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Green Day explain why they briefly stepped away from political songwriting

Green Day have explained why they briefly took a step back from political songwriting and recalled why they have gone back to their roots with their forthcoming new album.

The discussion came in light of the band announcing their upcoming 14th studio album, ‘Saviors’ – an LP which they have described as one that “bridges the gap” between ‘Dookie’ and ‘American Idiot’.

In promoting the forthcoming release, the trio – formed of Billie-Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool – recalled how the songs see them return to their political roots, which they took a step back from in recent years.

Discussing the lead single ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’ as the one that marked their return to politically-motivated songwriting, Armstrong recalled how the track was originally written during the sessions for their last album, ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’, but put on ice until the members felt ready to take more of a political stance.

“For ‘Father Of All…’ we didn’t want to go political because it was so obvious. It was such low-hanging fruit because we had just terrible politics and terrible division in the United States,” he told 102.1 The Edge. “But this time, we brought it out and it felt like it was the perfect time for it.”

“We got away from the politics for a while [because] we didn’t want to be like another pundit on CNN, finger-pointing,” he added. “But political songs… It takes a lot of heart to do that.

“I think if you keep doing it for the sake of doing it, just because you’re angry, then you take the heart out of it. Then it just becomes part of what everyone is complaining about. It takes those special, inspired moments to really have a moment like ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’.”

The single was the first to be shared from ‘Saviors’, and has since been followed by the new track ‘Look Ma, No Brains!’. The ‘Saviors’ album is set to arrive on January 19, 2024, via Reprise/Warner.

Billie-Joe Armstrong and co. also opened up about their temporary shift away from political songwriting back in 2020, when they featured on the cover of NME.

Discussing the album ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’, the frontman told NME’s Kevin EG Perry that the songs were born out of experimentation, and pushing Green Day’s sound into new territory.

“We started off the record writing nasty garage music. We took all of those influences and just put it through Green Day. We’ve never gone there before, and it sounds fucking rad,” he said.

“It was just too obvious [to go for a political route]” he added. “We live in really dangerous times right now. Everything feels sort of unpredictable. America is really fucked up and it’s hard to draw any inspiration from it because it just depresses me. With a lot of these songs there are certain lines that I’ll come up with and it’s almost foreshadowing things to come. Songs like ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Minority’ have stayed relevant to this day without me really trying.”

Green Day will be embarking on a huge world tour next year in support of the album, while also celebrating 30 years of ‘Dookie’ and 20 years of ‘American Idiot’.

Nothing But Thieves, The Hives, Donots, The Interrupters and Maid Of Ace are set to join as support across select dates and tickets can be found here.

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