|It was third time lucky for the
meeting some thought would never happen. Antpeople
travelled from across London to question Bryan Stanton,
Adam Ant�s official �voice�.
But how did we really get here?
With fans publicly annoyed with the Official services, we
formed Ant Lib but not only did we want a
�proper� club, we also wanted answers to why
we had been exploited over the years.
Now, sixteen months after Ant Lib's
conception, the floor was open for both parties to join
in venting their views and to raise hearty discussion. Ant Ranger, Deutscher Girl, Sartana, Steve Ant, Maz Ant and myself joined Bryan for
an overdue pow wow.
how did Bryan get involved with ANT?
met Adam in 1990 when I arranged an instore signing in
Piccadilly�s Tower Records. I got talking to him
beforehand and he mentioned he was really unhappy with
the way the fan club was running at the time. He said
he�d contact me in a few months or so, we�ll go
from there - unfortunately it was about three years later
he contacted me. When I arranged another instore signing
and he asked me again about running the fan club, I said
well what do you mean by running the fan club because at
the time it was in a mess.
Kevin Cann then Michael Cox after - then two years after
that he contacted me. I had a meeting with him and he
said we�ve got stacks and stacks for mail all over
the place that we need to sort out, there are people that
haven�t received anything for a long time it took us
about a year to go through all that and get it sorted so
that�s how it all started really. The first thing I
did was try and sort out the mess which ANT had left
behind, the mail outs and stuff that went around.
didn�t reply to those? You didn�t do anything
yeah, we went through all of them and sent a basic letter
out, saying this is the state of it now, there isn�t
a fan club as such but we�re going to start an info
service because we can�t offer a glossy magazine or
anything that a fan club is, if you like.
know I sent a cheque in 1990 and I never got any of
before I got involved
happened between 1990 and then?
little to be honest. There were a couple of PO boxes if
you like� but unfortunately they weren�t
because that was all under the control of Michael Cox.
who sent out the postcard?
myself and Suzanne Skelton who at time was Adam�s
she was a bit dodgy herself...
Adam fell out with her, she promised a lot but did very
little I suppose is the best way to describe it.
is the objective of ANT2000?
wanted to do was try to cover ANT2000 for having four
mail outs, six mail outs, it could be 1 or 2 you never
know. What we want to do is try and get ANT2000 to the
stage where ANT was where it was sending out regular
newsletters and things like that. When I spoke to Adam
about this initially he wanted just to test the water, to
see what the response was going to be. After we sorted
through the mess left behind by ANT there was something
like three thousand that were on the mailing list if you
like, but a lot of those fell by the way because they
were so old. As it stands right now, there are about one
thousand, one hundred and something that responded to the
that relate to the number of people who have paid money a
saying it is a thousand?
the amount of people paying you money?
It�s a lot more than I thought when I started going
through the whole lot initially, to be honest.
When Ant Lib
carried out their own yearly poll in 1999, the vast
majority of nearly a hundred respondents had never even
heard of ANT2000.
This year, with heightened awareness of ANT2000, most
fans that had heard of it (which is still the minority)
wouldn�t touch it with a barge pole. With little
publicity of ANT2000 plus expected poor motivation for a
fifty word photocopy with bad spelling it is difficult to
comprehend a membership of over a thousand subscribers.
Indeed, does Adam even have a thousand active fans?
is there anything that you�ll say for the collapse
of ANT? When we first got in contact - which wasn�t
on very good grounds at the time...
I think I
wasn�t exactly professional either.
wanted to get some answers. We�d have appreciated a
statement from either you or Adam, an apology, an
explanation, because we didn�t know what was going
it would have been a good idea if either Adam or myself
had turned around and said, �Well we�re really
sorry about all this�. I can�t go back now and
it was an unbelievable mess, there was stuff dated back
to 1988, only a few, there was also 400 or 500 letters,
which were in Michael Cox�s possession which he kept
but hadn�t done anything with, as we had to deal
with all that as well I think we should have.
want Adam speak to us
well there will be a letter going onto adam-ant.net in a
couple of week�s time, which will be hand written
from Adam. That should hopefully answer quite a few
questions. That�s all I can say at the moment,
because I�m not actually quite sure what he�s
Adam thinking about doing an official web site?
so many people been saying that they want to have
official Adam Ant news on the web we thought we�d
test it out, if you like, on Nancy�s site. But there
will be an official site. It probably won�t be until
about Sept / Oct. We want it to be completely right
before we do it.
