'Anger is an energy': John Lydon on creativity, Brexit and why he doesn't use Twitter

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon is perhaps best known for his unique brand of anger, which has fuelled his art, and his advertising, for over four decades.

So, it should come as no surprise then, that when The Drum magazine decided to theme its November issue around anger we looked no further than the ever-outrageous musician to explain how he channels the emotion into his artistic endeavors.

When punk first perforated the charts, Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, was characterised as the posterboy for the movement. The Sex Pistols broke up just two-and-a-half years after their formation, but Lydon hasn't stopped creating since, most notably continuing to make music with Public Image Limited (PiL).

In the band's hit Rise, Rotten famously sang "Anger is an energy," and it's something that clearly still holds true for the star.

“Anger for me is the tool I use to find out the correct answer,” he said. “It’s as relevant as any other emotion, you need a touch of it, but you have to discipline it and curtail it.”

During the interview, which you can watch snippets of above, Lydon also touched on why he doesn't use social media, saying there was a "grotesque element of self-importance" in doing so.

Other topics up for discussion included his appearances in those infamous Country Life Butter ads – which he claimed were "the most anarchistic" thing he ever did – and Brexit.

Subscribe to become a member of The Drum+ and read the full interview with Lydon in the latest issue of The Drum magazine.

Video shot and edited by Jamie McMurray

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

All by Rebecca