Punk is still a force to be reckoned with: Glen Matlock
Anarchy In The UK should tell you that punk rock band the Sex Pistols were up to no good as far as the establishment was concerned in the mid ’70s in the Queen’s land. They were the curious, scandalous and shocking band that initiated a punk rock revolution in the country and was hailed as one of the most influential groups. Now, one of the original members, bassist Glen Matlock, is all set for his maiden gig in Mumbai today. The artiste quit the band and later featured in bands such as Dead Men Walking, The Face and Rich Kids. Glen, who is the frontman of his project, The Philistines, is collaborating with Indian artiste Shriram Alluri for his show in the city.
About the gig in Mumbai
Impressed by Alluri’s cover of the Sex Pistols’ iconic song Anarchy In The UK, Glen was on board to produce the former’s single Don’t Lose Touch when his manager approached him. “Alluri and I hit it off and established an immediate rapport, so it was a no-brainer to say ‘yes’ when he invited me to perform in Mumbai this month,” Glen says about taking the gig up.
About the pertinence of punk rock today, he says, “It was the voice of dissatisfaction that’s still relevant,” adding that it’s debatable whether it should still subscribe to the same dress code and set of chord changes, which he never particularly subscribed to. “But punk has its merits and coupled with a top tune and a Rock and Roll spirit, is still a force to be reckoned with when it involves a set of lyrics of some consequence,” he explains.
The musician has said that he now sees himself as a singer-songwriter more than being a bassist. About the transition, he says, “Well, I have always composed on a six-string acoustic guitar and traditionally played bass (which I still enjoy) when somebody else is singing. To me, it is always about making the song work, so whatever instrument I play, it is geared to that. Since I’ve always played both (not at the same time), there was no need of a transition, really — just in the public’s perception perhaps.”
Album’s good to go
After he heads back home, Glen has a new album, Good To Go (GTG), coming up. “It features Earl Slick from David Bowie and John Lennon fame on lead guitar. We are currently setting up shows for the fall to promote the record,” he says. GTG has a plethora of influences from the time he started listening to music to now. What’s the one thing that ties it all together? Glen avers, “I think basically most writers borrow or pay homage to stuff they have dug, and guess I am the same. What ties it together is my gift of constructing songs.”
Pistols reunion? Sure
Glen has handled the bass duties for the Sex Pistols on several occasions after his replacement, Sid Vicious, died. The last one was in 2007-8 for the UK and Europe Combine Harvester Tour. The artiste says that he would consider the idea of reuniting with the band for gigs but “it’s all quite long in the tooth now, so don’t lose any sleep worrying whether it will happen or not,” he signs off.