'Good To Go' conversation
Glen's new album Good
To Go, initially released via Pledge Music, goes on general release
21st September. The perfect time to take stock of all things Glen
Matlock and Good To
Phil: How are you feeling now Good
To Go is
Glen: I’ve had a few good reviews already. I’ve been fulfilling this
Pledge Campaign and it’s quite heartening how many people from around
the world have ordered it; America, India, China, Australia, New
Zealand, all around Europe, Iceland, Russia. A good healthy lot of
You must be pleased with
the positive response? I’ve not read one negative review.
(Adopting posh voice) I’ve not been on the front page of The Times with
it you know! But yes, we’ll just have to see what happens. We did the
100 Club launch show and we’re talking about doing some more, so things
are on the up a bit.
How did you find the
It was worthwhile. I couldn’t quite get my head around it, there was a
delay waiting for the records to come through, so I had a lot of
catching up to do, which I’ve done now. There was a lot of goodwill
from the Pledge people. Now everybody’s got something and I wrote
everyone out a personal postcard which people have been posting on
Twitter and Facebook. They seem quite chuffed and no one has moaned
about the record at all!
Sending out the London
postcards was a nice extra touch.
Although I get stumped when I notice someone comes from Tottenham!
Perhaps when they get the card they’ll see the Houses of Parliament or
the Millennium Dome in a new light somehow?! From one Londoner to
Good To Go was recorded in
two different locations, upstate New York and London, but it does have
a consistent sound. Was that difficult to achieve?
It’s pretty much the same people playing throughout. When we recorded
in London we listened to some of the stuff we’d done in America which
was mixed by then, and emulated that sound. We used similar
instrumentation, everyone knew what I was looking for so it wasn’t that
hard to do. When I was listening to the vinyl test pressing I was
pleased with how unified and complete it all sounds. When you master
the album you can tweak the levels to match it all up, get the running
order and the gaps between the songs right. There’s an art, a finesse
in doing it. The bloke I used, John Davies at Metropolis Studios, was
very good, he does all the top records.
In your recent live shows
you’ve been performing three quarters of the album which shows your
confidence in the material.
Ah, but they’re fresh in my mind, and my band have all played on the
album so they know them. I’m confident in my band being able to play
those nine songs and the other three need a little bit of a brush up!
If we were touring all the time we’d probably do a bit more work on the
others and rotate them.
What I also noticed was
that the three songs you haven’t done live were some of my ‘to go to’
tracks, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Strange Kinda Taste and Piece Of Work. If
you can drop those three, it’s got to be a strong album.
Yes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Piece Of Work needs quite a
lot of work, it’s quite complicated to play and we don’t have an
amazing amount of rehearsal time. I haven’t dropped any songs, I just
haven’t done ‘em.
But you believe enough in
the new songs to know they’ll go down well with people who maybe
haven’t heard them before.
It doesn’t always cross my mind, it’s what we’ve got together really!
What does cross my mind is that I’ve got to play certain songs - a
couple of Pistols. At the Boisdale shows last month we did Born Running
and for the 100 Club we worked up Ghosts Of Princes In Towers which
we’d not done at Boisdale. I try and do something from everything, but
you can’t do everything or you’ll be there all bloody night!
There’s less reliance on
you having to do all the old stuff nowadays. You don’t have to play a
Rich Kids song for example.
Yes, and there has been for a while. Although I’d much rather do a Rich
Kids song than a Pistols one to be honest.
You’ve done quite a bit of
TV and radio over the summer.
It was funny doing The Wright Stuff with Kevin Maguire. I walked into
the green room at 7.30 in the morning and Christine Hamilton (media
commentator and wife of ‘disgraced’ MP Neil) was there. She was a right
laugh, really funny. She was nothing like she is portrayed publicly and
said the same about me.
