John Lydon:
NME, September 12th, 2009

© 2009 NME

Back in the Public Eye

John Lydon is reviving Public Image Ltd (PiL) for a series of shows to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band's massively influential second album 'Metal Box'.

Although inactive since 1992, the former Sex Pistols frontman - PiL's only constant member - has always insisted his second group have just been "on hiatus" and is now returning with a line-up featuring Damned guitarist Lu Edmonds, former Slits drummer Bruce Smith and bassist Scott Firth [whose clients include The Spice Girls!] .

"I've always loved doing this more than the Pistols. PiL is from the head - deeper, darker, more fun and more angst," he told NME. "I'm only doing a few gigs with this [the dates run from Birmingham 02 Academy on December 15 to London Brixton 02 Academy on 21- see NME.COM for details]. That's it. This is an act of pure joy."

A fusion of dub, abrasive guitars, electronics and raw emotion, Public Image Ltd were formed by Lydon in 1978 after the Pistols imploded, but have become just as influential as the punk legends. This, Lydon explained, was one of his motivations behind the revival.

"Is it by fault or design that I'm ahead of the game?" he asked. "Everything I seem to do is copied later by lesser models. Only then I'm given a nod and a wink."

With this in mind, Lydon added he's keen to show off the less celebrated parts of Pit's back catalogue, as the imitators never get it right.

"You've got these PiL-esque bands who pick certain periods and claim that's the sound and the other stuff isn't. Once you make that faux pas, you're fucking with it," he declared.


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