Green Day's Mike Dirnt: 'We had to put the life of our friend in front of everything'

The punk bass player speaks about Billie Joe Armstrong's breakdown and trip to rehab

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Photo: Andy Willsher

Green Day bass player Mike Dirnt has spoken out in the wake of frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's public meltdown and subsequent visit to rehab.

Speaking earlier this evening to Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1, Dirnt said that the punk pop trio had cancelled 'everything' over the coming few weeks as "we had to put the life of our friend in front of everything".

Armstrong checked himself into a clinic for substance abuse treatment last month after an onstage meltdown during the band's performance at iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Speaking about the pressure that the band were under during the build-up to the release of their new album, 'iUno!', Dirnt said: "Hindsight is 20/20… it was a tremendous undertaking… It catches up with you a little bit. We definitely jumped off a moving train."

Of the Las Vegas incident, he added: "All that inertia. There were signs of things hitting the fan, we hadn't slept in forever."

Dirnt went on to add that he now hasn't seen Armstrong "in weeks", as his bandmate spends time in rehab and with his family, adding that this is the longest time in the past 20 years that they have not hung out.

Despite Armstrong's current issues, Dirnt says he is adamant he will pull through, and said: "We're still getting ready for the next phase."

The rest of the '¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!' album trilogy will be released in two more stages, with the second LP, '¡Dos!' coming out on November 12 and '¡Tré!' on January 14, 2013. Green Day will also play a huge UK stadium show next summer. The trio will headline London's 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium on June 1, 2013.

Billie Joe Armstrong will appear on US TV talent contest The Voice tonight (October 8), in an episode which was recorded before Armstrong entered rehab. It will feature the singer as a mentor on Christina Aguilera's team to help her acts progress in the competition.

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