Are Green Day Still Punk?
The Bay Area band defend their new album's operatic scope. "Punk is ground zero for us," says Billie Joe Armstrong.
With an operatic approach that references classic rock kings like Queen and the Who, there’s no doubt that Green Day’s new album, 21st Century Breakdown, continues the epic reach of 2004 masterwork American Idiot. Which has some asking: Are Green Day still punk? According to frontman Billie Joe Armstrong — yes!
“Punk is ground zero for us,” Armstrong told MTV.com. “Coming from [Berkeley, CA’s] Gilman Street, we saw the most creative people I’ve ever seen in my life. There was a band called Schlong, and they did ‘West Side Story,’ and they called it ‘Punk Side Story.’ And then there’s bands like NoMeansNo, [who made] a record like Wrong that’s completely insane. None of those are conventional — what we call ‘punk-rock bands’ — but they are, in their own right, the most creative, the most punk.”
“It’s about being creative,” Armstrong continued. “Anytime we write something that’s kind of scary and we feel a bit vulnerable, we always just say, ‘Just go there.'”
Catch Green Day on their 38-date summer tour, kicking off in Seattle July 3. The band recently previewed their set and elaborate stage design at a secret performance in Oakland, CA. Check out photos here.