Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong hasn’t had the easiest of times in the past. In 2012, he checked himself into rehab for substance abuse following an incident on stage in Las Vegas where he smashed up his guitar after an expletive-filled outburst. The punk band took a break while he recovered, returning to their previous incendiary form earlier this year with comeback single ‘Bang Bang’.
The third track taken from their imminent new album ‘Revolution Radio’, ‘Still Breathing’, lauds the resilience of the human spirit and the ability to make it through tough times. “I dodged a bullet and I walked across a landmine/Oh, I’m still alive,” sings Armstrong over bright strums, before a triumphant chorus rushes in, guitars blazing and jubilation at finding the light at the end of the tunnel palpable.
“I’d rather write something where my eyes are forward, not so much internal,” Armstrong told Rolling Stone when asked in a recent interview if the song related to his struggles. Though he said he hopes “it makes people happy and creates a difference in some way, just by people recognising themselves in the song”, it’s hard not to also recognise his own personal issues that may have planted the seeds of inspiration for the song too. Autobiographical or not, though, it’s an air-punching punk glory full of strength, power and guts.