In one of the Antics newsletters
you said that 98% of all Internet news is complete
rubbish. If you thought they were rubbish then, why are
they okay now?
rumours that were floating around at the time, like Adam
& the Ants were going to reform...
they were! Except it wasn�t finalised!
actually contacted all the rest of the band and said, how
do you feel about it? They were like �No, we�ve
got kids now were doing this or that" - he never
said they were going to officially reform but the news
coming over on the net was �yes he�s going to
how come the Albert Hall got booked?
knowledge it wasn�t booked!
I think you�re being kept in the dark there!
but I never actually heard about that at all.
do you feel about the communication between you and Adam?
Do you ever feel like you�re sometimes the last
person to hear?
really. The way I deal with him is that he�ll
contact me when there�s something happening. If we
were to actually get together a proper mail out four
times a year then that info would be reported in it but
at the moment he�s only interested in relaying stuff
that�s concrete that�s definitely going to
happen. I mean, can you imagine the sh** I would have got
if I�d been saying AATA are going to reform they are
going to be playing the Albert Hall, and then say
�oh no, not really, that�s a
mistake��? So what Adam wants me to do is to
give out news, it might be three days before, it might be
a week before but when it�s definitely going to
happen... There was someone on the ALF who said about his
character in Sweetwater...
that was me.
the name he gave me, which was the working name. And then
again it changed so�
he�d already been in the actual programme by the
time you announced that. He should have known, he should
have told you that.
to me, his working name was under that name.
I think what most people are
annoyed about is ANTBOX20
finds that more frustrating than anyone. It is legal
wrangling between record companies. That is the answer to
that one, there is no other answer, Sony promised so
much, they said they would sort out the problems between
different companies The original idea was to put a video
with it as well. Of unreleased stuff like Zerox,
Young Parisians, Dog Eat Dog, Live
in Manchester, but...
the subject of videos, why you�re selling your copy
of Kings of the Wild Frontier
in the auction?
knows about this. The collection isn�t mine,
I�m not saying whose it is. I�d never sell my
where does the money go to from the auction?
to the person selling it.
it�s still more secret doings behind the official
face of Adam Ant!
say it in that way, but the fact that Adam knows about
it, he knows whose collection it is. It�s not going
behind his back.
Well you know that, and we know
that, but what about the other people? They don�t
don�t see how selling someone�s collection off
should be a big problem really.
average fan isn�t stupid. If you said beforehand
that this is someone else�s collection.
it�ll be going to them if they�re paying money
for it; it doesn�t matter who it�s coming from.
They know the item, they know the value, they know how
much they�re bidding, I don�t really see the
problem with that at all.
just a little bit faceless - it looks as though it�s
your collection or...
assure you 100% it�s not my collection
If we came to you and said we
wanted to sell our personal collection under Adam �s
name, would we be able to do that?
Not that I want to!
certainly wouldn�t! I�d never sell my
your role? Are you Adam�s assistant? Are you his
If he�s got anything I have
to go along to, like a meeting with a company or whatever
he�ll call me up and say, �do you want to come
to this, do you want to come to that?� My title is
�manager of his fan club� or Information
Service as it�s called. I�m a friend of his as
there ever going to be a decent mail out from ANT2000? Or
is there so little happening it�s not worth it?
at the moment there�s not a lot happening. I could
just make up a load of bullsh** and put it out�
know you haven�t probably got a lot of experience in
Word, but your newsletter is a bit sh** if you�re
gonna pay �4. Okay there�s not a lot of news, but
people expect a bit more.
asked me to do it, it was with the hope that there would
be 3 or 4 going out a year but at the moment that
hasn�t happened. People have written to me and said
that they think it's a bit much, so I�ve increased
their membership by an extra six months.
to the ones that complained though?
Believe it or not, there are a fair amount of people that
are happy with it. Yes, there are people that aren�t
happy with it but I do get letters form people, and I do
get a lot of emails saying that they are very happy with
the service they are getting. But there are also people
saying, �we�re not happy�.
