"There's only one thing worse in society than the poor house and that's the mad house." ~ Adman Ant
Back in the early '80s, Adam Ant was the king of the wild post-punk frontier. Mentored by former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and his fashion designer partner Vivienne Westwood, the London born art school dropout created a visually vivid world of pirates and dandies which brought color back to the palate of a culturally monotone and economically depressed UK.
Having amassed an avid US fanbase with his music, and after starring in a critically acclaimed West End production of the Joe Orton play Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Ant moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. However the price of fame took its toll. Alongside film and TV roles, he also aquired a stalker, which severely impacted his already fragile peace of mind.
Taking a break from the public eye, Ant moved to Tennessee before returning to London, where an altercation outside a pub thrust him back into the headlines again. Following the incident, Ant pled guilty to a single count of causing an affray. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 21, Ant received a suspended sentence and court ordered psychiatric care. Unfortunately, due to the relentless nature of the British press, he was forced to pull his life back together under the tabloid glare.
Though his recovery was very public and far from linear - with every setback being exacerbated by its salacious documentation by the less savory contingent of the UK press - Ant is clearly in a much better place these days. He completed a string of dates in the US and Europe in 2012, before releasing his first studio album in 17 years. The intriguingly titled Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter was released on both side of the Atlantic in January of this year.
I caught up with Ant by phone after a rehearsal with his new band The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse to talk about his new album and his upcoming US tour, which kicks off in San Diego on July 17th.