Sex Pistols‘ Steve Jones has spoken to NME ahead of the punk band’s upcoming deluxe edition of their seminal ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ album.
The iconic group’s classic album will be reissued to celebrate the record’s 40th anniversary. Label USM/UMC has announced that the out-of-print deluxe edition of the album, which was originally released in 2012, will now be re-released on December 1. You can pre-order it here.
As well as this, a new book called The Sex Pistols 1977: The Bollocks Diaries is out on October 26. It tells the story of the “chaos and creation” of the band’s famous record, as told by the Pistols themselves. Buy it here.
Surrounding these two releases, Sex Pistols guitarist Jones spoke to NME about the legacy of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, saying: “We didn’t really have any expectations and that’s probably why it is still talked about”.
He also revealed why he wouldn’t reunite with the Sex Pistols again in the future and what he thinks about John Lydon’s controversial Donald Trump comments.
Read NME‘s Q&A with Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones below:
It’s been 40 years since ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. When you were recording the album, did you think you’d still be talking about the record four decades later?
“No, not at all, you never know that. We were just doing it, we didn’t really have any expectations and that’s probably why it is still talked about – because it wasn’t preconceived, we just didn’t know where it could go. It wasn’t like a band who went to a record label and the record label said ‘I don’t hear any singles here’, you know? We were just coming from a different place where it was more about ‘this is what we do and we want to get it on to tape’. It’s just one of those things — short lived, but it’s quite amazing really that forty years later people are still talking about it.”
What do you think the record’s legacy has been?
“I think it’s very inspirational to other bands and it’s just a little time capsule really.”
What other albums do you think we’ll still be listening to in 40 years time?
“David Bowie’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’.”
Any modern albums? You appeared in Arctic Monkeys’ ‘R U Mine’ video. Are they the kind of band that will span generations like Sex Pistols have?
“I’m not sure, because I’m not a young person, they have different feelings towards Alex Turner than I do. I think Arctic Monkeys are a great band. I even like the Last Shadow Puppets last album (‘Everything That You’ve Come To Expect’) better than Arctic Monkeys. I think he’s a talented guy, Alex Turner, and when Alex and Miles Kane get together they come up with good stuff.”
Would you say grime is the new punk?
“I don’t know what that is, I’m too old… Like chav music? Well, it’s good that young people are looking into different ways, and that’s the way it should be. And I shouldn’t be liking it because I’m an old fart you know?”
So you feel like if it’s offending people your age then it’s doing something right?
“Yeah, but I’m never offended by anything. I’m all for young people coming up with their own signature [sound] – that’s very important. They shouldn’t be liking punk, that was a long time ago. It’d be stupid if young people were still liking what we did forty years ago so I’m all for young people coming up with their own stuff, that’s revolutionary.”
“I think music went a bit stale for a while, they were just churning out the same old shit – I like anything from the beginning of punk and then you get all the others coming in with the watered down version but… I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you anything about… what’d you call it – chime? Grime? Yeah I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it to be honest with you.”
You recently said that Sex Pistols would only get back together if you were offered Rolling Stones’ amount of money. What else could sway you? Would you want to headline Glastonbury, for example?
“To be honest with you, I wouldn’t even do it for Rolling Stones’ money at this point. I just can’t be bothered. I’m over it, you know? Doing them songs again – yeah, it’d be great to get a bunch of money but it’s just knackered, you know what I mean?”
Do you regret any of your previous reunions?
“No, I don’t. It just gets old quick. It just feels like you’re just going through the motions – it’s not very exhilarating. It’s like ‘well, okay, I’ll look at me watch after four songs and I’ve got like ten more to go and then I’m done’ and that isn’t the attitude, it’s not coming from the right place. Sure, who doesn’t like a bit of cash but the older I get the furthest I get from wanting to do anything with the Pistols again.”
Don’t you think that in this current political climate, people do need a band like the Sex Pistols?
“No, I think that young people should be doing that. That’s a young person’s game.”
John Lydon recently praised Trump and called him “magnificent”. What are your thoughts about this?
“I don’t have any political dues. I don’t like Trump, I don’t support Trump and I don’t support Hillary Clinton. You know, I think it’s all a load of bullshit to be honest with you. I don’t buy any of it. That’s my personal view, I think all governments are basically steering in the same direction and the rich get richer, the middle class support the poor and the blah blah blah and that’s the way it’s going, there’s just a different face – that’s my views on political things.”