Tom Morello responds to critics of Green Day changing ‘American Idiot’ lyrics

Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello has responded to those criticising Green Day for recently switching up their lyrics.

The moment came after the pop-punk trio – comprised of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool – made headlines for their controversial performance at Dick Clarke’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve last week.

During the set, the frontman altered the lyrics to the iconic 2004 track ‘American Idiot’, replacing the original line “I’m not a part of a redneck agenda” with “I’m not a part of the MAGA agenda”.

The song, initially written as a diss against George W. Bush, instead made a shot at former US President Donald Trump, making reference to his presidential rally slogan, “Make America Great Again” (MAGA).

Unsurprisingly, the moment at the New Year’s Eve show went on to spur some backlash for the members, with Tesla founder and tech billionaire Elon Musk criticising the move on X/Twitter, writing: “Green Day goes from raging against the machine to milquetoastedly raging for it.”

The decision to change up the line also warranted a segment on Fox News, with hosts reportedly suggesting that “people are so sick of being preached at about politics from rock bands”.

“Stick to what you’re good at. You’re not a political analyst. You’re probably not really well-read on the issues that Americans really care about”.

However, the discussion on the news network spurred a response from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello.

“Is that so?” the musician wrote in response to a clip of news hosts criticising Armstrong and co. for sharing their political views on stage.

It comes as little surprise that Morello agrees with the idea of artists using their platform to share their political views. Back in 2012 for instance, he famously wrote an op-ed against Republican Paul Ryan who missed the message of his band.

More recently, he took to social media to say that there was “no room for Anti-Semitism” when criticising the “horrific war crimes in Gaza”.

“Important to remember the horrific war crimes in Gaza aren’t being done by “the Jews” but rather by a particular murderous right-wing Israeli administration,” he wrote. “Many brave Jews in Israel & abroad condemn the slaughter. Our fight is against oppression. No room for antisemitism.”

The show over the New Year wasn’t the first time that Green Day took a jab at Trump. Back in 2016 at the American Music Awards (AMA)the members led a chant of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” in protest against the then-President electoral candidate.

Similarly, in August the band announced a limited-time sale of a t-shirt featuring Donald Trump‘s mugshot for charity. The t-shirt, titled Ultimate Nimrod, used Trump’s viral mugshot to recreate their iconic ‘Nimrod’ cover, with the album’s title covering Trump’s face.

It came after Donald Trump’s mugshot turned into a viral meme following his arrest that same month. On August 24, the former US president surrendered in Georgia on charges of plotting to overturn the state’s 2020 election results. Trump had to pay a bail bond of $200,000 (£160,000) to be released from the Atlanta jail, and now awaits trial. He later described the case as “a travesty of justice”.

The pop-punk icons are set to release their latest album ‘Saviors’ later this month via Warner/Reprise on January 19. The follow-up to 2020’s ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’, the LP led by the singles ‘Dilemma’‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’, ‘Look Ma, No Brains!’ and, most recently, ‘One Eyed Bastard’.


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