Glastonbury 2023: Glen Matlock on playing Blondie, his solo work and ‘self-centred asshole politicians’

Former Sex Pistols guitarist Glen Matlock caught up with NME backstage at Glastonbury 2023 to talk about his return to the festival to play with Blondie and his successful solo career.

After announcing last year that he would be appearing on Blondie’s new album – the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Pollinator’ – the punk rocker has been meeting art-pop icons on recent world tour dates, performing before Stage A giant pyramid on the last day. of Glastonbury on Sunday (June 24).

Before taking to the stage, NME asked the bass legend if he remembered the first time he met the band.

“I don’t remember exactly because I was probably very drunk and out of my mind, but I think I first met them when I did a one-night stand with Sid Vicious at the Electric Ballroom in ’78 or ’79. Blondie came up as a band, and I think that’s when I met Clem [Burke] and debbie [Harry] for the first time.

“What I found quite sweet about them is that when bands go on tour and have a night off, everyone tends to leak somewhere, but they seemed to be out there as a group in Always. That was fine with me.”

Matlock also revealed how their collaboration came to be “a little over a year ago,” when he received a phone call from drummer Clem Burke while cooking dinner.

As I was about to make the risotto, the phone rang and a friend came over to cheer me on,” Matlock explained, “and I said to Clem, ‘My risotto is almost done and you’re messing it up, so get. get on with it.'”.

“He said, ‘We need a bass player,’ and I said, ‘I thought you had one,’ and he said, ‘He’s not working, can you come over?’ I thought he meant a few months from now, but he said, ‘No, next week.’ I said, ‘Oh, let me think about it.’ I did it overnight and I knew I had to do it. I’ve worked with Clem in a lot of things over the years, some good, some a little crazy, but we play well together and it’s great I like the Blondie stuff. They have great work and always seem to be pushing themselves a little bit more. Bass lines stuff too”.

When asked what he could tell us about the new Blondie album, Matlock replied: “I can’t, because I’ve done the backing tracks but I haven’t heard the finished record yet. I put some ideas in, but how they will come out I don’t know.”

Despite being “always a phone call away from doing a session or this or that”, Matlock recently released his acclaimed seventh solo album ‘Consequences Coming’.

“I’m very happy, because I think the consequences for a lot of our jerk politicians became more self-centered,” he said of the album’s themes. “I wrote the songs a few years ago.”

And he continued: “It’s not just about Brexit, per se. It’s what it led to and what it allowed. I can believe that so many people in this country are willing to be deceived by a lot of bad people. I thought that As an Englishman, it is one of the main advantages that you can spot injustice a mile away, but now I think I am wrong, people can’t.

“I think the problem is that the Conservatives will change [el Brexit] before Labor succeeds and we are stuck with the Conservatives again. I think it’s unsustainable.”

Commenting on the devastating impact Brexit has had on touring British artists, Matlock said: “New bands are suffering, as are more established artists like me, who are at the top of the bill with Blondie. Not Guns N’ Roses us, although I saw them on TV last night…”.

Exhaling heavily, NME asked Matlock what he meant: is it good or bad?

“You can just write ‘pouted,'” he replied. “Although they are good guys.”

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Although the punk revival in the UK over the past five years has been led by groups such as IDLES and Shame, Matlock says he wasn’t particularly tuned into it, and didn’t notice much of the Sex Pistols’ influence on the music. modern guitar.

“Before, everyone had bell bottoms. That’s a big plus, even though bell bottoms are better shoes. If you’re going to wear tight pants, you have to wear chelsea boots.”

“I’m being silly, but there’s some truth to that. I’m kind of like Arctic Monkeys. I’ve watched them a bit [en Glastonbury] and I like his hair. Who’s the guy coming out after us who made ‘Old Town Road’?

Lil Nas X?

“Yes, I like it. My son showed me a video of it. Last night he was telling Debbie [Harry] I really wanted to see him.”

Matlock didn’t want to talk about his “disappointment” in Disney’s recent Sex Pistols biopic, but instead wanted to look to the future with his solo work and various other projects. In that spirit, is there someone you’ve never worked with but loved?

“I wish I could have done something with Bryan Ferry in the beginning of his life,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind doing something with Iggy again, really. I saw him in the States and he was great. I’m really looking forward to seeing him on Saturday.”

Matlock as part of Blondie as they perform with Iggy Pop at Dog Day Afternoon at Crystal Palace Park in London this Saturday (July 1). Visit this link for tickets and more information. They’ll also be performing at Lytham Festival and Mulhide Castle in Dublin this week, for which you can get tickets here.

In August he will also give solo concerts in Belfast and Dublin, tickets for which can be found here.

Discover the most magical moments of Glastonbury 2023 here, with our news, reviews, interviews, photos and more. You can also relive all the action from our Glastonbury feeds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Glastonbury 2024 dates have also been announced. Check out how to get Glasto 2024 tickets here, and next year’s headliners here.

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