Cantankerous Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd frontman Johnny Rotten challenges Green Day‘s lasting impact on punk rock in a new interview with The New York Times, the 62-year-old musician saying it’s “embarrassing” that punk bands inspired by the popular East Bay trio are still rocking “spiky haircuts” and “trying to keep 1978 alive.”
It’s an interesting take from the man whose iconic ’70s act was said to be expressly (and fashionably) manufactured by manager Malcom McLaren to try and sell clothes. If the Pistols were a glorified boy band, what’s wrong with Green Day?
“How many bands are out there like Green Day now?” Rotten asks the Times‘ Alex Williams. “I look at them, and I just have to laugh. They’re coat hangers, you know. A turgid version of something that doesn’t actually belong to them.”
He goes on to call modern punk a “caricature” of its former self, saying it’s a “perfect backdrop to sell a pair of sneakers.” Again, an ironic statement from the man whose first musical outing was reportedly meant to move garments.
And this isn’t the first time Rotten has voiced a disdain for Billie Joe Armstrong’s long-running rock band. In 2012, he told Rolling Stone he’s “never been a fan” of the group that made Oct. 1 a meme holiday, as pointed out by Loudwire.
“I just don’t understand it. I think its kind of a tinny, two-bob version of something that was far deeper and carried more significance,” he said. “They’re not very significant. They’re a mélange. They’re closer to Billy Idol than myself.”
What do you think of Rotten putting Green Day on blast? Should the Sex Pistols singer maybe take a moment to remember how the Pistols were formed? Sound off in the comments below, and let us know your take.