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New Interview With Jason White
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 5 ]

Fluke, a punk zine that has been continually published for the last twenty years, has just put out its 20th anniversary issue. One of the features of this issue is a ten-page interview with Green Day’s Jason White, who was one of Fluke Zine’s original founders.

Jason is an unassuming guy. He’s kind of bashful about being interviewed by an old friend, for a zine he himself worked on in its early days. But that’s what makes this interview great. It’s conducted between friends, by an interviewer who knows Jason’s earliest history with punk rock (the two met when Jason was 14), and who is also aware — how could he not be? — about Jason’s current world traveling, among superstars of rock and roll. We get Jason’s stories about playing at the Grammys, and meeting the Rolling Stones and Tom Waits, but also his account of his first band, which he played in in the seventh grade, and of the shows he saw as a kid in Little Rock, including Green Day. “That was a great show and obviously it made some kind of impression on me.” He tells about meeting Aaron Cometbus in Memphis in 1991, when Jason’s band was supposed to open for Green Day, but Green Day didn’t show up until after the show was over. Aaron was traveling with Green Day, and Jason was thrilled because he was such a big fan of Aaron’s band, Crimpshrine. Jason and Aaron later became roommates, and that was how Jason came to play in Pinhead Gunpowder. At the time, Billie only remembered him as “That guy we met in Memphis who played us that cover of [Crimpshrine’s] ‘Easy Answers’” He said, “He can sing, let’s get him to try out.”

There’s lots more: how Jeff Matika came to join the band, what it’s like to play with Green Day in front of tens of thousands, what backstage is like at a Green Day concert — “not a bunch of fucking around and getting drunk or bullshitting with people; we have a job to do and we’re there to do it.” Plus Jason’s early experiences and the bands he was in before joining Green Day as tour guitarist. All in an easygoing, flowing style. It’s the next best thing to sitting down and chatting with Jason yourself.

You can order a copy of Fluke #9 by sending $4 cash to Fluke Fanzine, PO Box 24957, Tempe, AZ 85285. You’ll be glad you did. More info: Fluke Fanzine.

June 21, 2011 at 3:47 am [ Category: Interviews, History ]

Billie Joe Interviewed in Q Magazine
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~GDA posted scans of Q magazine’s interview with Billie Joe, part of their Artists of the Century issue.

November 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm [ Category: Articles, Interviews, News Sidebar ]

Quotes from Gimme Something Better
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 11 ]

I’ve been reading the book Gimme Something Better (thanks to Abbey), and I wanted to share some quotes.

One of the things I love about Green Day is how true-blue they are in their core beliefs. It confuses me when fans whine about Green Day’s outspokenness, because giving a shit about the world, and caring about being ethical and doing the right thing, is so central to who they are. That steadfastness comes in large part from their formative years in the Gilman scene, and the book touches on that quite a bit.

James Washburn: “I have a lot of respect for Billie. He’s been very successful as a person. He’s very bighearted, very generous. And I’ll love him to death forever. He has given back a lot, and he respects the scene and respects the people that are here and in it.”

Bill Schneider: “I think it goes back to the Gilman scene in general. We were all young and impressionable when we got into punk rock. That scene helped shape who we became later in life.”

It’s funny that Billie Joe thought Tre was obnoxious when they first met. It’s also an interesting quote for anyone who thinks being punk is about doing whatever the hell you want:

Billie Joe: “Tre and I kept getting closer and closer as friends. But he was really obnoxious. To the point where I didn’t even know if the guy was that cool. We wanted to be more conscious people. We carried the ethics of Gilman into our lives. Those codes were sort of intact. Tre was not even close. Didn’t care what anybody thought, didn’t care what anybody did. He did anything he wanted all the time. And that was really hard.”

One of the things that stood out for me about punk rock shows, when I used to go to them in the 90s, was how specific the crowd was depending on the bands that were playing. Hardcore bands would draw spiky-haired guys with home-made Subhumans patches on their pants, and the ratio of guys to girls was 20 to 1. Pop-punk crowds were much nerdier and more clean-cut, and there were more girls, but it was still a majority of guys. Only with Green Day, even after the release of Dookie, was the audience predominantly female.

Billie Joe: “A lot of our songs were about girls. When it comes from a 17-year-old kid, the songs are just gushing. It drew a lot of girls. It was weird. We got a lot of shit from other bands because we had love songs. But I wanted to sing about truth and where I’m at, my relationships with people. Or lack thereof. We would play Santa Rosa or Petaluma, and tons of girls would show up. They started showing up at Gilman, it would be 75 percent women. It almost feels funny to say, but we never took liberties or anything like that.”

For male and female alike, Green Day struck a chord, and I would add, as I always do, not only with disaffected teenagers.

Noah Landis: “To see the world finally catch up, desperate for music that makes you feel something, music with emotion, honesty, and aggression. These feelings that are undeniably in every young person born on the planet, especially people who have had to — god forbid — live through hard shit. The world finally caught up to that and wanted some. They wanted their Green Day songs about teenage alienation and masturbation.”

Amen to that.

