Don't look for a
"Time of Your Life, Part II" on Green Day's next album. Band
leader Billie Joe Armstrong says he would be "kidding
myself" in trying to repeat the atypical acoustic number that
served as a sentimental soundtrack for everything from the "Seinfeld"
finale to high school graduations to network news millennium
montages--new territory for the Bay Area punk trio.
"It would be kidding the
world as well," says Armstrong, sitting with bassist Mike Dirnt
at a Hollywood recording studio where they and drummer Tre Cool are
mixing the band's next album, "Warning." Due Oct. 3, it will
be the follow-up to 1997's "Nimrod," which contained the
anomalous hit. The song generally known as "Time of Your
Life," Armstrong notes, was actually titled "Good
Riddance" and was anything but a sentimental send-off. And many
of the people who embraced it, misinterpreting it as they did, are not
really part of the band's main fan base.
"The thing that happened
with that song, that many people getting into it, that's just an
accident," Armstrong says. "I'm not going to try to do that
Actually, the song's vast
exposure didn't even boost album sales significantly. At 1.6 million
copies sold in the U.S. in SoundScan's figures, "Nimrod" is
not dramatically more than the 1.2 million of 1995's
"Insomniac"--both far behind "Dookie," the band's
1994 major-label debut, which sold 6.6 million copies on the wave of a
new punk explosion and such attention-getting appearances as Woodstock
The band--which will headline the
Warped Tour this summer (in the Southland for three days this week)
before the album's release--did use the song's breakthrough into new
sonic territories as a launching point for more stylistic exploration.
"It probably freed us up to
where we can just experiment more with different rhythms and styles
and play a lot more acoustic guitar--not the way I play on that song,
but more the hard, Pete Townshend playing," Armstrong says.
Townshend and other British
Invasion figures are clearly reference points in three songs they've
finished mixing with industry veteran Jack Joseph Puig. "Sex,
Blood and Booze" has strong echoes of the early Who in its guitar
sound and garage-rock construction.
"Minority," a broadside
call to stand apart from the "moral majority," evokes the
Kinks' Ray Davies in his "Village Green Preservation
Society" period. And "Hold On," a personal affirmation
of perseverance, is built around a guitar and harmonica bit that
sounds patterned on the Beatles' "I Should Have Known
The musical and lyrical maturity
is no accident, Armstrong and Dirnt say, with both of them now 28.
"I'm not 19, and I'm glad
I'm not 19," Armstrong, the father of two children, says.
"Our last records had a theme of sort of a downer, talking about
drugs or loneliness or hate, a lot of angry stuff."
"There's more sense of hope
to this record. For me it was important for this record to get up at 7
every day with my kids, take them to school, go home and work with the
band and maybe enjoy standing out in front of a grocery store or
something, just being me. I have a lot more lust for life than I