Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong has expressed interest in collaborating with Olivia Rodrigo in a new interview.
The 51-year-old frontman spoke to Vulture for a new feature ahead of the release of Green Day’s 14th studio album, ‘Saviors’, reflecting on his career and the significance the upcoming full-length has in the band’s discography. At one point, the interview points out the parallel between the band’s theatrical 2004 release ‘American Idiot’ and artists of theatrical backgrounds referencing punk rock, specifically singling out Olivia Rodrigo.
Armstrong then commented on Rodrigo’s current prominence, conveying his interest in collaborating with the ‘Vampire’ powerhouse. “I hear it but don’t go out buying any of those records or stream it. It does pass me by. When I hear it, I think it sounds good,” said Armstrong. “I think it would be fun to work with her sometime. She’s talented.”
“Sometimes you can see how someone is interested in what punk rock is and maybe they don’t quite have some of the influences or knowledge that I have on the history of punk rock. I’m kind of an encyclopedia. To do something with someone like Olivia Rodrigo would be fun.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Armstrong elaborated on the link between ‘Saviors’ and their classic records ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Dookie’, highlighting how the band was initially unsure of what ‘Saviors’ was going to sound like. “We had a large batch of songs that we recorded in London and when we saw it come together, I remembered thinking, Oh, this is the connection,” he mused. “”Saviors’ does feel like a trifecta with ‘Dookie’ and ‘American Idiot’ where it feels like a life’s work. I went from not knowing what the hell I was doing to going, “Oh gosh, we managed to bridge the gap between those two huge albums.”
Armstrong also detailed his struggles with alcohol addiction, which he stated remained a struggle as recently as 2021, when Green Day toured with Weezer and Fall Out Boy during the ‘Hella Mega’ Tour. “When I was on the Hella Mega tour, I started to struggle with alcohol when we were in Europe. It was all fun and games,” he admitted. “The only thing alcohol was doing for me was getting in the way of the things I wanted to do and the person I wanted to be.”
Nonetheless, he also spoke on his efforts towards recovery, which he sings about on ‘Saviors’ track ‘Dilemma’, stating: “I’m older, I’m wiser. I have different things that make me happy. I don’t need to be out all night getting fucked up.”
‘Saviors’ will be released via Reprise/Warner on Friday (January 19), and will include previous singles ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me’, ‘Look Ma, No Brains!’ and ‘Dilemma’. The band first made their return in October with an intimate show at a small Los Angeles venue alongside another pub gig in Covent Garden the following month. Though the band was initially slated to perform another small gig in London, it was eventually cancelled due to “an unexpected illness”.
While Green Day performed ‘American Idiot’ on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve programme, Armstrong altered its lyrics to hit out at Donald Trump, attracting the disapproval of Elon Musk.