Related posts:
The Profound and Pointless History of Bay Area Punk
Ten Years of Gilman St. Zine
Reviews of Gimme Something Better

November 9, 2009 at 12:16 am [ Category: Books, Interviews, History ]

Green Day and Jello Biafra in Huh Magazine, 1996
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 4 ]

Green Day was interviewed by Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys and other projects) for a magazine called Huh (or huH, I guess), in 1996. Jello Biafra is not the usual interviewer, so it’s more like a conversation among punk rock colleagues. To a certain extent, it reflects the issues Biafra is interested in more than it does Green Day’s.

Although they share similar political views and concerns, the members of Green Day and Jello Biafra have very different perspectives. Jello wants to talk with the guys about the evils of major labels, and Green Day are kind of ho-hum about it all. Billie Joe says: “I wanted to live off of what I was fucking doing, and that’s as honest as I can be. I don’t have a diploma, I know how to play music.”

But if Jello comes off as maybe a little whiny, it’s because he really did pave the way for later bands. He says as much, jokingly, in the interview: “You younguns have no idea what we were up against to create a punk scene for you to walk into!” And Billie Joe replies, laughing: “You jaded old bastard!” But when the Dead Kennedys became popular in the early 80s, punk rock really did seem dangerous and threatening to many in the mainstream. Jello was even criminally charged for “distributing harmful matter.”

The interview is so long that there’s a lot of great stuff, like Billie Joe talking about the hospital patients he sang for when he was little, Green Day’s first gig with Crimpshrine and Sewer Trout, the benefit they played for Food Not Bombs, which raised 30 grand, Billie Joe going to Gilman in disguise, and the heavy metal band called Bloodrage that Billie played in when he was 14. Biafra: “Did any of the lyrics make it into Green Day songs?” Billie: “Oh yeah, like fiery graves and bloody bones…”


Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9, Page 10, Page 11,
Page 12, Page 13, Page 14, Page 15.

The magazine is a weird format that didn’t fit on the scanner, so it’s scanned in slightly odd sections.

October 29, 2009 at 12:42 am [ Category: Interviews, Magazine scans, History ]

Green Day on Absolute Radio and Kerrang
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~GDA posted Green Day’s interview with Absolute Radio. has scans of Kerrang and links to more concert reviews.

October 29, 2009 at 12:11 am [ Category: Concerts, Interviews, News Sidebar ]

MTV Interviews Green Day in 1994
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 2 ]

These are a couple of video interviews form 1994. They’ve been around, so you may have seen them. Both are from MTV’s “120 Minutes” show. The first one is from March of 1994, only a month after Dookie was released, and months before it had exploded as a major hit album. Billie Joe was still living at the house where the “Longview” video was filmed. They talk about the house, the current tour, and about the famous time when they played in a house with no roof and no electricity, which was the night they were asked to record with Lookout Records. Billie Joe, on the difference between their old and new fans: “There’s a lot more meatheads that show up now.”

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The second one is from June of 1994, and the guys already look like their more familiar, to us, goofy selves. I had to include a screencap, below, of Billie Joe picking his nose for the camera. The man is a poet and a musical genius, but these are the things that crack me up… Download a better quality version of the video here (from GDC).
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

It’s too big to post on YouTube, but if you haven’t seen it, or haven’t watched it lately, “Ultimate Albums: Dookie”, which aired on VH1, is pretty great. The fast cuts and neat-o editing (yeah, I’m using a term from my youth, shut up!) are a bit annoying, but there’s commentary from all sorts of people, including Rob Cavallo, Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, Bob Mould of Husker Du, Elvis Costello, Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion and Epitaph Records, and many others. And there are comments from the members of Green Day, of course, and they’re being pretty serious here. Here’s a download link from GDC, where all of these videos originally came from.

October 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm [ Category: Videos, Interviews, History ]

Billie Joe Talks about Songwriting
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~Annie K unearthed a great interview with Billie Joe from 2000, in which he talks in depth about his songwriting process. Definitely worth a read.

October 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm [ Category: Interviews, News Sidebar ]

Interview Outtakes with Billie Joe
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~The SFBG posted more from an interview they did with Billie Joe in August on the American Idiot musical. Related video interview on MTV.

September 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm [ Category: Interviews, News Sidebar, Musical ]

Billie Joe Interviewed in Maxim
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~Billie Joe did an interview with Maxim magazine. Read it at GDA.

August 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm [ Category: Interviews, News Sidebar ]

Rolling Stone Interviews Green Day in Philly
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~Rolling Stone interviewed Green Day in Philly. Photos. Scans [1,2,3] from

August 12, 2009 at 2:43 am [ Category: Concerts, Articles, Interviews, News Sidebar ]

Tre Cool Interview
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~Really good new interview with Tre Cool: “The music has matured, but we are the same goofy little bastards that we’ve always been.”

July 31, 2009 at 2:17 am [ Category: Interviews, News Sidebar ]

Interview With Mike Dirnt
Posted by Delfina [ Comments: 0 ]

~Allgigs has an interview with Mike Dirnt: “Butch let us be emotional, vulnerable and dangerous and prompted us not to be afraid of anything.”

July 26, 2009 at 6:39 am [ Category: Interviews, News Sidebar ]

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