Public Image Ltd., circa 2009

John Lydon confirmed this week that he hopes to mount a more extensive Public Image Ltd. reunion tour next year, and may even record new music with the band, which is set to perform live for the first time in 17 years during a seven-date U.K. tour next month.

The occasional Sex Pistol sat for a number of interviews in the last week to promote PiL’s December tour — with a lineup featuring late-’80s members Lu Edmonds (a former Damned guitarist) and Bruce Smith (onetime drummer for The Slits), plus new bassist Scott Firth — that’s designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary the postpunk band’s classic second album, Metal Box, which also is being reissued in a new 3CD format next month.

Lydon told the Telegraph that he couldn’t reconvene PiL’s classic lineup of Jah Wobble, Martin Atkins and Keith Levene because “Wobble and Levene hate each other.”

He added:

“It’s not possible to put them in the same room — and how could you have one without the other? I worked so little with them, anyway. To go back with songs, you have to at the same time go forward. PiL is a shapeshifter, it adapts.”

PiL’s U.K. tour is being funded, in part, by Lydon’s proceeds from his appearance in a Country Life butter commercial (see video below), since, he claims, he’s receiving no support form his record label, Virgin. Appearing on Absolute Radio (see video below), Lydon slagged off his detractors: “The amount of silly ignoramuses out there yelling, ‘Cop out! Sell out!’ Well, yeah, Country Life butter is now completely sold out.”

In that interview, Lydon confirmed that he has bigger plans for PiL then just the seven-date U.K. tour:

“We just about might break even with this, but then I’d like to go out next year and tour properly in a bigger way. But I’d wanted to begin, like I do always with everything, in England. I’d like something like a stable band, but as you can imagine, it’s raising the money to guarantee a weekly wage.”

Lydon went on to say he’s “written loads of songs over they years” and is “gagging at the bit” to record them, but won’t do so as long as he remains signed to Virgin:

“Their lack of financial support on this is telling, I think — it’s telling me to tell them what to go do with themselves. So if I record live any new material, where’s my copyright? They’ll walk off with that, too, and they won’t release that just like they’re not properly releasing my records at the moment.”

As for the upcoming tour, PiL currently are in rehearsals — the Telegraph’s interviewer saw the band tear through “Public Image” — and Lydon told the newspaper “he intends to perform material from right across his post-Pistols career, including ‘Open Up,’ his 1993 hit with Leftfield.” The first taste of the new PiL comes Thursday, when the band’s performances of “Rise” and “Religion” will be aired on BBC2’s “The Culture Show.”

See full PiL tour dates and video of John Lydon’s interview after the jump…

Public Image Ltd. tour dates:

Dec. 15: 02 Academy, Birmingham, UK
Dec. 16: 02 Academy, Leeds, UK
Dec. 18: 02 Academy, Glasgow, UK
Dec. 19: 02 Academy, Manchester, UK
Dec. 21: 02 Academy, London, UK
Dec. 22: Electric Ballroom, London, UK
Dec. 23: Electric Ballroom, London, UK

VIDEO: John Lydon interviewed on Absolute Radio

VIDEO: John Lydon’s Country Life butter commercial



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