Maybe the four pounds could cover
a certain amount of mail outs rather than a years long
only charge when there is a mail out? Or
do it via SAEs? We know how much it costs to print out a
piece of A4 paper...
an ANT2000 account where all the money goes into.
though the cheques are made out to you?
goes into a separate account and all the money
that�s in there will be used in the future to
hopefully make the service a lot better.
better service on the newsletters, making them a lot more
glossy. There is also something else in the pipeline for
a convention type thing. It�s not going to be a
convention; it�s going to be something different,
which will happen before the end of the year. I�m
not going to say anything about it at the moment, but you
will find out! So I think by the end of the year, you
should be more than happy...
Are all these things happening
now because of the response of people on the internet? If
say we didn�t have the internet, would things just
be carrying on the way they have been?
don�t think so. The internet obviously has got a lot
to do with it, but it's probably 50:50 in total.
It has helped?
know we haven�t influenced the format of your
newsletters, because they�re still as bad as some
people think they are. But has Ant Lib influenced any
ideas at all?
the ALF have basically been almost like a hammer round
the head if you like. I�m saying that in a good way,
I think the amount of effort you put into it is great and
so does Adam. The only thing I would say against it and
Adam too, is that I can�t ever remember seeing one
good word for ANT2000 at all.
we haven�t, we only act on what we receive. The
reason Ant Lib was set up was as an alternative to
ANT2000. If there is something that ANT2000 has done well
then we will commend it, obviously.
give you an example, at the last convention I arranged
for Adam to donate a jacket. It was reported that it was
arranged through Umesh.
[Reads through No Response] Okay... well, my
mistake. I saw it somewhere.
are an organisation as our own, we don�t say
�ANT2000 are saying this�. The only time I can
think of doing this is what we said about the Sweetwater
role: �unlike what was reported by ANT2000�. It
wasn�t �lets slag off ANT2000�. It�s
like �it is this name not that name�. People
aren�t stupid, they can make their own mind up. Do
they want to support ANT2000, Ant Lib or both? I believe
I think a lot of people miss the
newsletter that ANT used to make - that�s why people
are angry when they get just a piece of A4 paper. They
used to pay �6 but even between 1985 and 1990 not a lot
the main problem was that Adam was getting ripped off by
the people running it at the time. They were very good
professional newsletters that were going out but there
were a lot of behind-the-scenes problems. Adam lost
�45,000 when the Bivouac was running and that filtered
through to ANT. People realised that he was getting
ripped off. Michael Cox is a classic example - he ripped
him off big time.
a regular thread - that Adam is surrounded by all the
wrong people. - and not to put a too fine a point on it,
people consider you as one of them � for your
communication. If you know what I mean?
I think I
know Adam thinks he can trust me. I don�t bullsh**
him, he doesn�t bullsh** me. He sees the newsletter.
I�m not going to go behind Adam's back and rip him
off or do anything like past organisations have done. I
think that�s one thing he really does like - that
I�m upfront with him.
he�d just let you do anything a lot of people would
say that�s because he doesn�t care.
that�s not true.
he care about his fans?
does - a hell of a lot.
he show this? Will he prove this? We want to see proof of
this. Will he come online like a lot of big stars
won�t do that until ANT2000 actually has an official
proper web site to do it through. I�ll give you
another example of a way that he does care about his
fans. If you go back to Funeral Games at the
Drill Hall, he actually asked me to go upstairs on the
last night and set up a table for him so that all the
fans could come through to get stuff signed.
was there on the last night. And many thought that it was
a bit arrogant when he waltzed out with his table. We
thought, �oh my god, he obviously thinks he�s
some sort of star now�.
often are you in contact with Adam?
least once every two weeks, �hello how are you?
I�ve just gone to the toilet!�
You or him?!
There�s not an answer. Twice a week, sometimes once
a month. If he�s out the country then it could be
why is he in contact with you? As a friend or as manager
of his fan club?
both really - if he needs me to send anything out then
he�ll contact me. I get postcards from him when
he�s filming which say, �it�s hot out
here, I�m f***ing pissed off, I wanna get back to
London�. There�s no particular reason, if he
wants something sent out he�ll contact me.
spoke to him this weekend?
gone to see Jordan.
He knows you�re here?
