10 Questions for Billie Joe Armstrong TIME




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don't wanna be an American Idiot Juwanna nation under the new media I'm Rebecca Keegan for Time magazine with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong here in Oakland California on the band's home turf American Idiot the Broadway musical based on their songs is nominated for three Tony Awards and the video game rock band Green Day comes out June 8th okay all right onto the questions from time readers okay first question comes from Louisville Kentucky how do you respond to people who say that Green Bay isn't Punk anymore have you changed your style in response to naysayers the thing about the punk is in any genre of music or Punk or if it's blues or jazz there's um you know or straight-up rock and roll I mean there's purists and every side so once you start going outside of that then they don't necessarily think what you're doing is you know quote-unquote punk punk rock but for me I want to be a great songwriter so I mean my my range of songwriters my favorites goes for anywhere from you know someone that you know a band like The Sex Pistols to all the way to like Lennon McCartney so you know that's that's what Green Day is or there are no rules this question comes from Caitlin C in Independence Kentucky she asks what bands have influenced you you know when I really first started getting into music that mattered for me I would say a lot of Minneapolis bands like who skardu and the replacements and then I think it would be like after that the Ramones or you know then that then the local punk rock scene that we came from him in Berkeley which was a bands like Operation Ivy and crimped Rhine and this great record a compilation called turn it around which was like the first sort of wave of the Gilman Street punk band that was coming out of there so that was a pretty big record for me Chrissy K in Bedford England asks what made you want to have a Broadway musical adaptation of American Idiot you know when we were first doing America idea where while we were making it we always thought it was something very chuckle and I and it had a storyline to it so we always thought it should be staged somehow whether it be in the theater or whether it wouldn't be I we really didn't know how I was gonna come up so when Michael Mayer you know who was you know he did a musical called Spring Awakening when he called we took that that call immediately [Music] it's been surreal I mean it's been an amazing to hear you know the different voices especially hearing women sing your songs which you know I you know I didn't know that women sounded that good singing my song so it was hey they're even better than the way I see them so and it was just great to see that it's you know to see the sort of the the story that you had in your head just out it's you know that was in the record for American Idiot and suddenly get you know it's on stage right in front of you acted out in front of you and it was like it was kind of seeing the whole thing really come to fruition you know it was like this is what what we started with was was the album and then now there's this stage production with a storyline and you know it's it's pretty amazing this is a question from Jack low and Canterbury England do you think the musicians have a responsibility to try to have a social or political message in their music I think the only people that should have a responsibility for thinking about social issues or politics or anything like that or they're ones that aren't fully about it you know or the ones that aren't preaching you know I mean if you're gonna write a song a political song it's got to come from the same place where you write a love song you know it can't just be some empty rhetoric that you're in a bunch of finger-pointing you have to have yourself involved in it you know so it's like when I you know I have a song I don't want to be an American Idiot I'm talking about myself and what's going on in my country at the same time how do I fit into it and how do I feel alienated from at the same time so it's a you know it's self-deprecating but it's also trying to empower yourself this is actually the last question why do you never seem to age Age IH I definitely age every single day you know as this time goes on I'm aging so as soon as this is there it'll be in the past so I think trying to to mentally keep yourself in a place where you you still have excitement in your life and and something and you're always in awe of something you're always have that thing about you where you're you're you know dreaming the next dream I think that's you know that's a never resting on your laurels you know and and not and not going through the motions and you know that's to me it's that's that the Fountain of Youth and asthma it has nothing to do with the wrinkles on your face or how fat you get or you know or if you get gray hair it's just your zest for life really well thank you very much sure