These playlists inspired a “dirty and mischievous” vibe between the members. And with new producer Butch Walker (Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Brian Fallon) added into the tightly-knit mix, Green Day collectively began exploring things that they’d never tried before “with rhythms, and creating space between vocal and drums”. It was a partnership that added new layers, and taught the band fresh ways to approach their craft.
“Do you want to go back and do the same old thing?” Tré muses of their mindset coming out of Revolution Radio and into Father Of All Mother Fuckers. “We don’t want to do what everyone would expect us to do, so it was just kinda mischief and making it fun. That was the bottom line of it.”
“There’s a very fine line threading the needle for us, because we do want to try new things, but we always want to make sure it’s absolute Green Day, you know?” says Billie Joe. “It’s a very fine line – clever and stupid (laughs). But Green Day’s credo is mischief, no matter what. We’re always down for mischief and we want to fuck with people… to the point of it being abusive!” he teases as Mike and Tré snicker beside him.
This freeing mood also leant itself to the content of Father Of All Mother Fuckers, leaving the frontman feeling open to inspiration from all angles. As he penned the title-track, and two other songs called Junkies On A High and Sugar Youth, Billie Joe suddenly realised that he was on to something special. And, curiously, it was the names that would inform his lyrics.
“Song titles were really big on this one,” he explains. “We have one song called The Art Of The Deal With The Devil – Trump wrote a book called The Art Of The Deal, back in the ’80s or something. It was just these titles that make you laugh. That kind of stuff would lead into lyrics. It’s like a puzzle, just trying to put it together.”
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Why is the album called Father Of All Mother Fuckers, then?
“Um…” Billie Joe ponders with a grin. “It’s just a badass title! I think it was Kerry King from Slayer – they have an album called God Hates Us All, and someone asked, ‘Do you really think God hates us all?’ And he goes, ‘I don’t know! It’s just a badass title!’ (Laughs) As soon as the title came up, I was like, ‘Oh man, this is good.’”
When and where did other titles spring to mind?
“You’re really good about writing shit down,” enthuses Mike, turning to the frontman.
“I’ll write everything down,” Billie Joe nods in response, sliding his phone out of the pocket of his black jeans and opening up the notes section. “Let’s see. What was the last one? I think I wanted to call one song Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Face.”
But that didn’t make the cut?
“No,” he laughs. “It didn’t make the cut.”
Continuing to scroll through the app, Billie Joe’s eyes suddenly avert to the top of his phone screen. He looks at Kerrang! with a sassy flicker.
“Your time is up, by the way,” he jokes.
“Oh my god!” erupts Tré as the frontman cackles playfully. “That’s fucking cold, Billie! Damn!”
Sorry, folks. Guess that’s your lot…