How does he feel about that?
of the other things he mentioned is that he�s
sending me the package for the winner of the
many people responded to the questionnaire and what are
you doing with the results?
about 730 in total, and I sent the whole lot to him he
looked through them all, but I actually picked the winner
Now I don't want to
sound pedantic BUT anyone in marketing will tell you that
the response rate for questionnaires is on average, less
than 20% - no matter what the prize is. If we relate this
figure to the 1000-strong subscription, that is of
course, about three-quarters of all questionnaires
returned. Even with additional replies via e-mail this is
a phenomenal amount for a venture that has caused more
controversy than any offering from ANT2000 so far...
Someone was saying it was only
the members of ANT that could reply?
only the members of ANT that would be considered for the
prize, but all the answers were kept, they didn�t go
in the bin or anything, they were sent to him.
will happen, what�s the purpose?
all of them. This was done as a tester really with the
option of sending out a lot more in depth questionnaires
in the future, depending on the response. So now what
we�ve decided is we will send out a thirty question
questionnaire in the next couple of weeks.
Whose idea was it?
I said to
him that it would be a really good idea to do it, to
Don�t you think that if
he�d actually looked at the web sites and seen what
people had to say he�d know that without having to
do a questionnaire?
it the intention that that was your big news? That it was
the questionnaire or was there something else?
All I can
say is that there was something which was going to be
announced which was pulled back at the last minute. If it
had of happened it would have been...
you allowed to tell us? [puts hand over
microphone � laughs]
can say is that it will happen before the end of the
So there are things to look
forward to this year?
the questionnaire, why was it just five questions?
It was a
tester. It was just a tester, he was going to give a
prize anyway and he just wanted to see what the feedback
was going to be like. And then, after that questionnaire
comes back, we�d issue a bigger questionnaire�
thing is the questions are like �what do you want me
to do with my career�� not as though the fans
can have any influence on that �cos it depends on
record companies and film scripts
As I say
it was just as tester.
Did you write the questions?
should have had a look at our questionnaire, it�s
been on our website for the last two years!
the new main page...
you got Adam impaled on a pentagram by the way?
have I got what?!
impaled on a pentagram.
had a letter about this actually! And apparently a
pentagram is supposed to symbolise protection! Protecting
the ants or whatever! Protecting the Antpeople from the
likes of ANT!
won�t Adam appear at the conventions, why does he
seem to be so aloof these days? He used to do a message,
he doesn�t do a message anymore, or at least not the
last two years. Is this because he doesn�t care? Why
won�t he give us the recognition?
before last he was out the country.. he came back within
two days of the convention and we had to hurriedly get
this taped and it was literally umesh on his phone, with
a microphone having to record it. Last year� there
was no excuse.. he just didn�t do it� and I
won�t bullsh** you and make up a reason.
this symbolise how he feels? The year before, Umesh was
convinced Adam was gonna turn up.
gonna turn up that year, there was a very good reason why
he didn�t turn up which I�m not gonna go into,
its personal . The thing with the convention is its not
actually recognised as official, anything that comes from
Adam is through me, not through Umesh. The tape message
this year just didn�t happen because I didn�t
ask for it.
you have any idea why?
didn�t ask for it.
didn�t ask you?
didn�t ask him to do the taped message.
Why can ANT2000 not give their
blessing and have Adam make an appearance or do his
regular message if you�re not organising one of your
end of the say it�s his choice and if someone
outside his official organisation is organising something
that is not official then he�s not gonna put his
name to something that is not offical because for the
fact that, for example, they could be selling bootlegs
now and he wouldn�t want that.
you�re selling bootlegs via the auction though
that�s an example. At the end of the day it�s
up to Adam what he wants to give his official recognition
to. I can�t say to him you�ve got to give
official recognition if he doesn�t want to.
If he won�t come to an
unofficial convention, will he organise an official one?
what you�re saying about things happening at the end
of the year..?
that�s not what I�m saying at all
long as it doesn�t clash with our convention, of
in the New Year though isn�t it?
no no� that was completely made up
There�s gonna be two
conventions this year, and people make a lot of effort to
come. We�d get together anyway because we like
meeting up, but it would be nice to have some feedback -
for Adam to say it�s a good thing.
always appreciated the amount of people that turn up at
conventions and the effort they make to get there, which
is why I have gone to Adam to try and get the prizes.
Every year I�ve actually tried my best to get stuff
signed from him, so I myself do recognise that people are
making the effort, are committed and they deserve to be
treated with respect. Again, I can�t speak for Adam
himself in those lines.
