Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong: ‘People want to hear records that have a story’

Singer says he will always make records where the songs 'speak to each other within an album'

Green Day have spoken about their new ‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’ album trilogy and have said that they are convinced people have a real appetite to hear albums “that have a story”.

The pop-punk trio debuted ‘Oh Love’, the first single from ‘¡Uno!’, the first of their three new albums, yesterday (July 16) and you can hear it at the bottom of the page.

Speaking to Billboard about the trilogy, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said he would always look to write albums with narratives and to make songs that “speak to each other within an album”.

Asked about this, the singer said: “I’m not going to conform to some consumer need. I believe people want to hear this kind of music, that people want to hear records that have a story. Or maybe they don’t. I have no idea.”

He continued: “I want to write killer songs, but I want them threaded together and to speak to each other within an album, which in this case is basically inside three albums.”

Armstrong added that he’d decided to call the records ‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’ after his wife told him it was a “brilliant idea”.

He added: “Putting out even a double-record, let alone a triple-record, it didn’t seem like it would work for us in this day and age. We wanted all of it to come out because we were proud of it, and then I was thinking in terms of volumes – one, two and three. I was in my kitchen and thought, ‘What if we called them ‘Uno,’ ‘Dos, ‘Tré,’ just as a joke?'”

He continued: “And I told my wife about it and she said, ‘Actually that’s kind of a brilliant idea.’ Then I brought it to the guys and asked them what they thought. They let it sink in and said yeah. Put my photo on the first one, Mike on the second one and Tré on the third.”

‘¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!’ will be released in three stages, with the first album ‘¡Uno!’ coming out on September 24. The second LP ‘¡Dos!’ comes out on November 12 and ‘¡Tré!’ on January 14, 2013. All of the albums are available to pre-order now from the band’s website.

The series is the follow-up to Green Day’s 2009 studio album ’21st Century Breakdown’ and signals a move away from the band’s spell of producing concept-driven records.

To coincide with the albums’ release, the band will release two documentaries. One is being made by Tim Lynch, a producer of the band’s recent DVD Green Day: Bullet In A Bible and Tim Wheeler, a co-producer and editor of The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights and will focus on the making of the band’s upcoming three albums. A second documentary is being created from vintage footage from the band’s pre-‘Dookie’ days.

Green Day will play headline shows at Japan’s Summer Sonic festival and France’s Rock En Seine in August and a headline slot at I-Day festival in Bologna, Italy on September 2 as well as three shows in Germany in late August.

Green Day, ‘Oh Love’ – review