Public Image Ltd. released its tenth studio album, What the World Needs Now, this past September, and John Lydon sat down for an interview about the writing and recording process that fueled the project.
Here's a little preview of that discussion where Lydon reveals the importance of havoc and bedlam to the band's artistic collaborations. Look for the full interview in the upcoming January 2016 issue of Guitar Player.
"Listen, making a PiL record is borderline chaos at any moment, but that's where the best stuff comes from," says Lydon. "Everybody has requests about every single part we're recording, and the fiddling never stops. So it’s learning where to have restraint, and where to leave control outside the room. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. And any recording is really about making good choices. When it come to the final mix, I think the best editing is what you leave out, rather than what you throw in.
"It’s difficult to explain how we work. We’ve known each other for decades and decades and decades. It’s all like a sense of empathy. There are never any real bitter twisted arguments here, because there are no egos involved, and it’s always for the betterment of the song. The song is the thing, and we’re just lucky enough to be players in it.
"Our problems would be who drank all the wine at dinner, or what channel to watch on the one TV in the middle of nowhere—just personal issues. It's a collection of men stuck in the wilderness left up to their own devices. There could be emotional pressures there. But oddly enough, I find that kind of riveting, as well, because it goes into the material. Those tensions—they’re worthy of exploration."
Now, check out the just released video — as of today, October29 — for "Bettie Page"...