Green Day’s blue collar struggle
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong would love to be more involved with the Occupy protest movement – but admits he’s closer to being a member of the 1-percenter class than the 99-percenter class he came from.
The band are set to release new record Uno!, the first part of a triple-album. A song called 99 Revolutions will appear on the final part, Tre! – and Armstrong says it was an easy song to write, despite his misgivings.
The singer tells Rolling Stone: “I feel like a 99, but technically I’m a 1. I know that’s where I come from, the 99, even though I can afford for my kids to go to a good college.”
Armstrong didn’t join in the Occupy protests in his hometown of Oakland, California. He says: “We wanted to be part of it in some way. It got really complicated when the anarchists started coming in. I’m not into that: smashing the windows in a small business.
“I thought it was about working people and where we come from. Cops are 99-percenters. Firemen are 99-percenters. That’s where the anarchists are confused – this is much broader than you think it is.”
He covers a connected subject in another track, Kill the DJ. “It’s about static and noise,” he explains. “This government cannot, will not, agree with itself. They refuse to make it work. Right, left, it doesn’t matter. It pisses you off. It’s a song about being drunk, going through this chaos, feeling fucked up – and all you want to do is get more drunk: ‘I don’t even want to know about it any more.’”
Green Day are aiming for a “power pop” feel to their new music, which Armstrong describes as “somewhere between AC/DC and the Beatles.
“The last record got so serious – we wanted to make things more fun. I love the punk stuff I grew up on, but there are so many bands who make the mistake: ‘We’re going back, old-school.’ You already did it. So we’re changing the guitar sound; we’re not going with the big Marshall amp thing.
“We wanted something punchier. If you listen to it, it feels grand, but it also feels like a garage band.”