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New PiL material

Lydon wants to record if he can make enough money on the tour.

  • 16/11/09
  • Lucy O'Doherty

Public Image Limited head out on their first tour in 17 years next month, and if all goes well it could be followed by original material.

Frontman John Lydon told 6 Music that, as ever, it all comes down to money. "Yes, if I raise the money from this, I most definietely will."

"But what you've got to understand with Public Image Ltd is that every single time we recorded we only had one take, no money."

The band formed in 1978, following the break up of the Sex Pistols, and kept going until 1993. Although Lydon recalls it was always a shoe-string affair.

"The Jam would pull out of Goldhawk Rd (home of Townhouse Studios) - they're writing their new hit wonderful album because they have lots of record company backing."

"We knew they'd left, so we'd run in, quickly record it, thats it, and thats Metal Box for you and thats basically the John Lydon approach to music - wham bam thank you mam."

"What do you think this is? The Beatles? She loves you yeah yeah yeah? No no no!"

Lydon says PiL won't be playing the hits

Their second album Metal Box is being re-released in December as remastered three CD version, along with a re-issue of Plastic Box.

The re-united band hit the road on 15 December, at the Birmingham Academy, with dates following in Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and London.

But apparently it's not been easy to get this tour on the road; in fact it wouldn't have happened at all if it weren't for a certain high-profile butter advert.

"Why does my record company not support me? Where's my record company? And the only reason I'm being able to do these concerts is because I did a butter advert -so thank you!"

As for that advert, Lydon admits he's has a lot of stick for it: "Because I'm flogging a British product right! And yet i'm still smeared with that - I'm a cop out, I'm a sell out.... It's British innit? and so am I! Hello? But thats the only way I can get to perform live."

So thanks to the money he made from that, PiL will be on the road after all. Although if you're expecting a greatest hits set, or even familiar versions of album tracks, think again.

"Don't be ridiculous! What do you think this is? The Beatles? She loves you yeah yeah yeah? No no no! You get what you're given and it'll be even better then."

To hear the interview in full listen to the Music Week.

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