Design-led streetwear meets rock music this week on the blog as my guest is the uber talented Ace, guitarist with the UK rock band Skunk Anansie , who has just designed and launched his ”Muzzled” range of eco friendly streetwear on the new ethical marketplace, Beyond Bamboo. Hi Ace and welcome….
Hi! My name is Ace, I am the original founder member of Skunk Anansie, playing guitar and song writing for the past 28 years. I’m also an educator, author and entrepreneur. I have a love of illustration and graphic design, and a history of working with merchandising.
People know you as Ace, the guitarist with UK rock band Skunk Anansie; so what inspired the launch of “Muzzled”, your new range of streetwear?
I was inspired by the fact that I’ve already been running the Skunk Anansie merchandising for the last 15 years, and I studied graphic design and art college when I was young, so decided to bring out my own brand that would display my own creativity and voice for fun.
Music and graphic designing has shaped your working life, but did you have other career plans whilst growing up?
From the attending of my first concert at the age 12, I acquired a strong and persistent desire to become a rock musician! I had no other career plans apart from wanting to go to art college and do art. I actually ended up doing graphic design at college and working in an art studio until I gave that up to become a professional musician.
I’m interested in your brand name – Muzzled – why did you specifically pick that name? Were there any other contenders?
The name really came about from a conversation with one of my road crew when I was on tour thinking about a cool T-shirt brand… I can’t really remember the concept to be honest it just popped up out of the conversation! Then it was just about Googling it and seeing if it was already used.
I love the Muzzled skull & serpents tee – what items from your collection are proving most popular amongst your customers?
The Skull and serpents is based on my re-drawing interpretation of an old 14th century would cut that just seemed to catch my eye, as I am really into mediaeval history and iconography. Other popular T-shirts seem to be, the Swallow, Sk8ter Dumbskull, Dead on Time and Tree of Knowledge
Do you have a favourite item from your collection?
I think the one that I presently wear the most is probably ‘Dead on Time, but my favourite always changes when I release a new one!
Your range is available via the new ethical marketplace, Beyond Bamboo. What are your reasons that you picked Beyond Bamboo to launch your collection? Are the products available worldwide?
I chose Beyond Bamboo for a couple reasons: 1. My whole brand is ethically sourced and climate friendly, and 2. it is because of the people behind it, their reasons and their morals and ethics.
Music also plays a big part in your life. What or who inspired you to take up playing the guitar?
At the age of 12, I went to a Motorhead concert with my big brother. As soon as the show ended, I just decided that that was my direction in life. The Next step was to make it a reality and go out and buy a guitar and teach myself!
There have been many memorable musical moments – Skunk Anansie has headlined at Glastonbury; toured with bands such as U2, Bon Jovi, Rammstein, Muse, Lenny Kravitz … as well as selling over 6 million physical LPs. What moments have personally stood out for you in your musical career with Skunk Anansie?
There are so many, and we are still lucky enough to be making more! Milestone moments probably include playing for Nelson Mandela for his gift to Nation concerts, playing for the Dalai Lama for his charity concert, headlining Glastonbury, and more recently headlining Polish Woodstock to 700,000 people!
I hear that in your “spare” time you are Global Change Ambassador for Roundtable Global Charity and Ambassador for The Music For All Charity. Busy man! What do those roles entail?
This basically sees me being involved with the Global Youth Awards. From actually presenting at the awards to working behind the scenes and arranging acts and artists to play, as well as volunteers to work there.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Currently, I’m just getting into a new brand called No Fixed Abode London which was founded by a lady called Emma Man who found herself homeless many years ago and brought herself out of it to create this brand. I also wear my Muzzled T-shirts all the time… Ha, ha, and you’ll probably see me lounging out in Skunk Anansie Hoodies too.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from your own)
I tend to just go with how I’m feeling, what catches my eye and most of the time recommendations from other people. I’m not sure if I have a particular favourite, apart from No Fixed Abode (NFA) at the moment.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
Some shoes for the tour from NFA.
Boots or Shoes?
I like both to be honest, but I tend to like hi top sneaker boots as they’re great to jump around in on stage, and leather boots as they are hardy against the cold!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Muzzled, Beyond Bamboo and Skunk Anansie
Thanks Ace for the chat ! Love your artwork, tees and music!
All photographs have been published with the kind permission of Ace/Skunk Anansie.