After a 15-year hiatus from the music business, '80s icon Thomas Dolby is hitting the road. The one-man show will feature vintage oscilloscopes, he said. "I'm playing solo. I use a combination of current equipment and I've always collected vintage equipment. Some of that I've had retrofitted so it will control my computer. I tend to build my songs up in layers. I play a bass line then a drum part. I'll sing my song at the top," Dolby said.
"It's kind of interesting to watch. I have a camera on my head so you can see my point of view on the knobs," he added.
Dolby, a five-time Grammy winner, has been making synth music for more than 30 years, most notably the songs "She Blinded Me with Science" and "Hyperactive." He has also worked with a variety of artists including Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Foreigner and Roger Waters.
In the early 1990s, Dolby quit the music industry to form Beatnik, Inc., a company that produces ringtones. After that career, he decided to return to playing live.
"I've been up in Silicon Valley for 10 years doing high tech. That was long enough to be away from [the] music that was my first love. It seemed like a good time to get back to touring," he said.
Although he is hitting the road, he does not have a new album to promote. "I don't know whether new albums are what I'm going to do. I never had a knack of making songs in batches of 10 or 12. I wouldn't rule out more albums. I haven't written too many songs. I write a song occasionally, when I'm in the shower," he said with a laugh. "I have a small backlog of stuff that I need to record. I make new songs as I go along."