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Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Once Again Proves the Power Chord is King

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  • Jan 15
    Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong Once Again Proves the Power Chord is King

    Usually, if a band requires that a wall of security guards be stationed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage before they start playing, the implication is that things are about to get rowdy—maybe even a little violent. But while there was a squad of security hulks at Green Day’s recent concert at the Palladium in Hollywood, those 16 dudes didn’t seem to have policing the crowd as their primary purpose. If anything, the behemoths were provided, with love, by the band to act as a human safety net—a 32-arm insurance policy guaranteeing that no crowd surfer broke his or her face after tumbling over the barricade.

    Yes, the Palladium fans were rowdy, rabid, and raucous (but not violent), and even though the set was 135 minutes long, the moshing and crowd surfing never ceased. That’s because even in 2017—after multiple Grammy wins, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and sales of more than 75 million records— Green Day still makes huge venues feel like the small, anything-goes pressure-cooker punk dens in which they got their start in the Bay Area back in the ’90s.

    “The way to keep an arena show feeling intimate is to somehow break down the barrier between you and the audience,” says Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. “One way we do that is to bring people up on stage with us. When I was 12, I saw Van Halen, and as I watched Eddie play a big guitar solo, I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, what would it be like to be up there on that stage? That is just insane.’ But in the back of my mind I was like, ‘That will never happen. That would be like catching a foul ball while watching a baseball game from the top deck of the Oakland Coliseum.’ But there’s something genuine that happens when we bring someone up to sing or play guitar—something that causes the crowd to get so into it that everybody kind of becomes one. It’s the ultimate form of unity.”

    Green Day is 30 years old now, but the band doesn’t seem to have lost any of its appeal. The original core trio—Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool— is still intact, and their allure is as strong as ever. That allure lies in the group’s anthemic, super-singable choruses; thunderous, mosh-worthy riffs; inclusive, peace-punk ethos; and fearless lyrical stances on everything from mass shooters and homophobia to police protests and the chaotic climate of American politics. And Green Day’s popular magnetism is still working commercially, as well—the band’s new album, Revolution Radio [Reprise], landed at #1 worldwide the first week of its release.

    Full interview at Guitar Player: HERE

Brian's picture
on January 15, 2017 - 1:08pm

Usually, if a band requires that a wall of security guards be stationed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage before they start playing, the implication is that things are about to get rowdy—maybe even a little violent. But while there was a squad of security hulks at Green Day’s recent concert at the Palladium in Hollywood, those 16 dudes didn’t seem to have policing the crowd as their primary purpose. If anything, the behemoths were provided, with love, by the band to act as a human safety net—a 32-arm insurance policy guaranteeing that no crowd surfer broke his or her face after tumbling over the barricade.

Yes, the Palladium fans were rowdy, rabid, and raucous (but not violent), and even though the set was 135 minutes long, the moshing and crowd surfing never ceased. That’s because even in 2017—after multiple Grammy wins, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and sales of more than 75 million records— Green Day still makes huge venues feel like the small, anything-goes pressure-cooker punk dens in which they got their start in the Bay Area back in the ’90s.

“The way to keep an arena show feeling intimate is to somehow break down the barrier between you and the audience,” says Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. “One way we do that is to bring people up on stage with us. When I was 12, I saw Van Halen, and as I watched Eddie play a big guitar solo, I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, what would it be like to be up there on that stage? That is just insane.’ But in the back of my mind I was like, ‘That will never happen. That would be like catching a foul ball while watching a baseball game from the top deck of the Oakland Coliseum.’ But there’s something genuine that happens when we bring someone up to sing or play guitar—something that causes the crowd to get so into it that everybody kind of becomes one. It’s the ultimate form of unity.”

Green Day is 30 years old now, but the band doesn’t seem to have lost any of its appeal. The original core trio—Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool— is still intact, and their allure is as strong as ever. That allure lies in the group’s anthemic, super-singable choruses; thunderous, mosh-worthy riffs; inclusive, peace-punk ethos; and fearless lyrical stances on everything from mass shooters and homophobia to police protests and the chaotic climate of American politics. And Green Day’s popular magnetism is still working commercially, as well—the band’s new album, Revolution Radio [Reprise], landed at #1 worldwide the first week of its release.

Full interview at Guitar Player: HERE

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