But don�t you think it would
be good for that to be passed on though ?
have passed it on a number of times, and he was very
close to coming in 1998, but couldn�t for reasons
which I can�t go into.
But he could say, I�m not
going to turn up but I still give my blessing or
something like that. That would be better than nothing.
year is the only year that there wasn�t a message
sent. The weird thing with Adam is that he will go
through periods where nothing will happen at all then all
of a sudden it�s like �crash�
But we�re all aware
it�s getting to that five year itch...
coming close to the 50-year itch as well!
Adam�s plans? Is he going to be laying down tracks?
got two albums worth of material written at the moment -
he�s got two options. He�s either gonna sign
for a major. Warner was very close�
the convention I had a few people phoning me up saying
Adams signed to Warner�s because �Bryan�s
said was he is very close. A friend of mine is vice
president of Warner. He was within two weeks of signing
Adam to Warner, but Adam�s management said no
because Adam wanted two albums and four singles but they
were offering one album two singles. What Adam is
thinking of doing is setting up his own label.
happened with the label he did set up about five years
still there...but there�s loads of legal nonsense
behind it. It was set up with two other people, and one
of those people is causing a few problems. So what he
needs to do is leave that and set up another one. His two
options are to sign to a major, but I think at the moment
getting the right terms will be quite difficult, so I
think he will end up doing it through his own label.
These two albums - he�s
planning on releasing them back to back is he?
he�s got two albums worth
That�s including persuasion?
that�s totally different. This is totally new stuff
Does he have any interest at all
in delving into his back catalogue?
wants to move on, he doesn�t want to go back. You
know the Madam Stan demos? There�s about 40
tracks written around that time and he never ever wants
to go back to any of that stuff.
They are just flying around on
bootlegs. How does he feel about
Because he doesn�t rate
not that he doesn�t rate them. As long as
they�re not released officially, and people
aren�t taking money away from him for
royalties. It�s up to them if they wanna put it out,
because he�s not putting it out.
What about stuff like Persuasion?
Is he quite pleased that fans are getting to hear it?
for a fact that he really wants the fans to hear about
that album because he thinks it�s very strong, but
again it�s record company red tape. It�s not
that he doesn�t want it to come out - it is that
they will not allow him to release it. MCA are a
particularly nasty company.
Who owns the rights?
Madam Stan? Most of it is owned by Adam, there�s
certain bits owned by Decca and Do-It
he take out a court injunction against that stuff being
did. Part of it was lost due to the fact that Decca owned
the rights. He owns about 65% of the songs
happened to antmusic publishing � is that a Sony or
an Adam thing?
split. It�s split between the two.
How do you feel about people
passing on stuff that�s on bootlegs?
I mean as
long as its not stuff he released officially or anything.
It doesn�t bother him? Like
doesn�t bother him at all. He�s quite happy
that people are recording tapes of live stuff if they
people are making money out of him?
not affecting him though. It�s not stuff he�d
be getting royalties for.
Adam read the web pages and know the feelings of the
seen your web site, he�s seen adam-ant.net and he
goes through others every now and then, but to be honest
he doesn�t take that much interest in it. The reason
he found out about yours is because I sent him a print
out of it.
right! And you said, "oh you condemn these people
and have them turned off!!"?!!
not my style I wouldn�t do that! I think that trip
you organised was amazing. I don�t know how you do
Has he said what he thinks of the
Ant Liberation Front?
the newsletters are very professional by the layout of
it. But he doesn�t make many comments.
not expecting anything in return. This is ant therapy if
you like, we want to create something and stick it out.
you wanna create?
want to give a service to fans who aren�t getting it
from ANT2000. If ANT2000 were already doing what we are
doing we�d be happy, we wouldn�t be doing it.
So many people were annoyed they�d have to pay �4
it wasn�t just my idea. It all came from discussion.
difficult when Adam asked me to do this - to know where
to start. It might not be most professional but we
don�t see how we could justify saying we're gonna do
this glossy magazine, four times a year, �8 a year. It
would be impossible. We are trying to build it up. The
first thing was to get Nancy on board and use
adam-ant.net to put the stuff out
Why did you pick that site?
