Mike Dirnt of Green Day to play Frustrators gigs
The Frustrators, a little
punk outfit that happens to include moonlighting Green Day bassist Mike
Dirnt among its ranks, will play four hit-and-run club shows around
the Bay Area in the next few days.
That includes a stop Friday
at Berkeley's hallowed 924 Gilman Street - where his other band got
its start some 20 years ago - an afternoon matinee at Petaluma's
Phoenix Theatre on Saturday, a concert at San Francisco's Rickshaw
Stop on Sunday, then a secret gig somewhere in Oakland on Wednesday.
But before he can talk about them, there is a ground rule: Keep the
conversation away from Green Day.
Very well. So how did Dirnt feel about the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl run?
"I thought it was awesome," he said, checking in from his Berkeley home last week. "I always root for the underdog."
Did he happen to catch the remake of "The Green Hornet"?
"I did," he said. "I thought it was going to be horrible, but I was pleasantly surprised for a junk-food movie."
And did the spiky-haired bass player have any thoughts on green bean casserole?
"The secret is to grill the onions. And use fresh green beans, not canned."
The Frustrators - a
four-piece punk act with members scattered across the country - just
released the "Griller" EP, the band's first set of new music in eight
years on Billie Joe Armstrong's Adeline Records.
Dirnt swears it's not his
fault it took so long to get it out, although he admits he may have
been a little distracted between raising three young children and
touring the world's enormo-domes a couple times over behind the
blockbuster Green Day albums "American Idiot" and "21st Century
"My other band has been on a roll, to say the least," he said.
So why isn't he taking
advantage of this much-deserved break between world treks and staging a
Broadway musical by sitting out by the pool instead of slumming it in
"It's what I do," said
Dirnt, who was banned from playing 924 Gilman Street after Green Day
hit the big time. "I don't know how to do anything else. It's what
keeps me vital."
The four songs on
"Griller," which includes a cover of the Neighborhoods' "Prettiest
Girl," are not like the things Dirnt has been cranking out in recent
years. Propelled forward on tight riffs and economic melodies, songs
like "We Need to Talk (It's Not You, It's Us)" and "Stigma" are more
in tune with the frenetic power pop of his other side projects,
Foxboro Hot Tubs and the Network.
He said the Frustrators -
Dirnt, singer Jason Chandler, guitarist Terry Linehan and drummer Art
Tedeschi - wrote the songs in one day and recorded them the next.
Dirnt figures that between
these tunes and the band's last full-length release, 2002's "Achtung
Jackass," and another EP, "Bored in the USA," they should have just
enough material to fill out a headlining set. Just in case, they've
got a wild assortment of support acts they're bringing out, along with
MC's Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggets.
"It's always scary," Dirnt
said. "I get scared whether I'm playing for 100,000 people or 100
people. But it's like skydiving - you gain confidence from things like
that. It gives you a little bit of swagger."
The Frustrators: 7 p.m. Fri. 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. $12. www.924gilman.org. Noon Sat. The Phoenix Theatre, 201 Washington St., Petaluma. $12. (707) 762-3565. www.ticketfly.com. 8 p.m. Sun. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F. $12. (415) 861-2011. www.rickshawstop.com. 7 p.m. Wed. Oakland. For location, call (510) 223-7688 on day of show.