Savage. The New Image (and why)
- Gary Numan
- April 24, 2017
As you may have seen the new UK tour for the forthcoming Savage album has just been announced. Shows in Europe will be announced very soon and a North American tour will be confirmed, hopefully, in the next few weeks. I’m also looking at many other places around the world so, if things come together as I hope, I will be able to add a constant string of shows around the world in the coming months. I can’t deny that I am very excited and optimistic about the next twelve months and what could happen with this album.
The reason for this post though is as an explanation. A few people seem concerned about the imagery of the new photos, the tour flyer, the type face used, the title itself ‘Savage’ combined with those things and so on. It seems that some misunderstanding is occurring and that some of you feel that, in these troubled times, it could be taken the wrong way. So, I would obviously like to clear that up before it goes any further because none of that is intended.
The majority of the songs on the new album are taken from ideas I’ve been working on for a novel. Yes, embarrassingly, the same novel I’ve been talking about for years. My long neglected Science Fantasy epic that will probably never see the light of day but, much as the short stories I was writing around Replicas time did for that album, so this permanently unfinished book is giving me a huge amount of material to write new songs about. The ideas for the book gave me songs for Dead Son Rising, a few for Splinter and now quite a few for Savage.
Savage then is a theme album by and large. Set in a post apocalyptic future where the earth has been devastated by global warming and what remains is mostly harsh, barren and desert like. The various cultures of the people that survived have, over generations, essentially merged into one. That merging driven mostly by the necessities of surviving in the environment that remains. The language spoken in this future world is essentially English, but the Middle Eastern influence is seen everywhere (hence the typeface I’ve chosen for the artwork). There is therefore a subtle but definite Middle Eastern influence musically on this album here and there, in some melodies especially, and that was deliberate. The music has to reflect the idea of cultures merging that exists in this fictional future. The book (and therefore the album) is based upon concerns about the catastrophic effects of ignoring global warming, and how the survivors must adapt, and nothing at all to do with comparing existing cultures, terrorism, religion or nuclear war. The title, Savage, does not refer to a person, or to a culture, but to the environment the people exist in in this forbidding future, and the new photos are meant to depict a scene from that. It is certainly not meant to imply that people that live in a desert region are ‘Savage’. The clothes I’m wearing are not desert clothes, they are pseudo military looking (and meant to look worn out in the harshness of that world) and represent the way we may all need to look if policies designed to stop the effects of global warning are abandoned or ignored in certain vitally important key regions of the world over the next four years.
The world the album describes is savage, and the people in it need to be equally savage to survive, but that’s all there is to it. It’s fantasy, but based on my fears about what’s going to happen to future generations if we don’t do what needs to be done to protect the planet. It is not particularly political, not anti religious (for once), not anti anything other than the almost unbelievably ignorant decisions in one part of the world to walk away from agreements and commitments concerned with combating climate change and protecting our environment. Not every song is about this, I have other things that have found their way in to the album, but the image and style of ‘Savage’ is very much guided by the concerns mentioned above.
I will now climb down from my little soap box and get back to the studio. The album is very close to being finished now. The main album is done apart from one vocal/lyric, I’m finishing off the extra track for the Deluxe CD today and the final extra song for the vinyl version will completed by the end of the week. By the skin of our teeth, it really does look as though it’s going to be ready on time.
A special word of thanks here to Joseph Cultice for taking such extraordinary photos in a genuinely harsh environment. I’m very grateful to his skill and enthusiasm in getting the visual side together.
I’d also like to thank Ade Fenton who, as always, is doing an absolutely remarkable job on the production and turning my rough ideas into music to be proud of.
Not long now.