Among the auxiliary, uh, talent brought in to help Green Day record its new record, "Warning", were the Mistresses Simone and Kendra—two dominatrixes who add some whiplash authenticity to the track "Blood, Sex and Booze". It was drummer Tre Cool’s idea to recruit these latex ladies, whose services were provided via the Internet.
"They came in and beat the shit out of our second engineer," says singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong. "We put the mikes up and recorded it. It was just one of those things. Studio magic."
Sessions—bondage and otherwise—for "Warning" went down up at the funky 880 Studios in Green Day's hometown of Oakland, CA.
"The freeway runs right over the studio," says Armstrong. "Every time a truck went by, you could feel the console vibrating."
Green Day later decamped to L.A. for mixing and overdubs with alt-rock boffin "du jour" Jack Joseph Puig, with Armstrong, Cool, and bassist Mike Dirnt dashing frantically between three major studios and a rehearsal complex, readying themselves for this summer's Warped Tour while putting the finishing touches on their album. Musical guests include a Mariachi band, a string section, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. As a result, "Warning" is a much broader work than previous Green Day albums—a little less punk, a little more acoustic. But the main emphasis, as always, is on Armstrong’s hooky, melodic songwriting.
"There's a sense of freedom about this record," he says. "I think we've gone some places where we've never been before." How does Armstrong see the new album slotting into year 2000 rock? "We have a strong core of fans," he replies. "But as far as the MTV or VH-1 crowd, who knows? It would be stupid for me to slag the current music scene. Things are so bad now that they're not even offensive. How can I slag 'N SYNC? That would be like beating up a 13-year-old girl."
Or your second engineer.