Adam Ant is about to embark on his first U.S. tour in 16 years. He started singing in the United Kingdom in the 1970s.
He became a music star in the U.S. in the 1980s. But by the mid-1990s, he decided to give up that life. It was just too much.
"The work rate was ludicrous," said Ant. "I had 11 days off in about five years, four or five years. And it was just getting crazy. So that would be the biggest lesson, is to really learn to say no. You know, 'I'm tired. No.' And I didn't ever say no, so it really took me a great deal of time to realize to say no."
When he walked away from his music career, Ant took acting lessons, wrote a book, had a daughter and was there to help raise her.
"I made a very conscious decision to step out of the music business," said Ant. "And coming back into it now, I kind of realized the things that appealed to me and the things that I missed about it because it is in my blood, really."
Ant says that like in his famous song, he was a bit of a "goody two-shoes." He said he wasn't into the excesses that come with the territory. They just never appealed to him. It was and still is about the music.
"You can make a record that sounds wonderful. But in this day and age, one of the major things that's come around is you have to play live in order to survive and make a living now," said Ant. "I mean, I write songs, which is fine. But I like to perform them, too. And that's the test. You go out there, if you've any 'EQ-ing' or cheating on your vocal, they know in one second."
Ant is now the frontman of Adam Ant and the Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse. A new album of 17 songs is due out early next year.
The U.S. tour kicks off on September 13 at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The tour will also feature Ant's big hits, done his way.
"I don't do those awful medleys where you get 30 seconds of the hits at the end, you know. I like to play the whole song in its entirety, live," said Ant.