Green Day Realize They Are Not Really the 99 Percent

Plus: Trio take cues from Van Halen on upcoming album trilogy

Billie Joe Armstrong / Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Billie Joe Armstrong / Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Devon Maloney WRITTEN BY
Devon Maloney

One of the tougher things about being a successful punk rock band, Green Day have discovered, is realizing you might be a bit too successful to join the proletariat uprising that got you that way.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Billie Joe Armstrong (somewhat uncomfortably) explains that, while songs on their upcoming album trilogy, like a pair called "99 Revolutions" (hi, Macca!) and "Kill the DJ" (what's up, Morrissey?) were inspired by the Occupy movement and the band's ever-present political frustration, it's been tough for them to exactly call themselves 99 percenters.

"We wanted to be part of it in some way," Armstrong explained of the protests in Oakland that've been going on since last year. "I thought it was about working people and where we come from. But Oakland got really complicated when the anarchists started coming in. I'm not into that — smashing the windows in a small business." He added, "I feel like a 99, but technically I'm a 1. You know, ['99 Revolutions'] was an easy song to write. I know that's where I come from — the 99 — even though I can afford for my kids to go to a good college."

Of course, SPIN's favorite Napoleon Dynamite-haired frontman also elucidated on the "filthy" trilogy itself, far further than those annoyingly brief clips they've been dropping over the past few months have, including explaining how the band's first studio album since 2009's 21st Century Breakdown all of a sudden turned into three.

"The songs just kept coming, kept coming. I'd go, 'Maybe a double album? No, that's too much nowadays,'" Armstrong explained, noting that the new material, despite sounding an awful lot like Franz Ferdinand, will fall "somewhere between AC/DC and the early Beatles." "Then more songs kept coming. And one day, I sprung it on the others: "Instead of Van Halen I, II and III, what if it's Green Day I, II and III and we all have our faces on each cover?'" We hope the trio's inspiration stops there — the day Green Day explain with a black and white riverside video that they are too tired to tour will be a soul-crusher for sure.

A quick refresher on how all this is going down over the next six months: ¡Uno! will drop September 25; then the band will headline Voodoo Festival in New Orleans at the end of October; then comes ¡Dos! on November 13 and ¡Tré! on January 15.

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