John Lydon has described the Sex Pistols as "mostly hell on earth".

The 65-year-old punk legend has opened up on the iconic group's heyday and insisted his "soppy little pop songs" got him in a lot of trouble.

He told the Metro newspaper's Sixty Seconds column: "I don't know that there was much glory. It was mostly hell on earth.

"There was constant pressure but I got to write the songs I wanted to write, got those lyrics out to Joe Public and Joe Public was very nice and appreciate it.

"But then I had a media and a police force who did not appreciate it. I was discussed in the Houses of Parliament under the treason act."

While he suggested some people made light of the band's controversy, he insisted the situation was a difficult one.

He added: "And you go, 'Ohh, ha ha', but that [treason] carried a death penalty! For words!

"A few soppy little pop songs like 'Anarchy in the UK' [laughs] and you can be dead. Off with his head!"

John - who was known as Johnny Rotten during his time with the group - described himself as "God's gift to the universe" by challenging the status quo.

He added: "I cannot help but be contentious. I'm a free thinker and, yes, you can rub people up the wrong way but we're God's gift to the universe, us awkward ones, because it challenges you and it wakes you up."

And the star - who is currently in the middle of a reading tour after penning his book 'I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right' - insisted he isn't surprised he remains relevant in the public eye.

He laughed: "No. It shows I'm right."