From that to try and build it up. There are going to be
problems. People that don�t agree, that�s fair
enough, but this is what Adam wants. I can�t turn
around to Adam and say �we�re not gonna do
that, we�ll do it this way�.
you know Adam�s future plans?
moment he�s got a few film scripts. He�s really
excited by unknown directors rather than big names
he get work with big names directors?!
had two or three in last couple of years that he�s
been looking at - one was Titanic! He wants to
carry on doing films, he�d prefer to work with
unknown people - and then he has more control.
Do you mean art house stuff?
had a script from a French director, which he�s
excited about. That starts filming next February.
Is he more interested in acting
really. He has less stress with acting than singing
� he�s had so many bad experiences� like
just want a new album. Most of us aren�t interested
in his career as an actor. We
like his films out of loyality. Do
you think he
COVERS MICROPHONE - LAUGHS]
We became fans because of his
music. At the end of the day, we prefer his singing. We�ve come to resent his
acting career. We could have had five or six albums.
80�s he had so much pressure - you�ve got to
get a single out. He had a breakdown a the end of the Prince
Charming Revue. Acting is an outlet for him -
he�s away from the music scene - he can do what he
wants to do. He�s mellowed out a lot and does the
albums when he wants to do them, rather thinking
"sh** I�ve got CBS behind me wanting to do this
or that." They wanted him to release Ant Rap
very very close to the release of Prince Charming, he was
though he said it was an experiment� that he brought
it out to see if the fans were listening?
not true. If you�re getting sh** from record
companies, you�re not going to turn around and say
you won�t do it.
The worst thing is that Wonderful
was such as excellent album it was the best we�d
heard for 15 years. If he can release this so late in his
life where�s the rest of it?
it�s sad. If Robbie had released Wonderful
it would have gone to number one. If Adam had the backing
Robbie Williams had it would have got to number one.
It�s Adam�s own fault,
there is such a big break between albums. Most people
just forgot - not real fans. If he�d been more
consistent he would have got that backing from the public
I say to
Adam many times "look at Human League, Gary
Numan�" but now he�s happy, he can dictate
what he does. But Adam won�t be rushed, he�ll
do it at his own pace and that�s up to him.
we concentrate on the old Adam and give up on a future
will release something. I can�t sit here tonight and
tell you when, I can tell you for a fact that he will
release a new album.
Will he tour it?
will tour with it. I can�t give you a date, but he
will do it.
will be with him.
will stick with him?
album, yeah, but in the future he will do something on
� what�s going on? You say last year �end
of the year� and the nothing...
from Adam�s mouth to me. I don�t know
what�s happening right now.
people have been taken off the project - that�s the
news we�ve got. It
originally was Antbox20... now it�s Antbox2000 if
it�s not out this year what do we call it?
got no idea. I could sit here and bullsh**. There�s
so many legal wranglings at the moment to be honest I
can�t see it coming out for a long time. He wants a
video with it, three cds - the vid will have a lot of
unreleased stuff. If you have videos of Young
Parisians, Zerox, Day I Met God, It
Doesn�t Matter, if you�re going to release
it under a label you have problems assigning the rights
and that causes more problems. Adam doesn�t want the
box set coming out without the video.
Should he find a better lawyer? He didn�t have trouble with
the very best of compilation - that had stuff from
different labels. How come that came out okay then?
is a lot more complex - there�s a lot more tracks -
unreleased stuff. He could release it like the Antmusic
compilation tomorrow as it stands now, but he will
not give in to people saying cut this, cut that
So there we have it.
Although feelings were placed on the table, our meeting
with ANT2000 raised as many questions as there were
answered. When it comes to fan relations can we trust
Bryan? Or more importantly, can we even trust Adam? In
some ways talking to Mr Stanton has helped define a
perspective yet until words are put into action, the
future for Antpeople is still somewhat hazy. The future
for Ant Lib? We'll be here to see ANT2000 to their
objectives (and assisting where we deem appropriate) that
have been announced here - for the benefit of everyone.
The Ant Liberation Front
would like to thank Bryan Stanton for
making time to attend the meeting (and buying a round!)
and Adam for bringing us all together. Thanx also to Angel,
Cleopatra and Mike for
submitting additional questions and bless ya Ant
Ranger for transcribing the full 90 minute
This interview is
copyrighted by the Ant Liberation Front (2000) and may
not be reproduced in full or part without prior
28th February 2000