Adam Ant is back.
No, it’s not too surprising if your response is, “Who?” He was more of a sensation everywhere but the U.S. and was popular mostly among the alternative (before it was called any such thing) crowd here. Also, it was a long, long time ago in music terms. But if you’re listening to post-punk music now, Adam Ant is one of the people you’ve got to thank for shaping your music.
And now he’s back, talking about the bipolar disorder that took him out of the scene and making more music.
Between 1999 and 2001, he was suffering terrible mood swings – symptoms of his undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
He was planning to tour again until, in 2002, he ended up in court after smashing a pub window in a fit of “hypomania”.
He was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment and for the next 10 years fought to understand and control his condition, writing movingly about it in his 2006 autobiography Stand and Deliver.
He says: “You either discuss it or you don’t. It’s been very therapeutic to talk about it.
“I learn more all the time – especially from Stephen Fry who also has it and is extremely knowledgeable.
“The main thing is not to feel ashamed. It will pass. You can manage it.
“I’m bringing out my first album in 17 years and I hope, as I produce more work and get known for that again, people won’t just define me by my mental illness.”
It’s good to see him making mental health problems less taboo. The stories in 2002 were ugly. Celebrity gossip treatment meant that his bipolar disorder was leapt upon as a sort of character weakness, something that explained how “weird” he’d always been (because highly dramatic musical presentations always require an explanation beyond being entertaining).
The new music? No less dramatic, but decidedly another flavor.