John Lydon Talks Lyrics

"I would love to have been a writer" he says
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Punk icon John Lydon has spoken about his approach to lyrics, as well as revealing his diverse.

The Sex Pistols may have been the foremost punk group, but they were ultimately musically pedestrian. What set them apart, however, was John Lydon's lyrics - seething, writhing descriptions of rage at a moribund Britain.

Forming Public Image Limited the frontman finally found the sonic palette to match his increasingly obtuse and emotive word play. Speaking to ClashMusic, John Lydon revealed that in a way he wishes he were a writer rather than a musician.

"I don’t know what it is, maybe its psychological, the tone of Uilleann bagpipes in me" he explained. "I know that words work best with music. I would love to have been a writer but I would always have been disappointed because I would always know that the written word is just not enough."

"There’s just that extra bit that tones and sounds can add to a thing. If you can find exactly the right tones, you can create a bigger picture. A much more accurate picture. That’s what I do. That’s why I love songwriting."

Public Image Limited came out of hiatus last year to play a celebrated series of concerts, re-visiting their classic album 'Metal Box'. Continuing, John Lydon explained that his connection between words and music comes from an early love of pop and folk.

"I’m only explaining it that way because I was brought up listening to folk music and pop music. All kinds of music really" he revealed. "It just seems for me the best way to explain how I feel, is by combining that with some kind of literature and the two compliment each other. Poetry in motion! Rather than sterile words on a page. I see so many modern bands ignore that capability. There’s very many of them out there now, wonderfully creative musicians etc but the songs aren’t about anything. Its just filler."

John Lydon then revealed a surprising love of jazz and classical music. "If there’s great chunks of just music on its own I do want to fill in the words. It’s my problem with jazz, it just annoys me because the singers are just filling, ‘doob ooh deh’. It’s not poignant enough. But there are exceptions and Billie Holiday is one of them."

Click HERE to read the entire interview!

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