Green Day

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About Green Day

Though originally hailed as a trio of punk revivalists, Green Day is now one of rock’s sturdiest institutions, a band known for embracing the three-chords-and-a-head-rush excitement that runs through ’50s rockabilly and ’60s garage, ’80s New Wave and ’90s skate punk. Formed in the late ’80s in San Francisco’s East Bay, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees—singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tré Cool, the latter of whom replaced drummer John Kiffmeyer early on—broke through in 1994 with the landmark Dookie. Singles such as “Basket Case” helped Green Day become one of the preeminent forces in ’90s rock, presaging a wave of artists (including Rancid, NOFX, and blink-182) that merged the energy of punk with the affability of pop. From Dookie on, the band has remained remarkably consistent, peppering albums with hints of Beatles-esque pop (“Warning”), churning rock anthems (“Boulevard of Broken Dreams”), and radio-ready ballads (“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends”). Even when Green Day goes big (the rock-operatic scope of 2004’s American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown) or expands its sound (2020’s peppy, garage-rock-leaning Father of All M***********s), the music is ambitious while staying catchy and concise. Even punk throwbacks such as 2024’s Saviors stick to the same premise: Green Day has always believed that making clever, accessible music is the best way to motivate people politically and emotionally. In other words, the band’s success is a microcosm of alternative music’s migration into the mainstream: Instead of erasing arena rock, Green Day reinvented it.

East Bay, CA, United States
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