John Lydon has branded Green Day "embarrassing".

John Lydon

John Lydon

The Sex Pistols rocker has hit out at the 'American Idiot' hitmakers, insisting their idea of punk is laughable and claimed the band are just "coat hangers".

He told the New York Times newspaper: "It is embarrassing really.

"How many bands are out there like Green Day now? I look at them and I have to laugh. They're coat hangers, you know. A turgid version of something that doesn't actually belong to them."

John - who was previously known as Johnny Rotten - "separated" from punk when he realised too many people had begun to imitate him rather than stick by the ethos of the movement.

He said: "[At concerts] 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 - 'John said with the utmost possible humour.'

"That's where punk and me separated. Punk wanted to maintain the cliché 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."

The 62-year-old rocker believes punk has become a "caricature", while rap is "a perfect backdrop to sell a pair of sneakers".

Meanwhile, despite his own decades in the music industry, the Public Image Ltd frontman admitted he still gets nervous about going on stage.

He admitted: "The idea of making a fool of myself and letting people down is appalling. It's self-torture I put myself through."