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Gary Numan joins Nine Inch Nails at Amway Center on Halloween

The influential pop artist resurges as a critical darling with a darker presence

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“I’m not a big fan of retro, nostalgia,” Numan says. “If anything, my albums have been getting heavier. If people are coming in to hear nostalgia, they’ll be disappointed. But if they’re coming to hear something powerful and aggressive and heavy, then they’ll get what they want.”

Splinter follows 2006’s critically acclaimed Jagged, and Numan says he originally planned his new material as a swift follow-up. (In between, he released 2011’s Dead Son Rising, a set of demos.) However, plans for the release were postponed as Numan found it impossible to write due to deep depression.

“I was on medication for depression for about three years. It was pretty bad; I was in a bad place,” says Numan. “I started to get better, but I didn’t start writing seriously again until the end of June 2011. Up until then, I had a few songs but no continuity at all.”

He says he’s pleased with the overall production of Splinter.

“There’s a greater dynamic on it. Lyrically, it’s a lot more personal,” Numan says. “It feels a lot more emotional, and production-wise … it’s really gone up a level or two. From a songwriting side … there are songs that are really big, massive and driving, then there’s songs like ‘Lost,’ which is really just a piano and vocals. I’ve never had a lot of confidence with my voice, so I usually hide it under effects. With this one, there are very little effects going on with most of the songs.”

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