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Green Day Bassist Drops Blunt Reaction To MAGA Lyric Backlash

Green Day co-founder Mike Dirnt weighed in on how the iconic rockers “got people talking” ― including Elon Musk ― when they ignited conservative outrage with their “American Idiot” lyric change on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

The bassist spoke with Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene, who described Dirnt as “still a little stunned” at the reaction to the band changing the line “I’m not part of a redneck agenda” to “I’m not part of a MAGA agenda” during their New Year’s Eve performance.

“The song’s twenty years old, and we’re Green Day. What did you expect? Come on,” Dirnt said in the interview, published last week.

Dirnt said the “best part” of the change to the 2004 hit ― a critique of the United States under then-President George W. Bush’s administration ― was that the band “provoked conversation” with its barb at former President Donald Trump.

Supporters of the current GOP presidential front-runner took to X (formerly Twitter) where they called the band “punk rock sellouts” and “losers,” and claimed they were supporting “the death of the American Dream.”

“First it was rhetorical, and then it got into conversation,” Dirnt said. “Anytime you can get people talking, you’re always going to have the loudest voices [heard first], and then everyone else in the room is going to figure out what it really means.”

The lyric change also prompted harsh criticism from Musk, who wrote that Green Day went “from raging against the machine to milquetoastedly raging for it.”

Dirnt, in response, said the world’s wealthiest man “actually is the machine.”

“I can’t take anything else from that,” the musician said. “He’s not shy about saying stupid shit on the internet. Whatever.”

The band hasn’t kept their distaste for Trump under wraps.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong declared “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” ― a reworking of a chant featured in the MDC song “Born to Die” ― during a performance of their song “Bang Bang” at the American Music Awards in 2016.

Armstrong also compared Trump to Adolf Hitler that year, telling Kerrang: “The worst problem I see about Trump is who his followers are. I actually feel bad for them, because they’re poor, working-class people who can’t get a leg up.”

“They’re pissed off and he’s preyed on their anger,” Armstrong went on. “He just said, ‘You have no options and I’m the only one, and I’m going to take care of it myself.’ I mean, that’s fucking Hitler, man!”

You can check out more of Dirnt’s interview with Rolling Stone here.

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