Culural Life: Gary Numan, musician

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Reaper's Gale is the seventh volume of Steven Erikson's fantasy series, Malazan Book of the Fallen. It's hard work, because everything interconnects but nothing is explained. Sometimes you are four books in before something in the first book becomes clear. The other book I'm reading is Night of Knives: a Novel of the Malazan Empire by Ian C Esslemont. They both apparently created the fantasy world in Erikson's books and now Esslemont is writing offshoots of the main story.


I can't watch supernatural films as it unsettles me, especially since I moved to an old house surrounded by woods, near Tunbridge Wells. I have a strong belief in ghosts and I don't want those fears encouraged. I saw a real ghost, as clear as day, at Piccadilly Circus Underground station when I was 17. I'm fascinated by haunted stuff, but not in my own house. I don't like films that are overly violent, either – I can't watch rape. As I've got older, the amount of films that I will see gets less and less because so many things upset me now. I like blockbusters. My wife doesn't like comedy, so our choice is a bit narrow. I went to see I am Legend, which was fantastic.


I don't really listen to music. We have music on if we have a party: Depeche Mode or Nine Inch Nails – not particularly happy, dance sort of music. If I sit down in the evening to relax, music is the last thing I'd put on. I can't think when music is on. A lot of what I do involves thinking about the things that I then write songs about. I need quiet. Most of my songs were written in a car, but that doesn't happen now. My car is a cacophony of screams and kids being told off. My rate of work has slowed down since I've had children, although they bring good things to life, too!


I went to the stage version of The Lord of the Rings. I don't understand opera. I'm more likely to see smash hits like Stomp! – a combination of percussion, movement and comedy – than Shakespeare.

Gary Numan will perform the whole of his No 1 album 'Replicas' (plus B-sides) on a 15-date UK tour in March (