John Lydon stopped band from working on new material when they reunited in 1996

Sex Pistols‘ original bassist Glen Matlock has revealed that the band were open to writing new material when they first reunited in 1996, but that John Lydon ruled it out.

Matlock played bass in the legendary punk band from 1975 to 1977, when he left and was replaced by Sid Vicious. He was part of the group’s first reunion in 1996 and the brief reunions that followed in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008.

In 2014, Matlock stated that he had not spoken to Lydon in over five years. Asked by NME in a new interview whether he has seen Lydon since, Matlock said: “No. He knows my number, I know his. If I see him one day that will be fine”.

Matlock confirmed that the last time he saw Lydon was at Sex Pistols’ last reunion show at Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain in September 2008. Recalling the gig in question, Matlock said: “I was quite friendly and politely pointed out to him between going on stage and doing the encore that the part of Spain we was in was actually Basque country, and they don’t like Spanish, and he went ‘Ah right, okay’. Basically I didn’t want to get hit on the head by a rock.”

On why the pair have not been in touch since, Matlock added: “He’s doing something, and I’ve been doing a bit of playing with Paul Cook with a project we kick-started for Teenage Cancer Trust. In all bands there’s all different, kind of, little mini soap operas.”

Glen MatlockGetty/Redferns

Matlock went on to reveal that he had been keen to write new music during their first reunion: “Back in 1996, there was a bit of talk about it. Me, Steve [Jones] and Paul [Cook] [wanted to] but John thought shy of it. I don’t know why, maybe he thought stuff that he’d written didn’t match up to [the past] and that [the band’s legacy] might be diminished by it somehow.”

The bassist said that “doesn’t know” whether the band will reunite again in the future and doesn’t “get up in the morning thinking about it”.

Matlock is currently on a tour of the UK. See those dates in full below. He’ll release a new EP and album next year.