Billie Joe Armstrong Says Black Lives Matter Inspired New Green Day Album

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In the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, there’s a new interview with Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong on the band’s soon-to-be-released Revolution Radio. Andy Greene from Rolling Stone has provided a 25-minute audio segment containing part of the interview available on both Spotify and iTunes. Here are some of the highlights…

Andy Greene, the interviewer from Rolling Stone comments [transcribed by Alternative Nation]:

“I think what’s very clever about it [Revolution Radio] is it’s not super ambitious. It’s not overthought…it’s not a rock opera, it’s not 3 albums…a strong rock record that I think fans are going to just love. It’s not a big epic thing which is a nice change of pace.”

Nathan Brackett, the executive editor from Rolling Stone comments:

“I would kind of describe it as kind of a mix of everything they do well. It’s not all angry anthems, there are definitely some anthems, but there’s definitely a ballad that will make fans think of ‘Time of Your Life.’ There’s one kind of pretty fun early-era punk rock song from what we’ve heard.”

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After the intro, the interview begins-here are some of the excerpts:

Billie Joe Armstrong on the new single “Bang Bang”:

“It happened; I really want to be respectful of all cause I don’t want like…[pauses] but with the culture of mass shootings that happens in America mixed with this narcissistic social media where people-it’s not only to a point where there’s sort of rage that it’s happening, but it’s also now being filmed and we’re sort of-we all have ourselves under surveillance. That’s what to me is so twisted, and it’s like you get into the brain of someone like that. I sang it from the first person which was freaky, it freaked me out.”

Green and Brackett mention that this is Green Day’s first self-produced album and that Mike Dirnt took bass lessons for the album.

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Billie Joe on the new album track “Still Breathing” (described as a fast ballad, not totally about his own experience…):

“Gosh, there’s a song where I didn’t really know what to write about- I go: ‘just be honest, just be honest with yourself and keep it simple, and in doing that I sort of uncovered a lot about myself, and I think what other people go through with losing something but feeling like you gained something, like life makes sense, life isn’t perfect-it’s better than that. If you can survive through some of the stuff and find out who you are whether it’s drug addiction or losing a family member or if it’s dealing with someone that’s got some serious personality issues.   It goes from the life of a junkie and a gambler to the life of a single mother and life of a soldier and how we’re all kind of intertwined with that.”

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On the Illnesses of 4th member Jason White and Mike Dirnt’s Wife:

“Life is happening and it could get really intense. I would never be as shallow as to write a song about someone’s family crisis or anything.”

Excerpts from Billie Joe on the title track “Revolution Radio” (it was written about 2 years ago):

“I was in a car coming back from Brooklyn into Manhattan and there were all the protesters from Ferguson that were holding up traffic, all the way back across the bridge…and I wrote about it…I sort of walked out and marched with people for a little bit, but I was mostly observing and seeing what was happening. It’s a trip to watch people just completely rebel against the old order or whatever you want to call it. Trying to get to something that’s pure and honest…and I don’t know, I was just watching, and it was this controlled chaos-and it was happening all over the country. People don’t want to feel obsolete about the things they care about.”

The interview concludes with comments by Billie Joe on touring after the long hiatus and on the many generations of Green Day fans. As reported earlier on Alternative Nation, Green Day are currently planning a world tour.

The Rolling Stone interview is currently available for free on both Spotify and iTunes.

Billie Joe Armstrong’s Audio Interview with Rolling Stone On iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rolling-stone-music-now/id1078431985?mt=2

Revolution Radio will be released October 7th.