The man behind one of the New Wave era’s wormiest ear worms “Cars” could have been content to remain a one-hit wonder. Instead, industrial-synth pop pioneer Gary Numan has maintained a vital artistic output over a career spanning three decades. And this fall the iconic artist will put out Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), his first album of all-new material in seven years. Numan’s trademark synths are still present and accounted for on the record’s epic first single “I Am Dust,” recalling Nine Inch Nails (who are themselves acolytes of Numan’s hard-edged electro-pop).
But Numan is more interested in creating the future than reliving the past: “It’s a very cool thing to have written something that has lasted that long and is still known to some people as arguably one of the more famous songs ever,” Numan recently told Stereogum.com. He adds, “Generally I’ve got a real problem with anything ‘retro’ at all. My whole reason for getting into electronic music — well, any kind of music really — was this desire to come up with new sounds, new technologies, new ways of doing things, and it’s still part of why I do it.”
Gary Numan plays with gothic synth-pop upstarts Cold Cave 9 pm Thursday, Aug. 29, at WOW Hall; $25 adv., $30 door.