some video. You will hear snippets of songs as they progress from first note to finished versions. You will hear me explain how I write and I will guide you through my entire process from beginning to end. When you pre-order the album, not only will you receive the new music and exclusive items when the album is ready, you’ll also have intimate access to the making of it from beginning to end. Hopefully, when the shrink wrapped album is eventually in your hands, you will feel a closer connection to it than any other album I’ve ever made. That’s my hope.

For me this is an incredibly exciting project, one that I hope you will join in with me.”

Watch a video below of the man doing some creating off the cuff in his studio on a pretty nice collection of synthesisers. It’s a teaser of the kind of intimate, up close and personal updates you’ll get if you pledge your backing for Numan’s new album, which is due to be out in October 2016.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4bjjMw0Z3E[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1491: Gary Numan

 
By on Tuesday, 8th April 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

I was lucky enough to catch the legendary Gary Numan at the Hype Hotel on the last day of this year’s SXSW. One of the songs he played in Austin, ‘I Am Dust’, now has a promo video utilising Tachyon + technology. The song figures on Numan’s latest album, 2013’s ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’. Watch the video below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXjM7jqv5dY[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2014: a short stay at the Hype Hotel before bidding this year’s festival adieu – 15th March 2014

 
By on Thursday, 27th March 2014 at 3:00 pm
 

After we left Latitude 30, I decided we needed a real meal before we went home for the week. (Come off it, people, that veggie burger that everyone was complaining about there was delicious! But it was probably because I was hungry, and you know how everything tastes 1,000x better when you’re hungry?) I’ve been a regular at Piranha Sushi just down the street from the venue every year I’ve come out for SXSW, so it made sense to get some good food and drink from there before we said goodbye to SXSW 2014.

Carrie ordered the one with the strawberries on top, which I have to say looked pretty good but it just wasn’t my thing. (If anyone fancies seeing what I ate while in Austin, I’ve got a whole slew of photos I can share. My love for music is the only thing that trumps my love for food and cooking. You can blame my Chinese upbringing.) Our waiter Zachary was ubercool and was so nice to us, even though we were a little tipsy from our time at the British Music Embassy earlier. Seriously though, it was Saturday afternoon, and how could I not indulge in multiples of my namesake drink, the Bloody Mary?

We had every intention of going home after our bellies were full. But after a fortuitous accidental run-in with more friends from the AU Review and the reappearance of our Canadian friend Jordy, who insisted we should join him at the Hype Hotel with the promise of the famous free drinks and free tacos, we relented. I argued with myself in my head, when else am I going to see Gary Numan? He ain’t coming to DC anytime soon! Actually, we didn’t need as much arm twisting as I make it sound. Edinburgh’s Meursault, who had rocked our world at the British Music Embassy just hours prior, were playing again right before Numan, so we could make it a two-fer.

Following minimal queueing, we got inside and I was surprised how much smaller the Hype Hotel was this year compared to previous years; the location moves every year. Last year when I saw then unknowns Kodaline and the Specials there on the Thursday night in 2013, the space seemed ridiculously cavernous and empty when I arrived, #2 in the queue to get in. To be honest, this time I was little crestfallen in the lack of overall grandeur. It also didn’t help that by the time I’d gotten the munchies and wanted a free taco, they’d closed up shop.

The first band on at the Hype Hotel Saturday night was Caught a Ghost, a project of LA songwriter and producer Jesse Nolan. His Twitter describes the music as ” vintage soul with modern electronic influences”, and I would agree wholeheartedly. Songs like ‘No Sugar in My Coffee’ show off Nolan’s soulful, jazzy tendencies, evident in the vocal stylings and the bass-y grooves. If the song sounds familiar, it’s because it was used in season 4 of Boardwalk Empire, probably for its sleazy slinkiness. As a full band, they’re pretty cool to watch and enjoy.


Next up as promised were Meursault. I was so pleased for them that by then – 9 PM – there was a sizable and highly receptive American crowd just waiting to hear then do their best (er, or worse, depending on which side of rock you’re on lingo-wise). What an exciting thing it must have been for them to play on such a massive stage and in front of so many more people who didn’t know who they were, and it was their chance to shine. I was excited for them too because the Hype Hotel was so much larger than Latitude 30 and the sound system at the E. 7th Street venue made them sound huge. Contrast that with the show Cheryl and I saw in Baltimore on Sunday night, and I think I’ve gotten the full Meursault live experience over a 9-day period. I’m a lucky girl.

Then came 10 o’clock. Time for Gary Numan. Gary Numan is not Carrie’s kind of music at all. So I give her a lot of credit for hanging in there for the first three songs before she bailed, patiently waiting outside for the set to finish and for me to come out. I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to his new material; he is, of course, most famous for ‘Cars’ and ‘Are Friends Electric’, his hits of yesteryear. But what was more amazing to me was how huge the sound was from his evolution into an industrial rock god in the late ’90s, following on from his mastery of being a commercially viable electronic artist with those aforementioned hit singles, at least for a time in his early career. (I apologise for the poor quality of the below photo, but I wanted to show you just how excited I was and how grateful I was to the Hype Machine to put him on the Saturday night bill.)

The ‘Splinter’ LP, released last year, continues Numan’s commitment to uncompromising industrial, goth-y rock. ‘Love Hurt Bleed’ sounds more Nine Inch Nails than Nine Inch Nails does, if that makes any sense. But in the same set, ‘Cars’, despite all its layers making it sound so much more complicated than in its original form, easily proved why the song has endured in the collective hearts and minds of us synth heads. It’s just that good, as is Numan. At age 56, the man is still wearing eyeliner, has a shock of punky hair on his head, can rock out on a guitar like nobody’s business and wail on the microphone too.

For me, it had been an extremely emotional week, meeting up and spending time with the dear people in my life I don’t often see, while also finally meeting others who I had known for a while online but this being the first time I got to meet them in person. Saturday night was the culmination of a marathon I and all of us at TGTF had been running since the first band announcement was made in November, and now it was over. So this was the show where I truly let my hair down, allowing it to fly as I just gave myself over to the music.

I had been sad for the needless deaths of innocent music fans at the Mohawk Wednesday night, and I had been sad because I received signs over the weeks before arriving and while I was in Austin that certain things in my life had reached an end. But after several important conversations on Saturday, I became optimistic that my music career had only just begun, like the feeling you get when you open a brand new book for the first time and you run your fingers down the first page, anxiously awaiting for what is yet to come. I’m a little scared but also raring to go into this next phase of my life. Gary Numan looked over at me a couple times and smiled; I doubt he realised he was witnessing a transformation.

I gave Jordy a final hug and when I finally emerged into the night to meet up with Carrie, I found her grinning from ear to ear as we were leaving. She said we definitely had to do this again next year. Shall we? I think yes. Until then…goodnight, dear Austin.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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