Before he became the de facto face of electronic music, Gary Numan was originally signed as a punk-pop crossover. Moments into his first recording session, however, he stumbled onto a synthesizer and swapped it for the guitar, thus opening up an entirely new genre.
“I was convinced that, for me, electronic music was my future,” Numan told Matt Pinfield on the latest episode of The Hivecast. “I thought it was gonna be massive and I wanted to be right on the cutting edge of it. I wanted to be one of the first people doing it.”
That determination must have lit the fire within Numan, who was hard at work on his second album, Replicas, with his band Tubeway Army around the same time that he was working on his electronic solo debut, The Pleasure Principle. “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” off of Replicas quickly shot to number one, but Numan told Matt it was an “unlikely success.”
“I didn’t honestly think that what I was doing, at that point, in Replicas and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” and things like that— I didn’t think they were gonna be the songs to make something happen for me,” Numan recalled. “Genuinely, [I] didn’t think that 'Are ‘Friends’ Electric?' would be a number-one single. It doesn’t tick any of the boxes of what makes it a single. “
To learn more about the evolution of Gary Numan and his thoughts on other artists covering his songs, check out the latest episode of the Hivecast. [Download & subscribe to the Hivecast via iTunes.]