Pop Quiz: John Lydon

Aidin Vaziri | After a 20-year gap plagued by record-company red tape, Public Image Ltd. finally got around to putting out a new self-produced, self-released album earlier this year. “This Is PIL” finds the post-punk band John Lydon started after his run with the Sex Pistols back on form, playing spiky guitars, clanging out mechanical rhythms and sneering menacingly. Lydon, who in recent years has become more famous for his stints on reality TV and that Country Life Butter commercial, says the band has lost none of its vigor.

John Lydon
Q: You spent two years with the Sex Pistols and 30 with Public Image Ltd. Does it bother you that people still associate you with the former?
A: No, apparently. You’re the only one who’s said it.
Q: Hey, I stuck with PIL even though the last time you put out an album you had to tour with Blind Melon and Live. Why did it take you so long to make another one?
A: Well, the record company got me into some serious problems, so they handed me over to the accounting department. I couldn’t function there for two decades.
Q: Were you feeling the tug of inspiration that whole time?
A: Absolutely. In my life, I’ve found I’m good at two things mostly: writing songs and performing them. It was heartbreaking and soul destroying not being able to work.
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