It’s good who you bump into; I did the Gaby Roslin Show on BBC Radio
London and Simon Day from The Fast Show was on and I had a bone to pick
with him! I saw him many years ago doing The Fast Show live at the Hard
Cafe when my kids were small. My youngest boy spotted the actor who
played Ron Weasley's dad in Harry Potter and said to me "look, it's Ron
Weasley's dad", but before I could say anything Simon Day came out with
“So I said to the fucking c**t!” I had
to put my hands over my son’s ears! It was funny though. You meet all
different people with all different stripes doing my job.
I performed on RT television, a Russian / English Channel. Maybe I had
a couple of orders from Russia because of it. The host was a bit arsey,
but I think I stood my ground.
Earlier in the year me and Slim Jim
Phantom appeared on Pointless which is waiting to be broadcast. It
might put the cat amongst the pigeons!
Recently you had a trip to
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea, a story
which made the BBC news.
Yes, I did that. It was nice to be invited to play. Lovely people, and
a good band who played really well. I made some good friends there, a
guy called Cha-Cha who is the ‘Paul Weller of Korea’, and the band
Crying Nut. We cobbled something together - they learnt some of my
songs - it was a really good vibe. I don’t think me going has changed
the course of world history, but it’s good going to have a look-see and
show a bit of solidarity with them. So much so, I’ve been invited back
to Korea again, there’s another festival over there in October. There’s
a whole country involved. I didn’t realise there’s English people
involved, a guy from Glastonbury Festival, a bloke from Beggar’s
Banquet Records and Steven Budd.
Someone has now invited me to play in
Palestine next year. These events are door openers. There’s a big world
out there and I want to see as much of it as I can while I’ve some time
On the subject of time,
Good To Go is a travelogue, not just of places but of experiences, so
living the life you do you’re not going to run short of inspiration.
I think that’s one of the reasons I do it. Writing isn’t the foremost
in my mind, but at the back of my mind by doing things it gives you
ideas. There was a great picture of Mick Jones which Pennie Smith took
years ago. He’s reading a book and the caption is “to have output you
must have input”. Travelling broadens the mind and you can see how the
other half live. How the other half live is pretty much the same all
around the world. People want to have fun, look after their families as
much as they can, they don’t want to be oppressed and they want to let
loose when they want to.
you at a point in time
where you’re done with all these age landmarks, “can’t believe I’m 50,
60” and so on?
I’ve never really felt that to be honest. I’ve never been a big one for
birthdays. I like a slice of cake but not booze. Many years ago when I
was boozing - I think it was my last day at 39 as opposed to being 40 -
someone pointed out to me that I’d had such a hangover that I didn’t
see my birthday. Those days are long gone. I don’t think much about
age, I just get on with it. Life’s like a sine wave, you’re on a roller
coaster, you’re up and then you’re down, and you try and smooth it all
out by going “yep, I’ll have a go at that.” Sometimes it works in your
favour. I like to say yes to things, within reason.
Any future travel plans?
I may be off to Japan to do some press before long and there’s talk of
going with my band to do the Fuji Festival next year. I’ve offers from
Norway and Italy and there’s talk of going back to India as well. My
first trip to India was quite an experience. In Mumbai it was like
Tottenham on a Saturday night, all Western clothes. But elsewhere
there’s people who are skint, shitting on the street corner, living in
slums, cows walking past. But they are aware of it and are trying to do
something about it. The people are generally pretty friendly.
Finally, anything further
you’d like to add regarding Good To Go?
It’s out on general release on 21st September. If you pre-order it on
iTunes you can get an instant download and the rest of the LP comes
together on the 21st. You can still get signed copies through Pledge
Music along with signed copies of my older records, as well as books
and T-shirts. I’ll be setting up another way of getting signed copies
soon as well. I’ve a new website glenmatlock.co.uk where I’ll be keeping people
informed of my live shows and so on. Buy my record, it won’t let you
That’s for certain. Thank
Pledge Music: Signed CDs, Albums, Books & T-shirts
Good To Go >
To Go: Glen's Track By Track
All 100 Club Pictures ©
James Currie / In The Loop Magazine
Text ©Phil Singleton 2018
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