Green Day artist reveals story behind new album cover

Couple from '21st Century Breakdown' unmasked

The artist whose work “inspired” the sleeve for Green Day’s forthcoming album ’21st Century Breakdown’ has spoken about the story behind the image.

Sixten‘s original stencilled graffiti image provided the basis for the kissing couple, pictured, who feature on the sleeve.

Responding to the interest of Green Day fans on his blog, Sixten explained that he didn’t know who the couple were, but had met them via friends.

“So perhaps you ended up here from Green Day‘s site, here’s the story of the original [artwork], in case you wanna know,” he wrote. “I actually don’t know who they are… they [the couple] were just friends of a friend at a party in Eskilstuna, Sweden, sometime in uh… 2000? Something like that. I wasn’t even there.”

Instead the artist explained a mutual friend snapped a picture of the pair kissing, which then inspired Sixten.

“I love their passion, and just had to make a stencil out of it to spread the love,” he explained with images of the original picture and his stencil. “I’ve painted it a bit here and there on my travels over the years…

“I have so many memories connected to this image and it really means a lot to me. Glad it inspired someone.”

For the full blog head to .

Meanwhile some fans have criticised Green Day‘s cover, suggesting the concept is very similar to Blur‘s 2003 album ‘Think Thank’ which was designed by artist Banksy.

“Anyone else think it looks like Blur‘s ‘Think Tank’?” noted GShizzle on MyNME.

To read more on the similarities between the sleeves and to have your say, head to the NME.COM office blog.