YUNGBLUD On Why He Wrote Strawberry Lipstick: “That Was The 13-Year-Old Dom, Looking At Billie Joe Armstrong…”
Following the release of his new single Strawberry Lipstick last month, YUNGBLUD has spoken about where the idea for the song came from, and how it was partly inspired by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, and – believe it or not – DragonForce.
Speaking to MTV as their global PUSH artist for August, the young genre-smashing star – real name Dom Harrison – says that Strawberry Lipstick was a long time in the making, having come up with the chorus at a much younger age. And as he came to realise a broader idea for what would become the single’s subject matter as a whole, he also then drew on rock influences from when he was growing up.
“I was just like, ‘I’m gonna make a song and a video that I’ve always wanted to make,’ ” he says. “That was the 13-year-old Dom, looking at Billie Joe Armstrong play [for 2005 live DVD] Bullet In A Bible at Milton Keynes. I was like, ‘I want my hair spiked, I wanna look like something out of DragonForce, I wanna put a Union Jack on, and I just wanna rock’n’roll.”
Read this: YUNGBLUD is the weirdo this generation needs
Speaking of what the song is more directly about, YUNGBLUD continues: “I always have such a clear subject, but with this it was like the world needs to just give me a second, and it explores so much in there. It explores sexuality, in terms of you’re gonna lock me in the closet but I’m coming out. It explores racism, with everything that went on with [Black Lives Matter].
“And I think it is just a song about liberation and energy. I just want to send all of my love and energy to everyone. I want people to put it on if they are feeling down. I want people to be able to go somewhere else to feel better. Because I know that’s what it’s all about. All I’m here to do is to make people feel like it’s alright to be who they are because by doing that it makes me feel like it’s alright to be who I am.”
YUNGBLUD later discusses learning guitar, and how he came to figure out that music “cannot be defined by a rulebook, ever”.
“I don’t really get along with people telling me what to do, I’m not that good at it,” he explains. “So I stopped lessons and my mum was like ‘You need to do lessons, you need to teach yourself direction, Dominic. You need to be able to follow orders.’ And I just was like, I want to play what I want to play.’ I think that was one of my earliest memories where music cannot be censored or cannot be defined by a rulebook, ever. If I have something pushing me, the push back is where the magic happens.”
Watch the full interview below, featuring acoustic performances of Strawberry Lipstick and his April 2020 single Weird!:
Catch YUNGBLUD live at the following dates next year:
8 Nottingham Rock City
9 Nottingham Rock City
10 Glasgow Barrowlands
11 Glasgow Barrowlands
15 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
16 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
17 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
18 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
20 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
Get the, er, knowledge on Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong!
Hear Atreyu’s two new singles: Warrior featuring blink-182’s Travis Barker, and Underrated.