Billy Corgan says Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ is the last “guitar-driven music that reached the masses”

"And that album was what, 14 years ago?" he said

Billy Corgan has praised Green Day‘s 2004 album ‘American Idiot’ as being the last ‘guitar-driven music to reach the masses’.

The album – which included the hit title track – was dubbed a ‘punk rock opera’ by the band and went on to become Green Day’s first ever number one album in America.

Its legacy continues, with an American Idiot musical set to hit the UK next year and a HBO movie set to hit screens in the near future. Earlier this year, a campaign was launched to try and get the ‘American Idiot’ single to number one in protest against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.


Speaking in an Instagram story Q&A, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman was asked whether he thinks Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong is as important as Kurt Cobain was in the 90’s. “BJ is up there with the greats, for sure,” he replied.

Another asked whether he would say that American Idiot by Green Day is one of the last albums that really impacted the culture. “If we are talking about guitar-driven music that reached the masses, yes,” he said. “And that album was what, 14 years ago?”

Corgan also revealed whether he’s inspired by any punk bands. “Punk had very little influence directly,” he said. “Indirectly, through our peers, more so. But that said I adored the Ramones from age 10 on, and never lost my love for them.”

Finally, a commenter asked, ‘I have vitiligo. I try to embrace the freak, but stares and whispers hurt. Any advice?’

“As someone born with a birthmark, I see it as a blessing as it taught me early on that most people are shallow, and judge physical over heart/mind,” Corgan said. “The gift being it helped me value others more highly.”