John Lydon On PiL

"I don’t see it as reforming the band"

John Lydon has spoken exclusively to ClashMusic about the reasons behind his reformation of Public Image Limited and his plans for the group.

John Lydon is one of the pivotal figures in British music. As the lead singer of the Sex Pistols he helped inspire a generation to overthrough the prog rock elite, before turning his back on the punk explosion.

Forming Public Image Limited, the band’s output has become more and more influential over the past decade. The group’s second album ‘Metal Box’ in particular has been cited as inspiration by everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Bloc Party and beyond.

Now the group are set to tour again for the first time in seventeen years. However speaking exclusive to ClashMusic John Lydon insisted that the decision wasn’t an act of nostalgia.

“I don’t see it as reforming the band” he insisted. Asked about his main motivation for doing the tour Lydon replied “well, the money that came through from the ‘butta!’, has turned out to be just about the right amount to try and get myself back out on the road again. Because I’m not working with any sponsorship at all. I’ve no record company support.”

“It’d be a right bugger to motivate them to even get a record out there in the stores. So it’s a pay as I go kind of thing. And so now here’s the money – good, I can do it. I can finance this.

Public Image Limited are set to reform to perform ‘Metal Box’ in time for the album’s 20th anniversary. However John Lydon told ClashMusic that he is always working on new material.

“I’m always writing” he insisted. “I miss it like mad, PiL, absolutely like mad. To me, it’s just like I need to do this. It can do no hurt. Quite a few bands, or maybe a few new people, might be giving this an earful and go ‘Oh my God. It all comes from here.’ And indeed, quite a lot of modern stuff does.”

“I’ve not been shy about my open accessibility to every record ever made. Indeed, that’s the business we live in. Communication. Anybody who can communicate well I want to hear.”

Public Image Limited’s ‘Metal Box’ tour opens on December 15th.

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