“I draw no inspiration from the President of the United States, because he’s just … there’s nothing,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told Kerrang! about influences for Father of All… before joking, “Trump gives me diarrhea, you know? I don’t want to write a song about it!”
He did explain that while he may not have penned tunes about the divisive commander-in-chief for the band’s thirteenth album, politics and people’s struggles did inspire some of his lyrics.
“It’s coming from a place of feeling like you’re out of control and you’re not in control of your body anymore,” he told the British magazine. “It paints pictures or vignettes of what life is like for me and for other people that, I feel, are desperate. And I mean that in an empathetic way, where people in America have become very desperate with their situations. There’s factories being shut down, gentrification …”
“It’s just a crazy time,” he added, noting how it’s “impossible” for blue-collar families to now have multiple kids and buy a home, as his parents did when he was growing up in the 1970s. “And that’s what scares me a little bit more—what’s going to happen to people in the future. Millennials trying to buy a home, or to have something they can call home, because everybody’s being kicked out of their homes.”
Instead of the current president, Armstrong told Billboard that the band’s new 10-song album was inspired in part by Kendrick Lamar. “We wanted to create a dance groove with space between the drums and vocals [inspired by] the way Kendrick Lamar does things or old-school Motown music, where it’s leading with the rhythm,” he explained.
Though Trump may not be getting mentions on Father of All…, the band did call out the president with a political statement made during their performance at the 2016 American Music Awards, which took place 12 days after the election. During their live performance of “Bang Bang,” the band chanted, “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”