LISTEN: New John Foxx / Gary Numan

Foxx and Numan finally team up on track; listen exclusively below

Over the years, John Foxx and Gary Numan’s paths have crossed on numerous occasions, but this has somehow never come to materialise in their music. Now, the pair, and Foxx’s band The Maths, have finally teamed up on ‘Talk (Are You Listening To Me?)’, part of a new John Foxx compilation album which is set for release next month. You can listen to the collaboration above right now.

The track features on 21st Century: A Man, A Woman And A City, which is set for release on May 20 and takes in music old and new from John Foxx in all manner incarnations with Gazelle Twin, The Soft Moon, Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie and more making appearances.

To celebrate the coming together of the pair on record and the release of the compilation album itself, we had a very quick catch-up with both Foxx and Numan about the track. You can check out their answers below.

Could you tell us about the first time you met John?

Gary Numan: We’ve met many times of course. He’s extremely smart, a very interesting man to spend time with. He was one of my big heroes when I was in my late teens, early 20s, so I was pretty nervous when I first met him.

What brought on this collaboration? Was there a feeling that this has been a long time coming?

GN: It does feel as though, with our long history, that we should have done something together long before now. But, life has a habit of pushing you in directions you don’t always expect. John’s manager, Steve Malins [also Gary’s ex-manager and longterm friend], asked if I wanted to have a go at the track some time ago. I found it quite tricky to be honest. It’s quite an unusual structure and finding a melody and vibe that worked with the parts John had recorded took me a while. I was floundering for a few days, almost gave up at one point, but I really like the end result.

How did you share work on the track?

GN: I was sent the track and asked to find something vocally that worked in the later upbeat section. I just had to find a melody, lyric and style that was very different to John’s spoken word vocal and yet complimented it somehow. When that was done the vocal was sent back to John and [collaborator] Benge who finished the track.

Do you have any further plans to work together?

GN: Nothing at the moment. I’m stressed out and swamped working on my own new album and an EP with Andy Gray so I couldn’t get involved with anything else for a while. After that though, I’d be more than happy to work together again. He’s still my hero 🙂

Could you tell us about the first time you met Gary?

John Foxx: I went up to the studio when he was making his second album. My friend, the artist Russel Mills had played me that first Tubeway record and I liked what I heard. We had a few friends in common and got in touch. We’ve been meeting up at various points over the years since then.

What brought on this collaboration?

JF: It was all Malins’ fault – he managed Gary until he moved to America and manages me, too. He sent the track to Gary, who liked the song – so off we all went.

Was there a feeling that this has been a long time coming?

JF: God yes. For years. I think we’d all come to the point of thinking let’s get on with it before one of us leaves the planet.

How did you share work on the track?

JF: I sent the track over to Gary in LA, he sent his synth and vocal parts back, then Benge and I mixed it. Benge is a big Numan fan. The first live concert he ever went to.

Do you have any further plans to work together?

JF: Haven’t discussed it. It was a pleasure to finally do it and we all worked well together, so who knows?

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