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Green Day: From Bookmobile Tour to '21st Century Breakdown' | MTV News


– We just started getting into playing punk rock, if you will, because we just identified with it, and we liked it It wasn't about having a mohawk, or it wasn't about having spiked belts, or whatever

It's just about being an individual, and, just being yourself And so, we just, kind of, stuck by that There was no proof you could become famous off of doing it, or being huge We just kept doing what we did, because we enjoyed it, and we liked what it represented and we wanted to be a part of that I am not going to become a mud hippie! I don't care what you say! (crowd cheering) I don't care what you do! I don't want to be a mud hippie! – Me and Mike [Dirnt], let's see

We knew each other, we met each other in fifth grade, and he was just the most wiry, insane kid I have ever seen, I swear to God The first time my sister ever met Mike, he was- He came to my house, and he was just like (mumbles) just this ball of nerves, really scrawny, shorter than me real little guy Just this little blond haired, looked like he was one of those guys from "Bad News Bears", or something (laughs) Just, kind of, you know, real wiry all the time And he– He comes over to my house, and I'm like, "Hi, mom

This is Mike Blah blah blah" My sister– I was just standing there in the kitchen for some reason, and then, Mike comes screaming, running as fast as he can through the kitchen And my sister had a knife, like coming after him Like this

I couldn't– This is the first day they met, you know I gotta be in a band with this guy – We met TrĂ© [Cool] on the way back down from Arcata We dropped our old drummer off for college, and he was hitchhiking on the way back when we met him He just happened to be a really good drummer

He had some bongos He looked really crazy, and we started hanging out with him Next thing you know, he's our drummer – As far as Green Day, we started out on a label called Look Out Records And– Very tiny, independent label

It was based out of Laytonville, California, then went to Berkeley, California And we released a seven inch called 'One Thousand Hours,' and then, we released an LP called '39/Smooth' Then, we released another EP called 'Slappy,' and then, we really sold out And then, came out with a CD with all three on it – This "Basket Case"

who is the basket case? Are you all basket cases, or what's up with that? – No – It's actually supposed to say "Biscuit Case" That was a misprint, it was "Biscuit Case

" – Oh, it's biscuit– – We have a real problem with eating, ya know – Biscuits – We're like biscuit shy – And then, I want to ask a question Why 'Dookie'? Explain 'Dookie

' – That comes out of your arse – It's an arse thing – Can we keep this clean, fellas? – I mean, I knew I wanted to play music, and I knew that if I directed my energies the right way and we're smart, then we'd be able to live off it Even if it meant, getting, passing a hat around when we're in Boulder, Colorado, And, just to get to the next gig That's basically all we wanted

No contracts, no riders, or anything like that Little different now – "Anywhere and everywhere" was the motto We just went We played everywhere you can possibly imagine

From existentialist churches, to banks, to bathrooms, to rooftops, to the middle of the street, to people's kitchens to, I mean, lots of places You do whatever you can – We were influenced the opposite of what influences usually are We're influenced on what we hated Like Hall and Oates

All this, Cyndi Lauper, all this '80s crap – [Interviewer] Yeah, just didn't wanna be– – All, like, the mainstream '80s crap The whole Martha Quinn era

– The thing is, a lot of people think this is our second record, and this is our fourth, and we treat it like our fourth record We're not gonna pretend to, I don't wanna– – It's like, oh 'Dookie' was our first record Okay, now we're really playing ball – Yeah, I mean, this is our fourth album We've been doing this since 1988

We went in, recorded 'Dookie,' went immediately out on the road Went out on the road for 10 months or something Came back, started working on the songs for 'Insomniac' Recorded the songs for 'Insomniac,' and immediately hit the road So, it's just like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom

The last one, it's a really aggressive record, but it's also, we were in a very vulnerable time in our lives, because everything that happened with 'Dookie,' and we just, sort of, wanted to stop that record in a way Like, putting out something else really fast I mean, that's not how the record was written, or why it was written at all, but it was somewhere in the back of our minds It was like, let's just get something out, so we can go on The thing the last record allowed us to do was, it was like a foundation for us

To where after that, we could go anywhere we want – [Interviewer] I remember when I first talked to you guys when you were mixing the record, and "Good Riddance" was a song that meant a lot to you then, as I'm sure it still does Is it gratifying that people have seemed to have gotten into that song, in particular? – Yeah, I mean, yeah it's– It doesn't really matter what song it is I think there's a lot of people that heard that song, and didn't even know it was Green Day, you know? I've actually talked to people that said, "Man, I've heard that song, I didn't even know it was you guys, because–" You know, it's a song that's, sort of, a lot more vulnerable than what we've ever done in the past We've been making records since we were 16, so, I mean– We definitely try to just depict whatever time that we're in through music and lyrics

– It'd be pretty dumb to try to pretend we're 19 forever – Yeah, we're not gonna try to write 'Basket Case,' 12 times in a row for one record In that sense, yeah, I guess we probably are more of a grown up band 'American Idiot' is just about, just sort of, the confusion in what's going on today Whether it's, the non-reality of reality television meets, what you see on CNN, and what kind of fear is being, imposed on what, like, me as a watcher of all this stuff

And just feeling completely confused, and not really– It's an opinion of lack of having an opinion, and just feeling completely alienated and confused – Politics always reflect music in some way, shape or form Whether it was in the 60s, or now, or, whatever you have – One thing, besides the politics, that's on this record, is defined at, human relationships between, friends and loved ones, family What is really going on in the video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is that sense of loss of, in a relationship where people are being torn apart, and the song is about my father passing away when I was 10 years old

It was the first time I've ever written about something like that, so I think that's the main thing that ties the song into the video There's that sense of loss from natural or unnatural causes We, kind of had this idea of putting out record after record We wanna, kind of do it as like the old days, like The Beatles did it, or, just trying to be prolific as much as possible For us, it was just– I wouldn't say it was a mistake, but I think at this point in our career if we were supposed to do something like that, I think I wouldn't wanna put out something half-baked

You can't predict success, you have no idea I think, for us, we play the records in its entirety We played at the Fox Theater in Oakland, and we play, like, the DNA lounge, and we play the whole record from front to back And I think in doing that, to me, feels like we're taking control of our career in the way that it's presented There's gonna be people 10 years from now, they're gonna say, "Hey, I was at that show when you guys did '21st Century Breakdown

'" – What is it that keep you guys inspired and motivated like that? – I think just mixing things up for us all the time, and always, kind of, taking risks and going into the unknown a little bit, and I don't know We've had a lot of happy accidents The fact that our record's becoming a musical, that's such a rare thing for any band to have But I think by design the record was, soft of, meant to be like that I don't think there's ever been a bigger high, in the 21 years that we've been a band together

You make this crazy record that's political, and it's a rock opera, and it's brought to-, It's flesh and blood, you know? People actually acting it out on stage Well for us, it was always, kind of, a slow evolution through time After our first records on Lookout! from 'Dookie,' and then all the way through to '21st Century Breakdown,' it was just, taking the right kind of risks, but not trying to do something that's– where you're pushing too hard to try to evolve into something that you're not If you don't want us, don't take us I don't give a damn

We're gonna stick to who we are and what we believe in And, I think that we're gonna– We jumped on this ship a long time ago, and damnit we're gonna go down with it

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