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Green Day's revolution @ The Sydney Morning Herald

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  • Mar 31
    Green Day's revolution @ The Sydney Morning Herald

    It was 3am on a January morning. The jet airplane carrying Green Day to the next stop on their European tour approached the Norwegian capital of Oslo when the pilot made an announcement. The city was snowbound and the airport's runway tarmac was frozen over.

    There was a 70 per cent chance the veteran punk rock trio's flight could at least attempt a landing, a 30 per cent chance they'd be diverted. Everybody buckled their seatbelts and the descent began.

    "Those landings are always the fun ones," says the group's bass player Mike Dirnt  soon after they landed. Like any musician at the rarefied level of selling out arenas show after show, Dirnt is sanguine about the realities of constant travel. But as he also knows, Green Day have already pulled off a succession of risky landings over the past 12 months.

    If you'd asked for the numbers on the band pulling through in 2013 and 2014, when they were beset by issues and essentially out of action, you might have got 30 per cent they make it and 70 per cent on a press release announcing they had broken up. That frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, drummer Tre Cool, and Dirnt are back on the road, behind last October's hard-nosed comeback album, Revolution Radio, is something of a surprise for the band and fans alike.

    "It's great right now," Dirnt says. "It's like a family reunion each night because we're seeing fans we haven't seen for so long now. They're excited and we're excited."

    Green Day's travails went public in September of 2012, when a truncated performance slot at an online radio promotional festival drew a drunken stage rant and trashed guitar from Armstrong. The frontman, who had founded Green Day with Dirnt in California's Bay Area in 1986, still can't remember the incident. It was, he later revealed, a daily occurrence.

    A band member in rehab is not exactly an uncommon experience in the music industry. In Green Day's case, it struck a notable blow because the group hadn't stopped since the early '90s when the take-no-prisoners onslaught and irreverent outlook of their DIY basement gigs began to find mainstream appeal.

    After 1994's Dookie album sold 10 million copies in the United States alone, Green Day embarked on an anti-slacker regimen of going from one album and world tour to the next without pause. When they weren't on the road they would rehearse six days a week. When Armstrong hit the wall in 2012 they were in the midst of putting out three studio albums – the trilogy of Uno! Dos! and Tre! – in consecutive months.

    "We were writing at a furious rate and we had this feeling that if we took our foot off the gas the car would stall, so we kept the throttle down," says the 44-year-old Dirnt. "I love those records and if you're a Green Day fan who hasn't discovered those records, then you're missing out on a lot of great stuff. But we bit off so much at the time that we burnt out."

    But when Armstrong was sober and ready to play again, with the band having something to prove after they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2015, Dirnt was focused on his family. His wife Brittney, with whom he has two young children, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eight months of treatment, including chemotherapy, followed.

    "After my wife got through her cancer treatment I told Billie, 'I'm not ready to jump in to a record yet, and I'm not ready to tour yet'," Dirnt says. "I needed a minute and we took that. After that, we were excited to get into the room as a band."

    After more than 15 years of writing and recording at a local Oakland studio complex, Armstrong set up a studio for the band – which he dubbed Otis – that allowed them to work in privacy. Without telling the public or their record label, Green Day started tracking new songs with just their long-time engineer, Chris Dugan, alongside them.

    ''We had this feeling that if we took our foot off the gas the car would stall.

    "We wanted to do it the way we used to do it: just the three of us being a band writing music," Dirnt says. "There weren't other people around. No crew. We just wanted this record to be the three of us on the same page, because when that happens we're firing on every cylinder."

    "The thing is that if you write honest lyrics in an honest way they're always going to resonate. There are some serious political overtones on this record, but those songs and a love song need to come from the same honest place," Dirnt says.

    "We're not afraid to speak our minds and people never should be in general. The most powerful thing you can do is question the status quo and question the things that you're not sure about. That can be the basis for everything."

    Green Day play Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on May 5 and 6; Sydney on May 10 and 11 and shows in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. 

    Full article at The Sydney Morning Herald: HERE

     

    Apr 30    Perth Arena    Perth, Australia         

    May 03    Adelaide Entertainment Centre    Hindmarsh, Australia         

    May 05    Rod Laver Arena    Melbourne, Australia         

    May 06    Rod Laver Arena    Melbourne, Australia         

    May 08    Brisbane Entertainment Centre    Boondall, Australia         

    May 10    Qudos Bank Arena    Sydney, Australia         

    May 11    Qudos Bank Arena    Sydney, Australia

    More info and tickets: HERE

Brian's picture
on March 31, 2017 - 7:21am

It was 3am on a January morning. The jet airplane carrying Green Day to the next stop on their European tour approached the Norwegian capital of Oslo when the pilot made an announcement. The city was snowbound and the airport's runway tarmac was frozen over.

