MAKING THE ALBUM: 2015-2016
Green Day is Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
On December 16, 2014, Green Day was announced as one of the artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! They have the unique honor of being inducted on their first year eligible – something that rarely happens these days.
Rolling Stone caught up with frontman Billie Joe Armstrong about Green Day’s upcoming induction. Billie Joe admits that when he found out about Green Day’s acceptance, he “had to go for a walk. I wound up at this cafe and I sat down and my son met up with me. I told him and he was like, ‘Oh my God. No way.’ It just took some time to sink in. We’re in incredible company and I’m still trying to make sense of this. It’s just incredible.”
At the end of the interview, Billie spoke about Green Day's plans to record new music in 2015:
The band last played in March. What are you doing in the downtime?
We have a lot of heavy stuff going on right now. Everyone needs to be with their families. We keep in touch with each other. If I was to say, “Hey man, let’s make a record right now!” they’d be like, “Are you out of your fucking mind?” I realize that. It’s good to have a little bit of distance from the creative process because you end up wanting to get back to it even more when the time is right.
Are you thinking you might start writing or recording next year?
I think of next year as us kind of regrouping and getting together more. I want to make sure that everyone’s head is in the right place and wants to start doing it again. I think this is a great time for us to reflect. With the Hall of Fame here, we can look back with gratitude and reflect with gratitude without feeling like it’s some nostalgic trip.
We’ve always kept moving forward, no matter what. That’s exhausting. Also, Mike’s wife is just recovering from breast cancer. And [touring guitarist] Jason White [who was recently diagnosed with tonsil cancer] is going through the same battle right now. We need to be there for each other in a different way rather than standing next to each other and playing really loud.
You can read the full interview at Rolling Stone.
On April 18, 2015, Green Day was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Billie Joe and Rob Cavallo Talk About New Green Day Demos
On April 24th, Green Day's longtime producer Rob Cavallo gave Kerrang on update on new Green Day music. At that point, Billie Joe had at least five great songs ready! As Rob said,
I recently heard five new songs that Billie has written and demoed. Let me tell you, they were just fantastic. He is absolutely at the top of his game. Fans can be sure that when they do return, the music will be amazing.
A week later, Rolling Stone caught up with Billie Joe and asked him to give more detail on the new songs. Billie Joe explained,
I've got, like, four or five songs right now. I'm gonna take it really slow. I'm just gonna make sure every moment is inspired and that we have something that's really special to us. And right now with the songs that we have, it's going in the right direction.
However, Billie wasn't sure if an album would be ready in 2016. Instead, he wants to take his time:
I mean, we're going to take our time. We're not going to try and pull off some, like, victory lap over this because I definitely want the music to come from a real place and be inspired, not just because we got honored or anything like that, but because we're honoring music. We want to work on them, and we want to make a great album.
It's great to know Green Day is actively working on new music and taking their time with it. Once they are ready, the album is sure to be amazing if Rob Cavallo is to be believed.
Heart Like A Hand Grenade
On September 15, 2015, a long-awaited documentary was finally confirmed for release: Heart Like A Hand Grenade was supposed to come out in the midst of all the American Idiot hype. Director John Roecker shot hundreds of hours of footage while Green Day recorded the album in the studio, and this was supposed to come out as a documentary not long after American Idiot had made its impact. In 2009, five hundred lucky fans got to attend a private screening of the documentary in Hollywood. Green Day Authority reviewed the screening at the time, but no subsequent screenings ever followed.
Finally, more than a decade after American Idiot first came out, the Heart Like A Hand Grenade had an official release date! On October 15th, the documentary hit limited theaters for all to see.
As Green Day’s official site stated, “More than 10 years after the release of American Idiot, 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Green Day present Heart Like A Hand Grenade. This time capsule rock doc takes us inside the songwriting and recording process of their Grammy Award winning punk rock opera.”
Billie Opens Guitar Store
On March 6, 2015, the local news East Bay Express broke the news the Billie Joe was opening a used guitar store called Broken Guitars. He partnered with Bill Schneider (a longtime Green Day associate), who explained that the focus of Broken Guitars is "used American guitars: Gretsch, Fender, and not necessarily just vintage ones." The shop opened on May 1, 2015 with about 75 guitars on the wall, mostly taken from Billie Joe and Bill's personal collections. The store also sells amps and offers full-service repairs for instruments and amps. Broken Guitars is located at 423 40th Street in Oakland, California.
Billie and Mike Start Organic Coffee Company
On December 22, 2015, some very unexpected news came from a very unexpected source. The Financial Times reported that Billie Joe and Mike were diversifying into the organic coffee industry with their new business, Oakland Coffee Works. It opened that week with moderately-priced organic coffee beans that are only available in compostable bags and pods. Billie and Mike wanted to minimize the environmental impact of their business, and are the first coffee business to use mass produced bags and pods that are fully compostable.
As Mike explained, "I’ve been drinking coffee all these years, I looked at the coffee bags and realized they’re all landfill. It was astonishing to me. I hope that the big companies out there step up to the plate too."
On December 24, 2015, Green Day surprised fans with a holiday song called "Xmas Time Of The Year." Billie Joe wrote the words and the band wrote the music, while Chris Dugan recorded the track. It's a short sweet song, and hopefully a hint of more to come in 2016.
2016: Green Day Officially Enters the Studio!
On January 18, 2016, Billie Joe excited fans with just one simple picture: Him in the studio recording vocals. It looks like Green Day is finally ready to begin recording the new album!
On April 1st, Billie shared a longer video of the recording studio:
On Sunday, July 31st, some big news broke from an unexpected source. The popular fan site Green Day Authority reported that the Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR had announced on air that they would be playing a new Green Day song called “Bang Bang” on August 11th; the station confirmed the news for GDA. Hours later, Billie Joe took to his Instagram account to confirm the big news:
Things are about to get really exciting now! The new single is just days away from reaching our eager ears, and more news is sure to be announced in the coming weeks. Keep checking back here for all the latest about Green Day's new album.