Green Day speak after ‘American Idiot’ musical opens in Berkeley

'We won't read the reviews,' declare the band

Green Day have spoken following the official opening of the musical ‘American Idiot’, based on their 2004 album of the same name.

The production is being staged at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and, following several preview nights, it had its opening night on Wednesday (September 16).

The band, who attended the production with family members and friends including producer Butch Vig, told Rolling Stone they had felt no pressure ahead of the musical’s debut.

“I had no concerns,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong explained. “I was interested and flattered to meet [director] Michael Mayer. We were floored by [Mayer‘s 2006 musical] ‘Spring Awakening’ so there were no worries.

“I think this is a broader version of the album. We started with [characters] Johnny, St. Jimmy, and Whatsername, and Mayer added Will, Tunny and Heather. Your heart goes out to them.”

Bassist Mike Dirnt said he wouldn’t be reading any reviews of the show, having learned from experience.

“You can’t or else they effect how you feel about your own work,” he said. “I learned the hard way.”

The ‘American Idiot’ musical featured the album in its entirety as a soundtrack, plus B-sides and songs from follow-up ’21st Century Breakdown’. It was followed by a party at which Armstrong shaved the head of a willing fan.

‘American Idiot’ will be shown at the theatre until November 1. See for more information.

See next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from September 23 – for a full review of the Green Day musical.