Fergadelic is without a doubt one of my favourite artists, his work for his own label, Tonite has played a big part in my own inspirations and influences within streetwear as has his work for numerous other projects. This is one of the most exciting interviews for me personally, but also one of the most insightful yet here at Slam X Hype. Remember you can check out our exclusive look at Fergadelic’s latest Tonite collection here for men and women, and expect much more soon.
As an artist where do you draw inspiration?
EVERYWHERE! I am obsessed with visual information & with feeding my Brain. I have an ever growing library of books…books of photography, ethnography, music, underground comix, magick, etc. I constantly listen to music & have a serious Vinyl habit; I interpret this music in a visual way (the covers of the Records are very beautiful, too). I love to go for walks, listening to my iPod – I’ll walk along the canal & through the parks & look at the trees, flowers, animals & people. I watch DVDs a lot & have a Projector for home cinema action… Youtube is great for watching old music videos.
You seem to have an ever evolving sense of style in your artwork? Would you agree with this? and if so.. what do you think keeps it evolving?
Yeah, I conciously try to advance my ideas & technique. I’ve deliberately avoided having an icon in my work or one signature style. I think variety is much more interesting & I’d rather tell my story using different techniques & mediums. I want to build a body of work that makes sense when presented on mass, but includes differing (even opposed) styles. The evolution process is neccessary to stay alive artistically. Just to do one thing over & over again (as so many artists seem to) is stifling. I am curious & enjoy exploring new things – I expect this from my audience, too.
When you started Tonite some years ago, what was the initial concept and drive behind the label?
To present clothing made from the Heart, which would be worn by Hippies, Punx, Metallers, Ravers, Spacemen & Women, Dancers, Artists, Travelling People, etc. To help people Fly their Freak Flag. To build a New Tribe! & this is STILL what I’m trying to do.
Streetwear as such has changed alot since you first started Tonite, and also your involvement with other labels, how has it changed for you, in terms of the second coming of Tonite?
I haven’t changed the ethos behind Tonite, but my ideas about being a brand have changed. When Tonite first arrived, I deliberately made it an anti-brand. I offered each graphic on it’s own merits, that you would buy if you liked. The brand identity, the label, was very much secondary…almost invisible, infact, when compared to the way brands are supposed to work. I’ve now fallen back in love with the idea of being a brand. Of making people belong to something when they buy Tonite. Of telling a bigger story.
Can you explain to us this upcoming collection and what influenced you?
The season that’s about to hit the shops is quite tribal, quite Hippy-ish. One of the important graphics is "Hippy Disco", which is my way of celebrating the Cosmic & Balearic sound. You know, dancing on the beach to slow & soft music as the Sun goes down!
What other projects are you working on right now?
I’ve completed a collaboration with Paul Smith Jeans, for their Japanese stores. It’s great working with them. I’ve done a mini-collection, which includes a raincoat & board-shorts, as well as Ts. The concept was Robinstein-FrankenCrusoe (Robinson Crusoe meets Frankenstein!) This will launch in Japan in April. I’ve also made some sun glasses with the Australian company CoLab. This was super fun to do, as you can imagine (it’s a bit of a dream project, right!?) I’ve also been making on-going contributions to the mighty P.A.M., as well as Suburban Bliss & Answer.
One of your outside projects that I’m a particular fan of is, The Changes, which you complete works for alongside Sk8thing, Perks and Mini, how did you involvement in this start and what does it mean to you?
The Changes was started by Misha (Perks) of P.A.M., we were in Japan together & he asked me if I wanted to be in a band with him & Shauna (Mini). It took me about a quarter of a second to say "Yes!", he also invited Shin (Sk8Thing) to join. We interact like a band (Misha’s the Lead Singer), but make art instead of music. The Changes is a space for the four of us to have FUN. That’s actually it’s main purpose. & in so doing, we merge our independent creative selves & make a kind of Mind-Meld. The work is beyond collaborative & has become a fluid thing that we all feed & which has an identity beyond it’s four components.
As an artists what other artists have inspired you in the past, and who inspires you now?
The first people that I recognized for myself as artists were those behind 2000 AD comic. I particularly loved the Judge Dredd strip as drawn by Mike McMahon & Brian Bolland. When I was 11 I used to try & copy their stuff. 2000 AD with it’s twisted European aesthetic lead me into Metal Hurlant, the French comic & artists like Richard Corben & Liberatore…Moebius was my favourite. I still love these artists & feel their influence. I also love Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Rousseau, Magritte, Steven Sprouse, Terry Richardson, Karen Kilimnik, Katsuhiro Otomo, Helmut Newton, Tadanori Yokoo…I could go on & on! Extra special mention to Eye, from the Boredoms; his work is INCREDIBLE! He’s a Shaman & an Explorer of Inner Space & Magick. He uses Music & Visual Art in exactly the same way… all things that I aspire to. Last year I discovered Daniel Richter, whose stuff is so exciting & new. I must also mention my friends Ben Sansbury & Nicola Pecoraro. They make beautiful art; it’s great to have peers who inspire you & spur you on.
Whats next for Tonite?
Harder Better Faster Stronger!!!!
Watch out for the Tonite site launching soon too.