Green Day say new album has songs about mass shootings, addiction and social media

Billie Joe Armstrong opens up about ‘Revolution Radio’

Green Day have revealed that their new single ‘Bang Bang’ is about trying to write from the perspective of a mass gunman.

Although ‘Bang Bang’ was the first song to be written for new album ‘Revolution Radio’, singer Billie Joe Armstrong said the song foretold the latest wave of mass killings in the US.

Armstrong told Rolling Stone: “It’s about the culture of mass shootings that happen in America, mixed with narcissistic social media. There’s this rage happening, but it’s also now being filmed, and we all have ourselves under surveillance. To me, that’s so twisted.”

Speaking about trying to personify a killer, Armstrong said: “To get into the brain of someone like that was freaky. After I wrote ‘Bang Bang’, all I wanted to do was get that out of my brain, because it just freaked me out. I wouldn’t even say I was trying to understand it, I was just trying to figure out the character. Without sounding pretentious, it’s also meant to reflect the culture a little bit.”

After the release of 2012’s trio of albums ‘Uno!’, ‘Dos!’ and ‘Tre!’, bassist Mike Dirnt’s wife Brittney and touring guitarist Jason White were diagnosed with cancer. Armstrong said he was determined not to write about their illness, saying: “I never tried to write something specific about them. But as time goes on, you start to go ‘Holy shit, life is happening and it can get really intense.’ So I think it’s probably in the record, I’d imagine.”

Armstrong entered rehab in 2012 for addiction to prescription pills, which is reflected in new song ‘Still Breathing’. He said: “I’d rather write something where my eyes are forward, rather than internal. I hope it makes people happy and makes a difference in some way, by people recognising themselves in the song.”

Asked if there was a theme to the album, Armstrong said: “The songs were written before the Presidential election. It was interesting to see how songs like ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Say Goodbye’ went from metaphor to literal, and that’s the part that was tripping me out. It was almost predicting the future, in a way.”

The album is out on October 7. See here for its full tracklisting and cover art.