Glen Matlock Interview: With Pistol Passion


glen matlock interview 128x71 1Glen Matlock Interview: With Pistol Passion

Glen Matlock Interview: Pistol Passion

We’ve got the Punk Rock legend Glen Matlock lined up in this interview, the Pistols’ bassist talks to us about his new album and touring with Blondie.

Glen Matlock: Pistol Passion

This interview was originally conducted by Paul Rigg for Planet Guitar.

Recovering in his plush L.A. hotel room after another successful gig with Blondie, Sex Pistols’ and The Rich Kids’ bassist Glen Matlock is keen to talk with Gear News about the rage behind his sardonic new solo album, touring with Debbie Harry, and how he wonders looking back if a good punch in certain moments might not have been amiss…

Gearnews: The last time we chatted you had just had your legendary 1961 Ivory Fender Precision Bass stolen – did you ever hear anything more about it?

Glen Matlock: Nothing yet, but I keep looking. Its loss put me off playing for a while because every time I picked up a bass it was not like the one I got tea-leaved [robbed]. I’d love it back more than anything, it was my pride and joy.

Fender Vintera II 60s P-Bass OWT
Fender Vintera II 60s P-Bass OWT
No customer rating available yet

Available for 1,149.00 € at thomann

Consequences Coming

GN: You have just released a solo album called ‘Consequences Coming ‘, what was your inspiration?

GM: I think the general populace of Britain has been hoodwinked over the past four or five years. Brexit has done nobody any favours. Musicians can still tour in Europe, but it is such a pain now. A few more people can see the ridiculousness of the lurch to the right. What has happened is shocking; we’ve been played for mugs. It’s enabled the robbing of the country by a few self-entitled toe-rags.

I thought I might have missed the boat with ‘Consequences Coming’, but on Monday I was in Manhattan, New York, and I couldn’t get a cab because coming down the other way was Donald Trump, to go and be arraigned. So I got some pleasure out of that; as my dad used to say ‘little fish are sweet’ [Laughs].

Head on a Stick

GN: The album cover has a photo of you holding a Hofner – what made you go with that?  

GM: I have always been a fan of England’s first rock n roller, Tommy Steele. Recently I came across a fantastic picture of him and Alex Harvey backstage playing Hofner Presidents. Afterwards, I went to a little guitar shop in Kilburn [London] to get some strings and ‘Wow, there was a Hofner President!’, so I had to have it. It sounds great!

GN: ‘Head on a Stick’ was the first single release and sets the tone – is it a call to arms for people to protest?

GM: I think people who have done this should be held to account. Boris Johnson has become a bit unstuck. I got the idea for the song on an anti-Brexit march, where there were nearly a million people, and I bumped into my old mate Kevin Rowland from Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and there was a Rasta guy just behind us playing ‘Let’s Stick Together’ by Bryan Ferry, and I thought that really captured the feel that I wanted to project.

Höfner Ignition SE
Höfner Ignition SE

Customer rating:


Available for 358.00 € at thomann

GN: There is humour in the video, so is the song driven more by frustration or anger?

GM: Both. I love that guy Steve Bray in Parliament Square who persistently complains about Brexit with his loudspeaker. All we can do is vote.

GN: You also back up what you say politically by supporting Ukraine on an album you released just six months ago, which you recorded with Raymond Meade…

GM: Yes, Raymond is a friend who plays bass with Ocean Colour Scene, and he has a connection with Ukraine. It was fun, educational and raised money for the cause.

Speaking in Tongues

GN: On your track ‘Speaking in Tongues’ you sing “ain’t never heard so much untruth” – I was wondering if it might, in part, refer to the Danny Boyle series where they suggested you were thrown out of the Sex Pistols?

GM: No, because I wrote the song before that. I thought it was important the series went ahead because it was based on Steve Jones book, but I was disappointed in it.

GN: Why are these rock myths so popular?

