The Many Sides Of Billie Joe Armstrong
Out of nowhere, it seems, Billie Joe Armstrong has graced us with a brand-new album: The Longshot’s Love Is For Losers. While we didn’t exactly expect a quiet year from one of our generation’s finest songwriters, we also weren’t anticipating 11 nuggets of punk-rock gold so early into 2018. Such is BJA’s knack for consistently colourful three-minute bangers, though, that’s what we’ve been given.
With all eyes on Billie Joe right now, we decided to take a look at his other musical ventures away from Green Day – both active and otherwise – while we patiently await some Longshot UK tour dates (please?).
After a wild couple of years touring Revolution Radio, it’s no surprise that Green Day have seemingly taken this year off. Well… sort of. Billie has still been getting his live fix in the form of local cover band shows (hence the name…) with GD bandmates and alumni. And from Iron Maiden to David Bowie, there’s nothing he’s not willing to tackle. How about something from Dookie, though?
Foxboro Hot Tubs
Not only do the Foxboro Hot Tubs have a lot in common with Green Day because, y’know, they mostly are Green Day, there’s been an overlap with albums and live shows, too. While Foxboro’s 2008 debut Stop Drop And Roll!!! is a brilliant record in its own right, it’s essentially the predecessor to ¡Dos!, from Green Day’s 2012 trilogy. Confusing, but great either way.
Billie Joe And Norah
Oh, how we scratched our heads when it was revealed that BJA was teaming up with jazz/pop singer-songwriter Norah Jones in 2013. But the duo’s collection of Everly Brothers covers and reinterpretations on Foreverly turned out to be simply wonderful. And you know what? If Billie Joe fancies trying his hand at another folk-country project when he’s got a spare second, we’re not gonna complain.
While Green Day deny involvement in The Network, 2003’s Money Money 2020 album (released via Billie Joe’s own Adeline Records – hmm…) sounds unmistakably like BJA, albeit over new-wave tunes. Green Day released American Idiot in 2004 and The Network were essentially forgotten after that, so chances are we won’t be hearing from them again anytime soon. But we can dream, eh?
Billie Joe’s longest-running, non-Green Day-based musical project, Pinhead Gunpowder have existed for almost as long as his main band. And they’re bloody great, too; 1997’s Goodbye Ellston Avenue LP is Billie Joe at his punk-rock best. Their shows are something of a rarity – they’ve barely played 10 gigs over their 27-year career, if our maths is correct – but there’s plenty of music to enjoy. So we’ll take that.
You should know them by now – a four-piece featuring fellow Green Day musician Jeff Matika on bass and vocals, David S. Field on drums, and Kevin Preston on guitar – with an already-pesky habit of announcing tiny last-minute gigs and surprising fans with new music at the drop of a hat. So if this is just the very beginning of how they mean to go on, we’re in for a very wild ride indeed…