YOU might think Ultravox founder John Foxx would regret his decision to walk away from the band before their biggest hit.
The new wave quartet, which included Huddersfield violinist and keyboardist Billy Currie, released three albums on Island Records in the mid 1970s.
But in 1979 Foxx decided to pursue his love of German electronic music and split from the band to work on his solo project.
A year later, Ultravox, fronted by ex-Visage member Midge Ure, had the global smash hit Vienna.
But Foxx, who was experimenting with keyboards and electronic music several years before Kraftwerk rose to fame, says he has no regrets about the path he has followed.
While everyone else was jumping on the punk bandwagon he went electronic and has stayed true to the genre to this day.
Now with a new album out he is embarking on a UK tour, which culminates at the Holmfirth Picturedrome on October 28.
He said: “I started doing this sort of thing in about 1975. I wasn’t really listening to Kraftwerk so much but other bands like Neu! Cluster and a bit of very early Tangerine Dream.
“I started the band at art school in London, it was just before punk. I knew people like Mick out of The Clash and you just had a feeling that something was going to happen.
“A lot of bands were busy being formed at that moment. Malcolm McClaren had been to New York and seen things happening there and he came back to London and fired off the Sex Pistols.
“There were bands like The Damned and The Clash and a lot of these collectives living in Elgin Avenue (in Maida Vale) at that point and they got galvanised by seeing the first American punk bands like The Ramones.
“But we were more interested in the German scene. We had a different take on things. I think it’s more fun if people are different.”
While he may not be a household name, Foxx has worked with dozens of 70s and 80s icons including legendary producer/musician Brian Eno, The Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode and his good friend Gary Numan.
His latest album, Interplay, a collaboration with electronic composer Benge (Ben Edwards) is released on September 26 and with his 60th birthday approaching Foxx the Lancashire-born man said he still had plenty of ideas in him and was enjoying the resurgence of electronically influenced music in the charts.
He said: “There’s a lifetime’s work that I’m interested in, I’ve still got a lot to do.
“I don’t want to blow it in one quick explosion. It’s more like a slower fuse that I’m interested in.
“There’s such a lot do – you can’t do it in a couple of years, it takes 20 at least to realise even what you’re about, it’s a fascinating process.
“I like what’s happening at the moment, it’s probably one of the best periods in music ever.
“I think since pop singles have disappeared, it’s freed people up to do things they want to do rather than follow that format – get on Top of the Pops, promote your album and all that. All of the record company’s energy used to go into that.
“When I was a young lad in the 70s I had to go to London as there was no scene in Manchester, but now you can make a scene where you live. It means that people living in Manchester or Huddersfield can make records and they couldn’t before.”