This article needs to be updated. (January 2019)
Green Day is an American rock band that formed in 1986. The members of the band are Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion), Jason White (guitar/vocals) and Jason Freese (keyboard). Jason Freese only participates in concert tours. Green Day is often celebrated as one of the best punk rock bands currently performing.
|Also known as||Sweet Children (early)|
|Origin||East Bay, California, U.S.|
|Billie Joe Armstrong|
At first, Green Day was part of the punk rock culture at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its album Dookie (1994) became a success. Soon, it sold more than ten million copies in the United States alone, and 15 million copies worldwide. The album was well reviewed and the band were praised for its music and sales. Green Day had three more albums after that, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning. They were still successful albums, reaching double platinum, double platinum, and gold status respectively. However none of these albums sold as well as their third album, Dookie. Green Day's 2004 rock opera American Idiot sold five million copies in the United States.
Green Day has sold over 85 million records worldwide, 32 million of them in the United States alone. They also have won three Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, Record of the Year for the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and have also been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
Formation and Lookout years (1987–1993)Edit
In 1987, Lookout! released Green Day's first album 39/Smooth. Green Day recorded two EPs: Slappy and Sweet Children. Lookout! Records released 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, an album that had the 39/Smooth, Slappy, and 1,000 Hours EPs in it. In late 1990, shortly after the band's first worldwide tour, Sobrante left the band. The Lookouts drummer Tré Cool became a replacement, and then became a permanent replacement because Sobrante did not want to come back. Green Day was on tour for most of 1992 and 1993, and played a lot of shows overseas in Europe. Its second album, Kerplunk, sold about 50,000 copies in the U.S., which was a lot for the punk band in 1992.
Breakthrough success (1994–1996)Edit
Kerplunk's success made major record labels interested in Green Day, and they soon left Lookout! and signed with Reprise Records after getting the attention of producer Rob Cavallo. Signing to Reprise made many punk rock fans think Green Day as sellouts. After signing with Reprise, the band went to work on making its major label debut, Dookie.
Released in February of 1994, and recorded in 3 weeks, Dookie became a commercial success, making it to MTV for the videos of the songs "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When I Come Around", all of which made it to the number one position on the Modern Rock Tracks charts.
Insomniac was a darker, more punk release for the band than the rocking Dookie. Insomniac earned 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine, which said "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets." Insomniac won the band award nominations for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards. The video for "Walking Contradiction" got the band a Grammy nomination for Best Video, Short Form, and a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards.
In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled "J.A.R.". The single went straight to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. After that, Insomniac, Green Day's new album, was released in the fall of 1995. After that, the band stopped from going on a European tour so they could rest for a while.
Nimrod and Warning (1997–2000)Edit
In 1997, Green Day began to work on a new album. They came up with Nimrod. The new album was released in October 1996. The success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" won the band an MTV Video Award for Best Alternative Video.
In 2000, Green Day released Warning, an album that had types of songs that Nimrod did. Though the Warning made the hit "Minority" and a smaller hit with "Warning", some observers thought that the band was losing popularity. Warning was certified gold by the RIAA.
At the 2001 California Music Awards, Green Day won all eight awards that they were nominated for.
In the summer of 2003, the band went into a studio to write and record new songs for a new album titled Cigarettes and Valentines. After making 20 tracks, the master tapes were stolen from the studio. The band was upset and chose not to try to re-create the stolen album, but instead start over with a vow to be even better than before. In this same year, Green Day went with Iggy Pop on two tracks for his album Skull Ring. They took "band therapy," talking for a long time to work out the members' differences after accusations from Dirnt and Cool that Armstrong was "the band's Nazi" and a show-off bent on taking the limelight from the other band members.
Through 2005, the band toured for about 150 days— visiting Japan, Australia, South America and the UK, where they had a crowd of 130,000 people in only two days. While touring for American Idiot, they filmed and recorded the two concerts at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England, which was voted 'The Best Show On Earth' in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll.
These recordings were released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible on November 15, 2005. The DVD had a behind-the-scenes footage of the band, and showed how the band prepared to put on the show. The final shows of its 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.
In an interview with Kerrang!, Billie Joe said that 2008 would "be a fair estimate of the release date of their new Untitled Eighth Studio Album." In October 2007, Billie Joe said more on this new album, saying he had been writing new songs on the piano, and had around 45 of them. He said he wanted the new music to dig into what he's feeling during that time - which is middle-aged.
21st Century BreakdownEdit
In an interview with Kerrang!, Armstrong said that 2009 would "be a fair estimate of the release date of their new untitled eighth studio album for Green Day." It was revealed that Butch Vig would be producing the upcoming album in an interview with Carson Daly. The gap of nearly five years between their previous album, American Idiot, and their newest release was the longest gap in Green Day's career. While the band had been working on new music since January 2006, by October 2007 Armstrong had written 45 songs, the band showed no further signs of being close to releasing a new album until October 2008, when a video of the group recording with producer Butch Vig in the studio was posted on YouTube.
Their newest album, titled 21st Century Breakdown, was released on May 15, 2009. Called "Green Day at their best" by Seattle Weekly's Krist Novoselic, the album has received mostly positive reviews. Rating website Metacritic reported a rating of 70% as of July 2009, based on 30 reviews. After it was released, 21st Century Breakdown reached #1 on the charts in fourteen different countries.
Music style and influencesEdit
Green Day's sound is often compared to first wave punk rock bands such as the Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, and the Buzzcocks. Stylistically, the group is characterized as punk rock, pop punk and alternative rock.
Most of their songs are fast and under the average song length of four minutes (4:00), though some of their songs run on longer such as "Jesus of Suburbia" which runs for nine minutes. Billie Joe Armstrong said that some of his biggest influences are alternative rock bands Husker Dü and The Replacements. Armstrong's lyrics mostly describe alienation, hysteria, girls, growing up, and what happens to someone if they take drugs. The Ramones had lyrical themes that were also close to Green Day's lyrics such as hysteria, alienation, girls, and drugs. Green Day has covered Ramones songs a few times, such as recording "Outsider" for the tribute album We're a Happy Family, and performing "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "Teenage Lobotomy" when the Ramones made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
- Billie Joe Armstrong – vocals, guitar (1986–present)
- Mike Dirnt - bass guitar, backing vocals (1986–present)
- Tré Cool – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1990–present)
- Jason White - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2012–present; touring member 1999–Present)
- John Kiffmeyer – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1987–1990)
Current touring musiciansEdit
- Jason Freese – keyboards, piano, acoustic guitar, trombone, saxophone, accordion, backing vocals (2004–present)
- Jeff Matika - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2009 - present)
Former touring musiciansEdit
- Kurt Lohmiller – trumpet, timpani, percussion, vocals (1999–2004)
- Gabrial McNair – trombone, tenor saxophone (1999–2001)
- Garth Schultz - trombone, trumpet
- Ronnie Blake – trumpet, timpani, percussion, backing vocals (2004–present)
- Mike Pelino – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2004–present)
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