John Lydon: ‘Country Life butter adverts are funding PiL reunion’

Plus Public Image Ltd singer attacks record label over 'Metal Box' re-release

John Lydon has said his work on the Country Life butter advertising campaigns has made it possible for him to regroup and record new material with Public Image Ltd..

The singer, who tours the UK later this month, told NME that he has ploughed some of the profits from the comedic adverts into new recording sessions for the band.

“I’m permanently out of pocket, but I’ve got news for you, from the first day I started PiL I was out of pocket,” he said. “For me it’s an ongoing process. For 18 years I haven’t been able to fund this, so when that butter advert came along I was more than ecstatic.”

Lydon added that the band are working on new material “all the time we’re on the road”, though he refused to describe what it sounded like, saying: “Who knows? As far as I’m aware the media is still trying to work out the last 17 or 18 things I’ve put out.”

Speaking of the 2009 re-release of Public Image Ltd’s classic 1980 album ‘Metal Box’, Lydon attacked his record label Virgin for not consulting him beforehand.

“There’s been long enough now to ring me up, they know my phone number. I love that album but I love all my PiL albums. I could go on a very long rant here but Virgin are incredibly disrespectful,” he explained.

He went on to state his dislike at the way the label apparently gives more money to copycat PiL acts.

“They’ve used my work to buy paler, lesser talented imitators and flood their shelves with that,” claimed the former Sex Pistol. “There’s a whole host of bands on their label that they do give the money up to, I’m not one of them. But I am the one that led the charge and still am.”

Read a full interview with Lydon in this week’s issue of NME, out nationwide from Wednesday (July 14).