Gary Numan isn’t one for nostalgia. When the “Cars” singer plays a sold-out show on Wednesday, September 5, at the Crescent Ballroom, expect him to focus on his 22nd studio album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World).
“I don’t like to dwell on the past,” Numan says via telephone before a gig in Chile.
“I like to focus on the new record and more recent records. Obviously, people who come along will have certain favorites. I will do some old stuff. I just don’t dwell on it. I’ll do songs from the first two to four albums. Years five to 20 I don’t do any from that at all. I like the music I made in the beginning.”
Savage (Songs from a Broken World) comes from a different place than his previous effort, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind).
“I had been diagnosed with depression and writing the album was part of coming through that and what it was like to be in it,” Numan says. “My music is not always that personal.”
“When I sat down to write the new one, there was none of that. Life was really good. The kids were healthy. We moved to L.A. The album before had done great. I was absolutely empty. Nothing bad happened. I said, ‘I can’t write about good.’”
Numan explains he was writing a book about global warming and an apocalyptic future. That inspired him to write a few songs, but he didn’t expect to be prolific. Donald Trump was elected president of the Unites States. It made sense to make him and his climate decisions the catalyst for the apocalypse theme of the album.
“I had no intention of making an album about the subject,” he says. “Coincidentally, Donald Trump started his campaign for presidency. He was saying something like global warming was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. There were lots of things I didn’t agree with. It was my own tiny way of arguing back the only way I could.”
Numan is using the songs as a starting point for his new tour. He acknowledges he may disappoint fans who want him to concentrate on the past.
“I am grateful for the people who have been with me since the beginning,” he says. “I just hope they’re excited about what I’m doing now and going to do next. If you’re a creative person, you should be excited about what you’re going to create next.”
Gary Numan w/Nightmare Air, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, 602.716.2222, crescentphx.com, 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 5, sold out.