Ant Talk

Interviews with former members of Adam & the Ants and significant people associated with the history of Antmusic.

Interview › Dave Barbe › 2004

Dave Barbe - Adam & the AntsIn 2004, we bumped into former Adam & the Ants drummer Dave Barbe (aka David Barbarossa), and after an incident involving some thumb screws and a vertical beam, Dave invited Madam Stan over to his home in North London for dinner with his family and a catch-up for Warriors III. Here, for the first time, is the original transcript of the full interview...

Let's start with some nice easy questions: Tell us where you were born and generally about your early life and background…
They’re far harder than anything to do with the Ants! I was born in London. From a large family, in Hackney, son of immigrant parents, and just a regular English peasant.

When did you get into drumming?
Cor blimey! Winston Churchill and me, we had a band together erm, a long time ago. I think I started playing when I was about 16.

And who was your inspiration?
I bloke called Laurence Geller who was at a school I went to in Enfield, and he had a drum kit, and it was a fascinating bit of kit, and I had a go.

Interview › Kevin Mooney › 2005

Kevin Mooney - Adam & the AntsBack in 2005, Kevin Mooney released Mike's Bikes with his experimental alternative outfit the Lavender Pill Mob. Featuring Adam Ant's first officially released recording in ten years, Black Pirates, it was seen by some Adam & the Ants fans as exploitation of their hero who had been of a well-publicised fragile mental state at the time. Joined by Craig Burton, a long-term Ant Lib member and supporter, long-term Kevin Mooney aficionado and expert on all things Wide Boy Awake and (Lo)Max, we headed over to Barnsbury, north London to get some answers from the Ants' L'Enfant terrible...

So Kevin, give us the rough guide to your latest project, the Lavender Pill Mob...
Lavender Pill Mob is basically Gary Asquith and me. We've known each other since 1977, when I supported Rema Rema with my little band called the European Cowards, at Mayhem Studios in Battersea which was a place owned by Toyah Willcox. We've been friends ever since then and done our various projects, like Gary went on to do Renegade Soundwave, and me, Adam & the Ants, Wide Boy Awake, and Max. And after many years away I came back to England and met up with Gary in about 2002 we recorded our first album in 2003 - which was a very quick affair. I've described it in one of our press releases as our "collective breakdown", which it kind of is, like in the sense of break beats, and mental breakdowns in a way. And it's basically two old fellas who've stuck together over a long period of time and we're just putting our heads together and going back to our roots.

Interview › Kevin Mooney › 2001

Kevin Mooney - Adam & the Ants 1980Teenage bassist Kevin Mooney has earned himself cult hero status amongst every rebellious young Ants fan over the years. In 2001, after twenty years of virtual silence regarding his time during the exciting and controversial Kings of the Wild Frontier period, Antpeople everywhere were invited to grill the so-called "bad boy" of Antmusic about his life, loves, "highs" and lows of being with the biggest band on the planet!

Give us a brief pre-Ants bio Kevin!
I was brought up in southeast London, Greenwich, with half-English half-Irish parents, and got into punk rock when I was 13 or 14, I was running around and knew all about Adam and Marco and stuff before I'd ever been in a band. Then when Malcolm stole the band, that's when I joined. I was in a couple of little bands, one was called European Cowboys and we rehearsed in a place called Mayhem in Battersea, where the Ants used to rehearse from time to time. There was this girl named Toyah, she used to run it.

Interview › Terry Lee Miall

Terry Lee Miall - Adam & the Ants 1981Back in October 1999, the Ant Lib organised its first full frontal (bathroom) function as a late night part of the annual Adam Ant Convention (back then organised by Umesh Mistry). A motley bunch of early Ant Lib members grabbed Adam & the Ants drummer 1980-1982 Terry Lee Miall for tasty grub and gossip at London's Rock Garden, Covent Garden.

Antpeople are in this type…
...and Terry Lee is in this one!

So, Terry tell us about your early influences?
Ringo Starr was the reason I got into drumming in the first place. John Bonham of Led Zeppelin …and Dave Barbe because I had to live up to him after he'd left the Ants. He's a fantastic drummer.

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