When Adam Ant first appeared on the scene in the late 70s/early 80s it seemed anything was possible. MTV, which launched in 1981, was redefining the way we experienced music and so was Adam Ant. Gaining popularity first as the lead singer for what was deemed the New Wave and/or Post Punk movement, Adam and the Ants created a platform for what became a defining and redefining solo career.
Ant whipped both sides of the pond into an Antmania frenzy with his huge chart-topping hits, charming good looks and trail-blazing fashion statements that borrowed from romantic rogues.
Almost mystical in his ability to romance an audience and once voted one of the sexiest men by MTV viewers, he is still full of surprises. During a recent stand up pull down your Ants discussion the man behind the hype was not only generous of spirit, but a gentleman in the truest sense.
Joshua Estrin: You are one of the faces that defined and dominated the 1980s music scene. Blessing, burden, or both?
Adam Ant: I have been judged, I have had all kinds of things said about me in the press but my career has always been extremely gratifying. I have no control over how people see me or who they wanted me to be as that punk rock pretty boy so I always used my fans as the true barometer. It's still overwhelming and rewarding to be embraced by those who connect to me through my music and at the end of the day that is simply the only thing that matters, it's what makes the journey a true blessing.
JE: Tell me about the The Blueback Hussar Tour and album.
AA: Well if I don't get the nuts and bolts in my people will have something to say so (he chuckles), This is my first American tour in 17 years in conjunction with my upcoming album, Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter. I said correctly, I think. Anyway, I am thrilled to be sharing this with the world and more than ready to take this show on the road.
JE: It has been 17 years since your last tour are you at all nervous?
AA: I'm human and although you need to be thick skinned an element of danger exists when you appear to burst back into the scene 30 years later. But the reality is I never left. I may not have been touring and doing videos, but I was always playing my music and performing in front of live audiences. I have always been disciplined, I walk every day with my dog and I don't use a car so I have the stamina. While it sometimes seems hard for people to believe as a child of the 80's I never took drugs simply because I found them uninteresting. I think that is what tires some people out. They still have the music in them they just don't have the energy to share it as they once did. Me? I am more than ready for this
JE: Who do you listen to today? Who excites you musically?
AA: Honestly, I am conflicted as I answer this question, as I don't want to disrespect anyone. I wish I saw more of an evolution in music happening. I respect what Gaga is doing, but I want more of her, more performers taking on her style and creating a true genre.
JE: What do think is the greatest misconception people have about you?
AA: My post punk image of the 80s still haunts me. I think people see me as this romantic video image. That is a part of who I am and certainly the costumes and fashion perpetuate it. I am a guy who loves to play his music, loves the festivals and loves keeping my music live. The studio is a necessary evil, but music was meant to be heard in the moment without all the tricks and technology.