Wednesday, 15 October 2008

TONITE: Interview with Todd & Fergadelic


TONITE present clothing made for the Freaks that comes from the Heart and people should wear with pride. Fergadelic (also known as Mr. T) started one of the most iconic streetwear labels TONITE in 2001 with the help of Sofi & Russell of Silas. Now, they've made a big moves when Paul Smith' Japanese line request them to create and design a collection of pieces for their Japanese store. The womenswear range for Tonite has just also hit stores across Europe recently. Since we've always been a big fan of their works, please enjoy this interview we did with Todd & Fergadelic of TONITE. Remember to check their entire collection here and make sure you don’t miss out.

HPDC: Hey guys, hows it going?

Todd: Really well! It happens to be a sunny autumn day here in London so that helps.

Fergadelic: Good. I went to see Gang Gang Dance on the Weekend & I'm still feeling the inspiring vibrations from that.

HPDC: Where are you both originally from?

Fergadelic: I'm from a town called Chesham. It's just outside of's the last stop on the Underground.

Todd: I've now lived here for 11 years so this feels like my home. I'm originally from a small industrial town on the North-East of the country. I studied art when I left school and planned my route out there as soon as it was possible. I came to London to study fashion design.

HPDC: So, could you sum up a bit about yourselves?

Todd: When I'm not thinking about Tonite stuff I'll be usually be found hammering the streets on my bike! That pretty much sums me up! Bikes and Tonite! It's a great combination.

Fergadelic: I love drawing, drumming & tattooing. In fact I love any form of visual expression (taking photos, making screen prints, embroidery, ect)

HPDC: Did you two know each other before?

Todd: Not really. I was always a fan of Tonite as it always had an edge and a lot of thought behind it. I'd heard of a character called Fergadelic and thought he was just imaginary! The imagination can play all kinds of tricks too so I didn't know what to expect when we finally met at the beginning of this year. Funny thing was, he was the guy I'd seen at my (our) local supermarket with the cool bobble hat and tattoos! Small world.

Fergadelic: I met Todd at the interview that I was holding to find someone to work with me on Tonite. It was actually the first interview that I've done as the interviewer, which is quite a strange experience.

Todd: Ha ha yeah...that was the best interview ever!!!

HPDC: Did you find you have similar tastes with each other?

Fergadelic: Yes, that's what brought us together. Todd gets fired up about a lot of the same stuff. I'll often get an eMail from him which is just a picture of an 80s Life's A Beach jacket or an old mountain bike with a cool paint job.

Todd: Definitely! We have very similar tastes but with different angles. There's a lot of common ground and it's nice just going over things. There's a lot of borrowing, lending, and recommendations going on. Ferg has a head full of interesting facts, music, graphic, books, films, etc, and we can talk for hours. I think we're both very lucky to be in a position where our interests are reflected in our jobs. Tonite has a lot of love behind it with real feelings.


HPDC: So, can you tell us more about Tonite? How did you guys get started with Tonite?

Todd: This one's for you Ferg...

Fergadelic: Tonite was a long time in the making. Through my connections with Slam City Skates, I got involved with a steetwear label that they started in 1993, called Holmes. That was made by Sofi & Russell. They went on to make make Silas - which I also worked on - & following the success of that they wanted to help me do my thing; I decided to start a T-Shirt label & I called it Tonite & it working on moving up from being Super Underground, into being a Cult label. We'll never be mainstream, but we're going to grow a bit.


HPDC: Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from Tonite S/S 09?

Fergadelic: The vibe of the collection comes from the time at the end of the eighties & the start of the nineties. The beginning of a decade is always an exciting time. In that case it was the aftermath of the Second Summer Of Love (1988), when Rave exploded & changed the country. Even if you weren't directly into that music, it had changed the youth culture - there was a positive energy. The next few years were charged with this energy & excitement. As a reaction to the excitement, to the Highs & the Partys, came a movement called Chill Out. My Spring/Summer 09 collection is called "Chill Out" in celebration of this movement & particularly in honour of the album by the KLF also called "Chill Out". This is a musical masterpiece, conceived as a whole sound experience & journey - rather than just a bunch of songs - it actually works more like a DJ mix than a conventional Rock LP. It is especially relevant to Tonite because while it has an overall cohesive style, it has a snippet of Van Halen in there. I have happy memories of lying on a roof in London in the Sunshine on a Saturday morning listening to this album (& "Little Fluffy Clouds" by The Orb too, of course!) & I have tried to put this feeling into the clothes.

Todd: This range will be insane. You can expect the best of Tonite. I won't give too much away but brace yourself for the designs:
Mega Mong - Mouth Of Truth - Hang Loose - Tonitestein - Bones 4 Shortz - Out To Lunch - Party On - Paisley Punks - Tonite Adactyl and more! ha ha.
It's gonna be a Tonite summer!


HPDC: What fascinates you? What inspires you both?

Todd: I'm fascinated by learning. It's great to put new thoughts into your head. I like to find inspiration in the unexpected. I'm very conscious of my surrounding and like to make the most of my position here on the Earth. I'm always open to new things and never rule out anything. I'm very interested in human behavior and the things people do in order to live a positive life. Superstitions and symbolism. Beliefs, Dream, and Wonders. Though I take a lot of the things with a pinch of salt. I like art too.

