Green Day’s Mike Dirnt: ‘It’s nerve wracking playing live after Billie Joe’s rehab’

Bass player speaks to NME about their forthcoming Reading and Leeds headline slot

Mike Dirnt of Green Day has admitted that playing live is going to be “nerve-wracking” following frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s stint in rehab.

As revealed earlier this week, Green Day will headline this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals as well as playing a huge gig at London’s Emirates Stadium in June. The dates will come just six months after Armstrong left rehab following a high profile breakdown in Las Vegas in September 2012 and an admission he was addicted to alcohol and insomnia pills. Speaking in this week’s new issue of NME about how the band are feeling ahead of the gigs, bass player Dirnt admitted: “It’s nerve-wracking playing these shows after Billie Joe’s rehab. The shit really hit the fan but we’re ready to get the fuck out of home again.”

Opening up about his feelings as his Armstrong entered rehab in late 2012, Dirnt added: “It was the first time in my life I’ve ever been in a position of being scared for my friend’s life. We’re a very close band. We don’t want our personal lives in the tabloids, but this was as real as it gets.”

He added: “I was shocked. The first thing I did the next day was call Billie and go, ‘What the fuck, dude? you’re in a bad place, you’ve got to get better.’ and you know, he took it seriously. You could sense it coming. That’s the shit thing, you knew something was going on but you don’t know that’s the reason his backpack would sound like a baby rattle when he put it on. We’re a close band but it’s personal shit. You don’t want to be like, ‘Hey man, what are you doing?’. You look around and everyone in the world is on pills and alcohol these days.”

Green Day will headline Reading and Leeds for the third time in 2013, having previously topped the bill in 2004 and 1995. Other headliners for this years event are Eminem and Biffy Clyro, who will be joined by other main stage acts such as Foals, Nine Inch Nails, Fall Out Boy, Chase and Status and System of a Down.

Read the full interview with Mike Dirnt of Green Day in this week’s NME, available nationwide from today (March 13).

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