Sex Pistols singer John Lydon was a “mad barker” until he found “humanity and love”.
The frontman feels his second band, Public Image Limited (PiL), brought out qualities in him which audiences hadn’t previously seen when he was in his original nihilistic punk group.
He told Q Magazine: “When you first come out of the gate, as with me and the Pistols, you’re going to be like a mad barker and I did it well. But there’s more to life than that and it’s called humanity and love. That’s what PiL is – a love-fest, of sorts.
“It’s more humane. It’s a more friendly approach but the songs are more volatile.”
He added that this is reflected in their crowd, saying: “We have a very loyal following, where the Pistols crowds are more fickle. They expect a spectacle, a vomit scene or a tabloid press scenario.”
PiL originally broke up in 1992, but alongside John, drummer Bruce Smith and guitarist Lu Evans embarked on a reunion tour in late 2009, and are now recording a new album.
Before their set of comeback shows, John announced they had been funded entirely by the money he received from starring in butter advertisements for the Country Life brand, which – despite accusations from some as being against his roots or principals – he describes as the “greatest fun”.
He added: “I had the greatest fun working with that whole campaign, and they approached me with the greatest amount of respect.”