Gary Numan helped put electronic music on the rock map with his 1979 hit, "Cars." He's made plenty of music during the interim, but the British artist is feeling a lot more love these days for his 2013 release "Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind)," his highest charting album in more than 30 years.
"I'm blown away there's so much interest for me again," says Numan (nee Webb), 56, who was in the band Tubeway Army before going solo in 2009. "I felt like my career had slowed down to just a real slow kind of walking pace. Nothing really cool seemed to be happening, and nothing good had happened for such a long time.
"I thought I'd blown it, to be honest. I thought I'd left it too long and I hadn't done enough. It just felt like it faded away. Then I did 'Splinter,' I moved to America and all of a suddenly it seems to have just kicked off again, and it's really exciting."
"Splinter," along with Numan's last few albums, find him exploring a more hard-hitting, industrial kind of rock that seems to be more in keeping with his earlier career success than the albums that came in between. Numan says he's not necessarily sorry for the creative experimenting he did, but he acknowledges it may have stalled his momentum.
"When I started I was just doing my own version of electronic music and was comfortable," he explains. "But I didn't want to be pigeonholed or tied to this one thing, so for the next, I guess, 10 or 15 years I kind of meandered from one thing to another...and I don't think I found where I wanted to be at any time during that period.
"Then I went back to working on my own and trying electronic things again, much darker, much heavier music, and I really felt comfortable with that. I thought, 'This is where I'm at my best, I think,' and I've kind of stayed in that genre since. And I think the genre has enough variation that I'll be able to keep on moving forward without getting stuck or repeating myself."
Gary Numan, Big Black Delta and Roman Remains perform Friday, March 28, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to