Billie Joe Armstrong: “Trump Gives Me Diarrhoea. I Don’t Want To Write A Song About It!”
It’s not always a guarantee that Green Day are going to get political in their new music, but frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has revealed to Kerrang! that the band’s forthcoming record Father Of All… has some political nods “in there” – though it wasn’t inspired in any way by U.S. President Donald Trump.
“It’s coming from a place of feeling like you’re out of control, and you’re not in charge of your own body anymore,” the vocalist and guitarist explains of his lyrical standpoint. “It paints pictures or vignettes of what life is like for me and for other people that, I feel like, 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…”
And while 2016’s brilliant Revolution Radio (several songs of which reflected the political situation at the time) was released just a month before the presidential election on November 8, the songwriter didn’t use Trump whatsoever as an influence on album number 13.
“I mean, I draw no inspiration from the President of the United States, because he’s just… there’s nothing,” says Billie Joe. “Trump gives me diarrhoea (laughs), you know? I don’t want to write a song about it!
“It’s just more about trying to empathise with people’s situations. It’s just a crazy time. When I was a kid, my parents had six kids. My dad was a trucker and my mother was a waitress, and they bought a home in California in the ’70s with five kids living in the house. That is an impossible thing to do right now in California – if not in other places. 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 that they can call home, because everybody’s being kicked out of their homes…”
“…because they decided to get educated and they spent rest of their life in debt,” adds bassist Mike Dirnt, “or they broke their arm and didn’t have insurance. There’s so many things.”
Father Of All… is due out on February 7 via Warner Records.
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Green Day are featured in the new issue of Kerrang!, which is on sale now. You can get it anywhere in the world through Kerrang.Newsstand.co.uk right now, or if you’re a UK resident then it’s available from all good newsagents.
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