In the 1980s, Adam Ant made a name for himself with outlandish outfits, elaborate hair and make up and infectious, catchy tunes. Its been a long time since he’s made music, until now. His latest offering is "Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter".
Ant joins the show to tell us about working on his first solo album in 17 years, his diagnosis with bipolar disorder and more.
On the meaning of the album title:
"A Hussar is a 19th century cavalryman. The idea behind the album was a fictional account of possibly a French Hussar, a horsemen. It's an affectionate look back to the 'Kings of Our Frontier' album, which is probably my favorite album of the nine albums I've made. It's the introduction of looking back to the character from 1980 and what he'd look like, 35 years later, now an officer, more experienced.
"Perhaps if he had ridden to Moscow with Napoleon's troops in 1812, and that gave me a metaphor for the second part, 'marrying the gunner's daughter,' which is a naval term for punishment. That reflected some of the business contracts I've signed over the years, so put the two together and you have that long title."
On how he ended up living in a small town called Dayton, Tennessee:
"I arrived there purely by chance. I was getting married at the time, I'm sadly divorced since that time, but the time was when me and my Mrs. to drove from Miami through the U.S. to get married in a chapel in Vegas.
"However, en route we stopped by this very tiny town and had a cup of coffee and I always like to read the local magazines wherever I go. Noticed an A-framed house for sale overlooking the veil of Tennessee. We were in no great rush so took a look at it. I fell in love with it, a devastingly beautiful view. Instead of getting married in Vegas, we got married in the local town hall with sheriffs. It was a very different turn of events but a wonderful time I had."
On living in the small town and the man who inspired the song "Cool Zombie"
"The song 'Cool Zombie' is dedicated to my next door neighbor's father who sadly passed away. He was in the U.S. Navy submarine fleet and he was a very unusual Grandad, he had a Harley Davidson. I noticed that some of the big music stars were still playing kind of the local towns, very small places. There was music everywhere you went, lot of Blues, Country. I think I absorbed the atmosphere much later in this record."
On being diagnosed with bipolar disorder:
"This album has allowed me to really take down the defenses, and it's quite a personal record. It deals with topics like bipolar disorder and dealing with it publicly. Getting back into the music industry three years ago, I knew the questions would be asked and didn't really like that uncomfortable feeling. So I started to discuss it and found the feedback that came back from the public was overwhelming.
"That confirmed it was a subject that many millions of people suffer from, but feel guilty, and this awful taboo and ignorance that surrounds it. I think it's becoming more of a prevalent illness reflecting the stresses of modern day life. One of the best ways of interpreting it was putting it on the album musically. Hopefully it will encourage other people to do the same thing."
On what he hopes people take away from the song "Shrink":
"The message would be that there is hope and that this is an illness, not a disease, and that you can live with it and get on top of it instead of having it control your life."
On the meaning behind the song "How Can I Say I Miss You?":
"That was a very critical song for me because it's about my daughter Lily Caitlin and how during my illness there was a long period of time when I was unable to see or be with her, because I was so unwell. I think that song was just a love song to my daughter because she is most important person in my life. It was a love letter to her and we see each other all the time now, so it's a celebration song."