Fergadelic: I am fascinated by self-expression, especially at it's extremes & I love the way that this is manifested in visual culture. I think fashion & style are essential elements of being human. They are often seen as something that is a bit silly or empty or vain or unnecessary, but I don't agree with this. You only have to look at the way people behave around the World to see that the impulse to decorate ourselves is universal & constitutes a language that works in a very powerful & primal way. Far from being ephemeral & transient, I see fashion, style & art as being something DEEPLY embedded in all of us. I love the way that T-Shirts work as part of this language, that is why I make them. I also love the idea of doing a brand & how this can work as a vehicle for my art & also how it functions as my team, or tribe.

HPDC: Any particular project you guys currently working on?

Fergadelic: More!...just working hard to get better.

Todd: We're just in the middle of planning some Tonite exhibition material. There going to be a lot more concentration on the art side of what we do in the future. There's also a few things in the pipeline that I don't want to jinx by mentioning them. But I will tell you we had the most amazing rug made by artisans in Peru. All dyed using natural colours. It's one of the best things I've ever seen. I'm sure we could give you a preview...


HPDC: Hey Ferg, tell me about your tattoos. Which one is your favorite?

Fergadelic: It's usually the last thing that I did that is my favorite & this time it's Donatello the Ninja Turtle (there's a picture of it on my website). Also, I adore my wife & have several tattoos dedicated to her (actually 7!) which are always favorites.

HPDC: What was the tattooing process like? Was it natural progression or did you feel like there was a certain image you were looking for?

Fergadelic: It was a journey! I got my first tattoo aged 21 & several more over the next few years, all done professionally by strangers. I was searching not just for a style, but more for a connection with a tattooist. One day friend of mine asked if I had any home made tattoos (I didn't) & something just clicked in my head. That night I did one on my wrist & I just got really into it. It evolved very naturally from that & the look was never that considered; As soon as I started doing my own tattoos, the way they should look was obvious. I must mention the amazing & inspiring Xed, a great tattooist, who has encouraged & helped my with my tattooing. I'm also very privileged to have some hand tattoos from him.


HPDC: So, you're a drummer, right? Tell me something about Die Verboten?

Fergadelic: Yeah, I LOVE playing drums. It's so much fun & so liberating. Die Verboten is a band that I do with Henry, my Brother-In-Law (A.K.A. Riton) & Dave & Steph, who are 2ManyDJs. So, it's the brothers & brothers-in-law. They play guitars & basses & LOTS of synths. The music is Spacey, European & kind so soft. I love it, I feel very proud of it & very lucky to work with such talented & interesting dudes. We are going to release a 12" soon & we have also completed an album.


HPDC: What's your favorite playlist right now?

Fergadelic: After the gig that I mentioned before, it's Gang Gang Dance they make Magic Music.

Todd: I've been listening to Smog, Electrelane, Tortoise, Tindersticks, Flaming Lips, The Beta-Band, and generally calm including music recently. Did you know Ferg toured and played Glastonburry with the Beta Band?! At The Drive-In and Slayer before bike rides. Experimental sound recordings for inspiration.

HPDC: What are your most treasured records?

Todd: I've never been into collecting records. Music is very important to me in any format as long as it's listenable. I appreciate the sounds of vinyl but don't have a lot. Though at home, we have rare red clear vinyl called Let Them Eat Jelly Beans which is an awesome mix of US Hardcore. It actually belongs to Nick Phillip (Anarchic Adjusment). The most treasured stuff I have at home is mixes our friends have made for us on cassettes and CD's. Music is a special gift.

Fergadelic: Maybe all my original German vinyl. I'm obsessed by Krautrock (German music from 1970-198?), but there's loads of other stuff I love too. I love the Cosmic/Balearic sound, I love Prog Rock, Electronic/New Age/Deep Space music, Metal (80s Thrash like Metallica, Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, S.O.D.), Prince ("For you" through to "Sign O' The Times"), Captain Beefheart, Steve Miller, Magma, Gong, Donovan,...I love it all! I've got to give special mention to a most treasured item, which is actually a CD; it's a mix by Eye from the Boredoms, which he did under the name of DJ Chaos X (originally released on Cassette, which really is a HOT items) & it's absolutely & awesomely amazing.


HPDC: What's your favorite thing in London?

Fergadelic: All the different things are in London, the variety.

Todd: London's what you make of it. There's always loads of great stuff going on. I like the areas which help you get awat from all the business. There's some great parks and lot's of farms too! There's a farm right on the side of the Thames which is really nice to visit. All the wierdos are here too! It's great. Did I mention bikes?!

HPDC: Last shouts for anyone in Indonesia?

Todd: We're getting a strong fanbase over there so just a massive hello to those guys. Tonite are always here for you. Get involved!

Fergadelic: I WANNA VISIT!!

Todd: Ah..that would be something special. Let's take the party to Indonesia!
Thanx for the questions!

Party On,

All the very best,


TONITE S/S 09 will be available at Tribute: Jl. Lamandau Raya no.18, Jakarta 12160 Indonesia