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Green Day talks 21st Century Breakdown, setlist creation, their broad appeal, and three-sided albums!?
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Green Day Video Interview
Male: So 21st century breakdown is the name of the new album what is the 21st century breakdown, what does that mean?
Billie: I think like it’s a break down instead of like trying to in sort of a breakdown of the, of what, like different, like different issues or different crisis that are going on like personally and also the world around you and, and it’s also like a kind of having a nervous breakdown also, so it’s kind of double meaning.
Male: And American Idiot was a definite put it to undertones and this is our muscle album.
Billie: I think the records are just snap shots of just different issues you know when it hypocrisy and religion to you know trying to you know, be working class and during the financial crisis you know people using their homes to you know, you know self destruction and also trying to hold on to some sort of belief, so I mean in that, I think maybe, it’s kind of topical you know, but it’s also very, also personal at the same time.
Male: American Idiot was a bit, it was a rock opera. Is there some sort of structure to the new record at all?
Billie: Well there’s a lot of structure, there’s three acts you know it’s kind of we’re, you know we come from an album crafting, you know background and we always we think about side A or side B, even like when CD’s became you know people says I love track 9 or 12 like we always think like “oh is that on the second side or the first side? So now we just “let’s have the sided albums, first act is Hero’s and cons, second act charlatans and saints, the third act is horse shoes and hand grenades and the song is sort of like speak within a different acts similarly.
Male: Cool, cool Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac, Nimrod all came out really close to each other in the last nine years, you guys want to release two albums. Are you guys taking more time for idioms or you’re taking more time doing other things in your life?
Billie: I think well first of all I think you know our tours are a lot longer now, you know and so we go out and tour for quite some time and the records themselves has a lot more content on the records, a lot more music and I think at this point, we’re really just want to put as much work and love and life and blood, sweat, tears everything in our records as we can you know, If that means take it a little longer then we will sell no wine till it’s time.
Male: You guys got your start here at the Bay area in the punk rock scene, do you guys still consider yourself a punk rock band or isn’t important for you even to classify yourselves at all?
Billie: I think yeah we’re I mean for us it’s a you know, punk rock is kind of ground zero for us. It’s like the—it’s my maintenance, they’re my education, then in a lot of different ways you know just how to live your life and you know politically you know and just also the music and I’ve always been drawn to it, so yeah I still consider ourselves a punk band.
Male: Okay and you guys feel it the same, I have to tell you I think you guys have a really great broad appeal to a lot of different people. My 15 year old mother drives around listen to Dookie and Insomniac, my little cousin who loves American idiot without ever hearing any…
Billie: We got broad appeal.
Male: Yeah, I noticed the double on hundred, so do you guys go for that appeal intentionally or there’s been something you’ve been notice or you really just write the music the way you want it?
Billie: You know we just write the music and whoever wants to come out then come on out you know it’s not you know I don’t think it’s specific for anybody I mean – we have to please ourselves first of course you know, but I think it’s just you know anybody and everybody that wants to buy the record, so I mean it’s great you know I think we you know like we have fans that date back to Kerplunk you know and then we have you know the fans that get buy your Dookie and then some fans ever like you know 14 when American Idiot came out and they’re now 18, 19 years old now that they’re you know—we’re like we’re watching people grow up and vote and like become alcoholics and you know so it’s great you know it’s like literally it’s all ages you know.
Male: I noticed that – last time I saw you guys in 2004, there was a various and other people there I saw you guys outside of Boston. The one thing that I was fascinated about was you’re set list actually, and I’m curious how you guys go about and making your set list with having now eight albums?
Male: Do you guys—how do you guys grab prince, and so you guys played like king for a day for Nimrod and knowledge from your EP’s. How do you grab these songs and put them on your set list addition to your singles in the new material?
Billie: Yeah I think – what we did recently was we, we kind of go up and don’t have a set list in the beginning and we kind of just kind of you know throw stuff around and we just start taking request and I think you start to see how songs blend you know either it’s like a train wreck and it’s like we try to play 86 the other night and tit was just like horrible and it’s like you just song in the asix yeah, except that we stopped literally in the middle of the song that was terrible sorry about that.
And but you know when you just start to watch how it evolves you know—it’s interesting to play like a song like Jesus of Suburbia and then do as a you know like a song like 2,000 light years away and it’s also great to see how like over the years like there’s kind of like connections between all the songs to it.
Male: So my favorite Green Day song is Haushinka on Nimrod and you know just YouTubeing I went back and I didn’t realize I was actually in the Kerplunk area you guys wrote that song and there’s a –it’s on the Dookie demo. So I’m curious, are there any songs that you guys have written and then maybe put away and then come back and then thought it fit somewhere else?
Billie: Yeah there’s been a lot of songs that we’ve—come back into our lives like we did a song called Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades which was written you know 5 years ago and which they—you know produce record really, it looks like we got to record these songs so you know, so we did you know and there was a…
Male: More songs that were written and completely reconstructed and you’ve got this demo of song I was listening on the demos this song is called Emily which then was completely reconstructed turn in something else and I was like wow, you know it’s a…
Billie: It became Gloria.
Male: I know, I wasn’t sure if we want the cat out of the bag?
Billie: Oh that’s alright
Male: That’s the theory on that, it was really trip because it just – it was a great song before but did a 180 and ended up you know in a really like a much better more amazing place still you have a soft spot I your heart for the way it was to and it’s music is awesome it’s the closest thing a magic there is.