Gary Numan On Not Being A “Nostalgia Act”

Gary Numan, in a new interview, shared some interesting thoughts on not being a nolstagia act:

I’m told often, and I think incorrectly, that I should not worry about any of that (being a nostalgia act).

I shouldn’t worry about whether it’s retro nostalgia; I should just go out and do these songs and enjoy myself.

And I actually think that’s a slightly kind of naive attitude, because you can be typed to a certain era and it can be very, very, very difficult to get out of that, no matter how many albums you make since that, how old you are and how long your career lasts.

If you’re tagged to that era, I think you might as well just f—ing shoot yourself in the head, really, ’cause you’re done for. And I think it’s really, really important to make sure that doesn’t happen. And that’s why I’ve been so cautious about any kind of nostalgia.

There are, over here [in the UK], a number of sort of TV shows which are very powerful and very good things to be on and I’ve probably said no to all of them at one point or another because they wanted to me to go on and sing Cars or one of the other older songs. And even though I would desperately need the publicity at times, I would say no to them because I’ve always been aware of the sort of bigger picture that if you’re just ever seen doing those things it just perpetuates this idea that you only ever wrote two songs or three and they were all written in 1980 or ’79 and that’s your career in a capsule.

So you have to be aware of that thing and if it means turning down really good opportunities, then that’s what you have to do.

Of course, fans still want to see him sing Cars, as he does with Nine Inch Nails in the video above.

7 thoughts on “Gary Numan On Not Being A “Nostalgia Act”

  1. There's a difference between 'nostalgic' and 'classic': if you still get shivers after 30 years, it isn't nostalgia. This performance of "Cars" with Nine Inch Nails is one of the most epic things I've ever seen. If he can still do this with "Cars", I don't see why he shouldn't play it every chance he gets.

  2. Good show…Is Gary taller than Trent ? or was Gary wearing high soled boots ? I've met Gary on several occasions and he's only about 5' 5" tall, and it appeared that Trent was slightly shorter..

  3. Excluding full-on Numanoids, has anyone really enjoyed anything the man has done since 1984?
    I love his work until then but let's face it, he went south by the mid-80s as did most of the early synth greats (OMD, Human League/Heaven 17 etc.). Few artists can escape being associated with the era they emerged. Stones = 60s, Fleetwood Mac = 70s.

    But if you like Gary and you didn't grow up in the 80s, then it's not "nostalgia" anyway!

  4. All his albums since Exile (1997) are great. Check them out. Actually, Human ('95) isn't too bad. Sad he hasn't done anything since 2006. Speaking of not doing nostalgia… there he is publishing a 30 year anniversary album and a classes 'redux' album. hmmm.

  5. Trent is actually pretty short yeah… would've never guessed huh? I guess we just get a picture of people in our minds and wearing boots like I seem to remember him doing will add some false height…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *