Still Electric; Electro King Gary Numan Talks to Sally Williams about Dave Grohl, Asperger Syndrome and His Long Career

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EIGHTIES electro icon Gary Numan is celebrating 30 years in the pop industry by getting back to his Welsh roots. Although the former Tubeway Army frontman was born in London he says his family are Welsh on the side of Tony, his father and manager. "So I'm a quarter Welsh," he says proudly, "although my grandparents who lived in Cardiff died a long time ago. "But I remember visiting my grandmother in Cardiff as a kid.

I've not been to the Welsh capital for a while so it will be good to be back. "A lot of people in the music industry don't like travelling around but I like to see how places have changed, and I hear Cardiff has improved a lot over the past 10 years." Numan, real name Gary Webb, is on the road because his classic album The Pleasure Principle is being re-released 30 years after it hit Number One in the UK charts. Now aged 51, his synth anthems such as Are Friends Electric? and Cars have enjoyed multiple trendy revivals and his music has been covered by rock royalty including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who is known to perform his own version of Down In The Park. "Dave Grohl is nice and cool, which is often the way with people of that calibre," he says. "Electronic revivals happen every five years or so and there are a few covers of my songs floating around - it is a compliment and good for my wallet." Rather than living off royalties though, Numan has returned to recording duties after a break of five years and has two new albums in the pipeline, one of which will be released in spring, the other in summer.

Numan never seemed set for such a long and successful career though, not in school at least. …