John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten, has never been shy when it comes to saying what he thinks. So it’s no surprise that he has a thing to say about the new wave of modern punk bands that have appeared over the years.
Lydon said recently in an interview with the The New York Times that the modern punk bands of today had turned the genre into a “caricature,” in particular, he singled out Green Day for being “coat hangers” for fashion trends from the ‘70s that became akin to uniforms.
Lydon talked about the way that fashion had followed him when he left the Sex Pistols and formed his spin off band, PiL. He said: “Row 1 to 30 would be Johnny Rotten imitators. I thought, ‘This is going horribly wrong.’ I wasn’t doing this to create a new uniform that wasn’t any way near as good as what the Nazis had.” Quickly interjecting: “‘John said with the utmost possible humor.’”
Going into detail he said: “That’s where punk and me separated. Punk wanted to maintain the cliche and the uniformity that it didn’t deserve. And I wanted to do new and different things, which is, to my mind, what punk is all about: Do it yourself, which means be true to yourself.”
He then addressed punk four decades after it’s explosion onto the scene. Saying: “It’s embarrassing, really. How many bands are out there like Green Day now? 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.”
Another swinging blow by Lydon was that fact that he thought punk had become a “caricature” and rap had become a “perfect backdrop to sell a pair of sneakers.” Ouch!!!
He also addressed as to whether he’d ever receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth, to that he replied: “Do you think I’d ever let the Queen hold a sword over my head?”
Same John Lydon, different day.