Mick Burgess chats to former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock before his gig in Newcastle tonight.

You`re out on tour at the moment. How is it going so far?

We`ve done four shows already down in the south including the Portobello Festival and they`ve been going very well. We`re doing 13 in total and I`m well pleased with how the tour is going so far.

It`s great to see you back up in Newcastle, a place you`ve played many times. Do you have some good memories of playing up here?

I always like coming up to Newcastle or should that be Newcassel. We always get a good response up there and the fans have always supported what I`ve done. I have had some good times there but normally when you have a really good time you can`t remember them as you`re enjoying yourself too much.

On this tour you`re joined by legendary Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. How did that collaboration come about?

He played on my album that came out last September. He plays guitar on most of that. We recorded it in upstate New York and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats drums on the album too. I`ve known Slim for a long time and Slim is mates with Earl. I`ve done stuff with Earl in the past but when I mentioned to Slim about a guitarist, he suggested Earl and I thought that was a great suggestion and everything just fell into place.

Between you both, you have a lot of material to choose from with Sex Pistols, Rich Kids and more recently The International Swingers as well as your own solo work and Earl`s work with Bowie and John Lennon. What songs will you be pulling out for these shows?

I`m mainly doing this tour to promote the album so that will feature a lot in the set, but I know if I went to see Bowie and he didn`t do Heroes I would have gone home disappointed. I know people want to hear certain songs but I’m not going to tell you what they are, you`ll have to come down to the show to find out.

Your latest album Good To Go to came out in September last year. Were you pleased with the reaction?

Yes, I am. It`s been getting some good reviews and a pretty good reception. People seem to like it which is always good so I’m very happy with it.

As a musician, how important is it to you to keep creating new music and pushing your musical boundaries?

It is important to keep growing a little bit, but you don`t have to be the new Philip Glass or someone like that. I like having a little twist on things and ideas for songs seem to come along in batches. Once I have a dozen or so songs in my head that aren`t recorded, I can`t really think straight and I know that it`s time to make a record.

Does it frustrate you that people keep referring to your Sex Pistols past even though that was over 40 years ago?

I want to be known what I`m doing now not what I did 40 years ago. It used to frustrate me but it doesn`t anymore as I feel good about what I`m doing now and I`m beginning to get a crowd for what I`m doing all round the world. I`m sure people will still want to hear a Pistols song, or a Rich Kids song and I don`t mind doing that but I`m not going out as a Sex Pistols tribute act like some musicians do, reliving the good old days.

Is there anything that you could do musically that could top that experience for you?

Well I don`t know. There`s always a new song to learn or a new way of delivering a line in a song and more places to play. The last year has been pretty interesting for me. I played on the North South border of Korea in the demilitarised zone last year with some Korean people that was a great experience and earlier this year I was playing all over South America. I actually went on the hydrofoil on the River Plate in Argentina and was looking forward to seeing the place where they scuttled the Graf Spee but I couldn`t see anything as the windows were frosted out. I got up at six o`clock in the morning to see that you couldn`t see out of the windows. You sort that one out. A month ago, I was involved in a festival called PMX at Ramallah in Palestine and the idea of that is to give the people of Palestine a window to the rest of the world. They were such lovely people and experiences like that are great to be a part of, but it also gave me an insight into their lives and having to pass through check points with armed guards every day.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

I have some solo shows in America and after that we`ll do some more recording and then will head off to Japan to the Fuji festival and we some club shows too while we`re there so things are really picking up and we`ve been having good feedback from what we have been doing so it`s all looking good.

  • Glen Matlock with Earl Slick plays at The Cluny, Newcastle on Thursday, May 23. Go to thecluny.com for more information and tickets.