File under ‘duh.’ Former Sex Pistols singer, current Public Image Limited frontman and budding movie producer John Lydon has slammed music reality shows, labeling both The Voice and American Idol as "humiliating."
I suppose shooting fish in a barrel was just too easy.
Lydon, speaking to Reuters to promote This Is PiL, the first PiL release in two decades, added that music reality shows are "dragging us back into Las Vegas wannabees.
“And there's the painful tone of humiliation, the smirking at who gets voted off,” he adds. “And people now think that's the universe of music. That's utterly corrupting too."
Lydon – a longtime critic of the music industry - also said he had no sympathy for record labels and their financial woes, adding: "The record companies fell apart - quite deservedly. Their corrupting, all-binding contract nonsense had to stop. But this modernization of sampling and regurgitating of old ideas isn't healthy either. Live music is healthy."
As reported by the NME, the singer also spoke about the lengthy gap between PiL albums and said that the 20-year gap was "not my choice. The record company and contract obligations kept me in a state of non-recoupment and I had to outwait them.
"It was a very difficult time for me, almost like a state of mental starvation. You're gagging at the bit to work, and music's my life. But I found that the law worked against me, all the corporations and accountants. So I had a very negative view of business-as-usual."
Back to that “budding movie producer” bit we mentioned earlier. Last year at the Toronto International Film festival, a fantastic and very charming Norwegian film called Sons of Norway screened, and it got a boost from Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, who both exec-produced and appears in a cameo. He also came to TIFF to promote it.
Whatever your feelings on Lydon and the Pistols, the film is a hilarious (sometimes heartbreaking) coming-of-age story set in Norway the late-1970s during the punk era - hence Lydon’s involvement- and it’s definitely worth a rental.
Check out the trailer below – which requires viewer discretion and is NSFW - and catch the film if you can.