Gary Numan – ‘My Name Is Ruin, Meat Beat Manifesto Remix’ seven-inch single
Gary Numan ‘My Name Is Ruin’ Meat Beat Manifesto remixes
Our cover star fills us in on the ‘My Name Is Ruin’ story so far
So who is Ruin?
Ruin is his nickname, he’s a character in the book I’ve been writing which [new album] ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’ is partly based on, but he’s become quite prominent because of the single. Before he earns his nickname, he’s a single parent bringing up a young daughter in this barren, post-apocalyptic world. A marauding tribe of religious zealots arrive, they call themselves The Righteous. Their mission is to convert people to their understanding of the religious text they found, or to kill them. They kill almost everybody in Ruin’s encampment and take his daughter. He survives, and it’s the things he does and the man he becomes in the course of finding her again that earns him the nickname Ruin.
Did the album have an effect on the writing of the novel?
The ideas and character in the book were condensed and sort of retuned into short songs. And as the understanding of the Ruin story has now fed back into the book, it finally has focus and direction, with characters being developed to a depth they hadn’t been before. I know the story now, I know what I’m doing with it.
In the video, Ruin’s daughter is played by your daughter Persia, and she sings backing vocals on the song, too…
I think having her sing on it really added to it. She’s been on stage and sung it, too. In Liverpool, to the biggest crowd I’ve had there since 1981.
She’s only 11. How does she feel about performing live in front of so many people?
She loves it. She’s terrified beforehand, but afterwards she’s on cloud nine. I give her a little talk before she goes out, to remind her to give the audience a little wave, and when you’ve finished say thank you, because the people are going to give you a big cheer. It’s a fairly complicated song, with lots of little sections, but she remembers everything, all the different parts and all the crowd management techniques.
The Meat Beat Manifesto man talks us through his remix
You’ve remixed the likes of David Bowie, David Byrne, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, where does Numan fit in?
I really liked the early stuff, and I revisited it when I knew I was doing this mix, and those songs really stand the test of time. Listening back to that material, you realise how alien it all sounded first time round.
How did you go about creating this particular remix?
I’ve always loved Numan’s vocals and wanted to hear them isolated. With singers liked Trent Reznor, or Bowie, it’s interesting to hear their vocals on their own. They’re always good singers, these people. If you isolated one of my vocal takes you’d hear all the drop ins and outs. But these guys sounds like they go all the way through in one decent take. Numan’s a really good singer, he doesn’t really get credit for it. He has that sneering English accent, he doesn’t do any Americanised vocals, does he? Who is the female singer?
That’s Persia, his daughter. She’s 11 years old
Are you serious! Fucking hell. Her vocal gives it a real world music feel. I would never have thought she was only 11!
You’ve quite the electronic arsenal, what weaponry did you bring to the mix?
I used the Buchla 200 system, an original one, to provide the synth sounds, and an EMS 3000, which I put Numan’s vocals through. I was playing chords to supplement his vocals, which was main thing that I added. I followed the beat, changed some of the drum sounds. That was for the first mix, which is available as a bonus download. On the second mix, which is on the vinyl, I stripped everything back using an Elektron Machinedrum, the Buchla and a vocoder.
You have a new album ready to go, haven’t you?
Thanks for mentioning it. Yes, it’s due for release in December.