The members of Green Day are no strangers to creating controversy boosted by their years on top of the music industry. Considering the nation’s current political climate, it was only a matter of time before we heard what Billie Joe Armstrong has to say about our new President, Donald J. Trump, with the help of drummer Tré Cool and bassist Mike Dirnt. Green Day’s response? Their lyric video for the band’s new song, “Troubled Times.”
Sure, Green Day probably doesn’t have the same sort of influence on their older fans, but there’s always going to be an audience of angst-ridden teens that want to rebel in the easiest ways possible. Faced with our new President in the form of a former reality TV star, it looks like a new generation of Green Day fans have some fuel for their rebellious fire.
Here, we take a look at five fast facts about Green Day’s feud with Donald Trump.
1. Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ Waged a Similar Musical War on George W. Bush
Trump isn’t the band’s first target, and it’s pretty difficult to talk about Green Day without mentioning our former President, George W. Bush. The trio released their most successful single and album of the same name, 2004’s American Idiot. It was a thinly veiled hate-record directed at the United States government, with most of the focus aimed at Bush Jr.
The album, described as a rock opera by the band, is arguably their most important one. It is still viewed as the record that gave their career new life, and features a number of very successful singles. These songs include the title track, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” and more.
2. Green Day Never Misses an Opportunity to get Political
According to fans on the Green Day subreddit message board, the band’s greatest strength is writing politically fueled, punk-influenced pop songs. For instance, the song “99 Revolutions” off of the band’s 2012 album ¡Tré! is about the Occupy Movements that were going on at the time. The song “Minority” featured some political references and bashing as well.
While critics and fans alike have downplayed Green Day’s status and influence on punk rock music since “selling out” with major label success, there’s no denying that the band’s punk past has an effect on younger generations that are used to pop music and the like. Since Armstrong, Dirnt, and Cool come from a generation marked by hardcore and punk rock music, it’s just in their blood to search out ways to stay true to their past.
As you’re reading this, the controversy surrounding their lyric video for “Troubled Times” will probably grow and grow. It might even stick with Trump’s Presidency just as “American Idiot” did to George W. Bush‘s.
3. ‘No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA’ at the AMAs
Trump had just won the election earlier in the month of November. Green Day decided to take advantage of their live performance and throw some anti-Trump rhetoric into the awards ceremony.
Even before the AMAs chant, Armstrong likened Trump to Adolf Hitler in an interview with the U.K. music mag Kerrang! According to NME, the singer said, “I don’t even know how else to explain it. I wish I were over-exaggerating.”
4. ‘Troubled Times’ Was Released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
“Troubled Times” is off of Green Day’s most recent album, Revolution Radio, so it isn’t something fans hadn’t already heard. That said, this special lyric video was an apt tribute on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The video features portrayals of the late Civil Rights icon as well as a Trump-esque figure. It was created by Manu Viqueira and David Rodriguez Simón, and is certainly doesn’t hold back in bashing Trump some more.
Accompanying the lyric video was a statement from the lead singer. “Today we celebrate love and compassion more than ever,” Armstrong stated, providing another example of his “war” against Trump.
5. Armstrong Made Fun of Trump’s ‘Golden Shower’ Fiasco on Instagram
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News published reports that intimately linked Trump to Russia. “Golden Showers” were allegedly involved, which you can read more about in Heavy’s previous coverage here. The news spread quickly and plenty of people had some fun with it – including Armstrong.
As you can see in the Instagram photo featured above, Armstrong felt The Circle Jerks‘ Golden Shower of Hits was a fitting record to listen to in light of the news. He even added in an additional jab by referring to Trump as a “circle jerk.”
Despite Green Day’s very public address to Trump, the usually very active tweeter has yet to address any of the band’s actions. He might not consider the band too much of an annoyance yet, but as they’ve proven to us before, Green Day isn’t going to get quieter.