Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt talks to us about Rock Band and getting "pwned" when it comes to video games.
The influential band from Oakland, California, that spent its early years playing in Berkeley is exploring new ground with a Broadway adaption of its American Idiot album, as well a video game that will feature three of its most popular albums. Green Day: Rock Band will have the full tracklist from Dookie, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown, as well select tracks from albums Warning, Nimrod, and Insomniac. The punk rock band is set to go on tour again this summer, and the game is set to come out on June 8 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. We spoke with bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt over the phone to find out what it is like to see a younger animated self onscreen.
GameSpot: So, how does it feel to have your own video game?
Mike Dirnt: It's pretty trippy. They approached us a long time ago, but it really never came to fruition. And it's not like we were chasing it down; they just kind of went on and did their own thing and then eventually came back. And by the time they came back, we had been obviously writing our own records and touring and everything. At that point, they had finished the Beatles video game, and it was like, "Wow, you've come a long way and look really great." I think they've proven that this is a genre that's here for a good amount of time.
GS: Can you tell us about the venues and why you decided to go with those?
MD: Well, one of them is kind of a nondescript warehouse sort of thing. It was either that or play in someone's living room, or bathroom, or garage. [The warehouse is] basically nondescript and also represents a lot of the places we played in back in the day. We also did Milton Keynes, which was our first stadium show in London, which is pretty interesting. And last but not least is the Fox Theatre in Oakland, which is near and dear to us because it's our hometown. They spent 30 years rebuilding that place and getting it up to what it is now, which is one of the most beautiful theatres, and they just reopened it in California. It's pretty cool.
GS: Were there any specific songs that had to make it into the game?
MD: I think what we wanted to do was represent at least a few full albums. One of things that we're really working on still and weren't able to do is to get some of the earlier records in there only because those were recorded on old analog tape. And analog tape becomes real brittle after a while. And to really get the stems from that…from the individual tracks…in order to put them in the game, you have to record them from analog to digital. And you get one chance to do it once the tape is really old. It's a really tedious process to not lose your entire history, so with that said, we are working on that diligently right now. But that's something we'd like to see in there as well.
GS: Most of the tracklist is pulled from three of your albums. Do you feel like your other albums have been slighted?
MD: No, I don't think so. There's something to be said about an album having a representation of that period of time. It's pretty cool. I explained earlier why we couldn't get the earlier ones. And quite honestly, for a video game, I think we skipped through a couple years where maybe later on we'll go back and we'll do like, Green Day: The Fat Years, or something. They probably weren't the most visually exciting years of our life. So who knows? The songs in and of themselves will be represented eventually. The cool thing is that you can keep adding to it.