GM: They are easy motifs for filmmakers to hang something on. It is lazy journalism. [Debbie Harry and drummer Clem Burke send Matlock a text message at this point to ask if he is going down for the hotel’s ‘courtesy breakfast’, which makes him laugh and wryly comment: “the whacky world of rock n roll!”]

Norman Watt-Roy and Earl Slick

GN: I noticed you have Ian Dury and the Blockhead’s Norman Watt-Roy playing bass and David Bowie’s Earl Slick playing guitar on many tracks…

GM: When I started recording this album, I went to see The Clash Exhibition at the Barbican, where I bumped into Norman and asked if he’d like to join me in the studio. I have gigged with Earle and he came down. I promise them the world and they end up with a cappuccino and a sticky bun if they’re lucky, but I do the same for them.

GN: The album was recorded and mixed in both London and L.A. – where is your heart?

GM: I don’t know. If I could afford it, I can see the attraction of doing something like Elton John and having a home in both places.

Fender 60 P-Bass NOS 3-TSB
Fender 60 P-Bass NOS 3-TSB

Customer rating:


Available for 4,698.00 € at thomann

Never Mind the Bollocks

GN: Turning the clock back now to 1977, did the fame of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ change you?

GM: Everybody thinks 1977 is the year of the Pistols, but in 1976 we were on the front page of Melody Maker, did the aborted Anarchy UK tour, Anarchy in the UK came out and we did the Bill Grundy show. Nothing prepares you for that. It was fun, but also a lot of weight on my shoulders. Because I was in the eye of the hurricane, I didn’t really know if I was changing or not.

GN: If you could, what advice would you give to your young self about that time? 

GM: I’m not a violent man, but maybe a right hook at the right time isn’t a wrong thing! [We both laugh].

Glen on John Lydon

GN: Now Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and recently John Lydon’s wife, Nora Forster, are gone. Have you been moved by these losses?

GM: Yes, I knew them all quite well. Nora, it is very sad, I hadn’t been in touch with her for a long time. She died of Alzheimer’s, and I had been through all that five years ago with my father, so I know it a horrible disease; it takes your soul.

I feel for John with that. Malcolm not so much; and Vivienne I saw at Malcom’s funeral. She was a big talent in fashion. Chrissie Hynde played a Buddy Holly tune and Nick Cave sang a really good song; funerals can be cathartic.

GN: You said that “John and I are not the best of friends, but are certainly not the worst of enemies”, have you been in touch recently?

GM: No. The court case and the film didn’t really help. You don’t necessarily stay in touch with people, but the night before last I had dinner with Steve Jones because I am in L.A. It was nice to catch up.

Fender Super Bassman
Fender Super Bassman

Customer rating:


Available for 2,949.00 € at thomann

The new Blondie album

GN: You are playing on Blondie’s new studio album; could you tell us about that?

GM: We have already done a lot of recording, it sounded good, but I don’t know when it is coming out. Another guitarist is standing in for Chris Stein. It is different to Parallel Lines; what I like about Blondie is that they keep moving on; they always had a Talking Heads edge to them. Rapture, for example, is a funk rap song. At Coachella last Friday Chic’s Nile Rodgers came up and did a couple of numbers with us; it was cool.

GN: To close, you tour with Blondie, have recently played on The Stooges’ ‘Lust for Life’ tour and are promoting your own album – how do you go about balancing all these?

GM: You try not to lose the emails! Lust for Life was a ‘back of the van’-type thing and hard work, but with Blondie they fly you everywhere and put you up in nice hotels. So, rough with the smooth, m’boy, rough with the smooth! [Laughs].

Gearnews is pleased to see Matlock full of the political passion that has endured since he was a teenage punk changing the course of music history. His acerbic and darkly humorous album is replete with catchy tunes and certainly worth checking out. “We appreciate your time and generosity, Glen,” I say. “Thank you, and good luck with your new enterprise, mate!” he cheerfully replies.

More about Glen Matlock:

  • Official artist page
  • More Interviews

*Note: This article contains affiliate links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price for you always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

The post Glen Matlock Interview: With Pistol Passion appeared first on

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply