Green Day: “We’re not going anywhere… and we’re just getting better!”

Mike Dirnt is, he says, just the same “goofball kid” that he always was. It’s not surprising, really, given that he and Billie began Green Day when they were literal teenagers. But it also means something so much more than that.

“Billie says that this is our high school band, which it is,” the bassist explains. “But what I take from it too is that our fans have grown up listening to us just the same as we’ve grown up. People say, ‘I grew up listening to your band,’ and I’m like, ‘So did I!’”

“I know,” Billie laughs. “Someone said to me the other day, ‘Your band is my childhood.’ And I said, ‘It’s my childhood, too!’”

“Not anymore!” jokes Mike.

“Yeah,” agrees Billie. “Shit, we’ve been in this band since we were 15, 16 years old. We just started puberty when this band started.”

As well as eagerly looking forwards, then, Green Day are also enjoying some well-deserved time to reminisce, as coming soon they’ve a monumental global stadium run – dubbed The Saviors Tour – celebrating the 30th anniversary of their breakout third album Dookie (released after they reached the end of those formative teenage years), as well as the 20th anniversary of their iconic punk rock opera, American Idiot.

“We’re excited,” grins Mike. “I’m excited about the fact that people are excited about Dookie and American Idiot’s anniversaries. I mean, the fact that we’re launching a new record at the same time as those albums having their anniversaries is a strange anomaly, but also really awesome. And it gives us an opportunity to put together one hell of a show. We can deviate from it – we can do whatever we want to do – but, man, there’s a lot of friggin’ fun songs to play!”

The American Idiot landmark is a particularly apt one, as Green Day all see parallels with that album and their collective mindset going into Saviors.

“When I think about American Idiot, I think of where [previous albums] Nimrod and Warning were these records where we were in the studio learning, and trying to further our musical knowledge,” Billie explains. “That’s sort of the way that I feel right now, too, because [2020 album] Father Of All… was one of those moments where we were like, ‘Let’s try something new.’ We learned so much from it, and it’s like it has a baby called Saviors!”

“I can hear bits of each album on this record, even though it sounds fresh and new,” agrees Mike. “I feel like if there’s any words that always come back to Green Day, it’s energy and melody – and this record has all those things in abundance.”

Given that Father Of All… landed on the experimental side of their catalogue, whereas now they’re back with an emphatically Green Day-sounding album, how do they view Saviors’ predecessor, a few years on?

“I love that record,” Billie says. “We played Graffitia [live for the first time in October 2023], which is one of my favourite songs that we’ve ever had. The pandemic sort of pulled the rug out from underneath it. So to actually be able to go up and play it live in front of people and get the response… because we didn’t know what people actually thought. You’re gonna get people online that argue about it – ‘This doesn’t sound like this, and this should be more like this. Why are they doing this? Blah, blah, this sucks.’ But, actually, when you get in front of people – real people – and you hear an entire crowd singing it, it’s like, ‘Alright, that’s the truth, right there.’”