There was a 70 per cent chance the veteran punk rock trio's flight could at least attempt a landing, a 30 per cent chance they'd be diverted. Everybody buckled their seatbelts and the descent began.

"Those landings are always the fun ones," says the group's bass player Mike Dirnt  soon after they landed. Like any musician at the rarefied level of selling out arenas show after show, Dirnt is sanguine about the realities of constant travel. But as he also knows, Green Day have already pulled off a succession of risky landings over the past 12 months.

If you'd asked for the numbers on the band pulling through in 2013 and 2014, when they were beset by issues and essentially out of action, you might have got 30 per cent they make it and 70 per cent on a press release announcing they had broken up. That frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, drummer Tre Cool, and Dirnt are back on the road, behind last October's hard-nosed comeback album, Revolution Radio, is something of a surprise for the band and fans alike.

"It's great right now," Dirnt says. "It's like a family reunion each night because we're seeing fans we haven't seen for so long now. They're excited and we're excited."

Green Day's travails went public in September of 2012, when a truncated performance slot at an online radio promotional festival drew a drunken stage rant and trashed guitar from Armstrong. The frontman, who had founded Green Day with Dirnt in California's Bay Area in 1986, still can't remember the incident. It was, he later revealed, a daily occurrence.

A band member in rehab is not exactly an uncommon experience in the music industry. In Green Day's case, it struck a notable blow because the group hadn't stopped since the early '90s when the take-no-prisoners onslaught and irreverent outlook of their DIY basement gigs began to find mainstream appeal.

After 1994's Dookie album sold 10 million copies in the United States alone, Green Day embarked on an anti-slacker regimen of going from one album and world tour to the next without pause. When they weren't on the road they would rehearse six days a week. When Armstrong hit the wall in 2012 they were in the midst of putting out three studio albums – the trilogy of Uno! Dos! and Tre! – in consecutive months.

"We were writing at a furious rate and we had this feeling that if we took our foot off the gas the car would stall, so we kept the throttle down," says the 44-year-old Dirnt. "I love those records and if you're a Green Day fan who hasn't discovered those records, then you're missing out on a lot of great stuff. But we bit off so much at the time that we burnt out."

But when Armstrong was sober and ready to play again, with the band having something to prove after they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2015, Dirnt was focused on his family. His wife Brittney, with whom he has two young children, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eight months of treatment, including chemotherapy, followed.

"After my wife got through her cancer treatment I told Billie, 'I'm not ready to jump in to a record yet, and I'm not ready to tour yet'," Dirnt says. "I needed a minute and we took that. After that, we were excited to get into the room as a band."

After more than 15 years of writing and recording at a local Oakland studio complex, Armstrong set up a studio for the band – which he dubbed Otis – that allowed them to work in privacy. Without telling the public or their record label, Green Day started tracking new songs with just their long-time engineer, Chris Dugan, alongside them.

''We had this feeling that if we took our foot off the gas the car would stall.

"We wanted to do it the way we used to do it: just the three of us being a band writing music," Dirnt says. "There weren't other people around. No crew. We just wanted this record to be the three of us on the same page, because when that happens we're firing on every cylinder."

"The thing is that if you write honest lyrics in an honest way they're always going to resonate. There are some serious political overtones on this record, but those songs and a love song need to come from the same honest place," Dirnt says.

"We're not afraid to speak our minds and people never should be in general. The most powerful thing you can do is question the status quo and question the things that you're not sure about. That can be the basis for everything."

Green Day play Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on May 5 and 6; Sydney on May 10 and 11 and shows in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. 

Full article at The Sydney Morning Herald: HERE

 

Apr 30    Perth Arena    Perth, Australia         

May 03    Adelaide Entertainment Centre    Hindmarsh, Australia         

May 05    Rod Laver Arena    Melbourne, Australia         

May 06    Rod Laver Arena    Melbourne, Australia         

May 08    Brisbane Entertainment Centre    Boondall, Australia         

May 10    Qudos Bank Arena    Sydney, Australia         

May 11    Qudos Bank Arena    Sydney, Australia

More info and tickets: HERE

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Get exclusive information about GREEN DAY tour dates, video premieres and special announcements

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