Green Day interview

For the most part I don’t regard album sales as
determining the ‘goodness’ of a musical artist
because more often than not most people buy
straight up crappy teenie bopper bubble gum
commercial nonsense and are unaware of a lot
For the most part I don’t regard album sales as
band Simple Plan has sold more albums than
determining the ‘goodness’ of a musical artist
The Ramones, Misfits, Black Flag, Fugazi, The
because more often than not most people buy
Bouncing Souls, and Minor Threat combined.
straight up crappy teenie bopper bubble gum
Does that mean Simple Plan is a better band
than any of the others listed? Absolutely not. The
than any of the others listed? Absolutely not. The
point though is that in regards to this interview
with Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt (who also
played with Screeching Weasel for a bit)the
album sales of Green Day is relevant to the
interview to gain a full perspective

My radio. Or my parents’ car radio.

What got you into punk rock initially?

skateboarding. It was just like the kids who I wanted to hang out with were the kids with the cool
skateboards and I dont know, I was into metal but then all of a sudden it seemed metal got really
glamorous and it lost that’s feeling for me.

What led to Green Day’s decision to jump to a major label?
I think it was really after we drew a thousand people at a City Gardens show playing with Seaweed and
only like 20 of them had our tape. I’m not about compromising our music, my intention is to play music.
But my thing is like ok we’ve already outgrown the punk scene so instead of sticking in it and destroying
it, we’ll just remove ourselves from it and keep doing what we do and let them keep doing their thing.

Response to the “you sold out” backlash?

I have never once seen MTV in a punk club and there are still real punk rock shows going on every day.
All it did was wean out the people who had other interests of who had actually gotten out of the punk
scene. It’s like, we were never embraced entirely by the punk rock community anyway. We sang love
songs and what have you but honestly we did the punk scene a favor by seperating ourselves. Sure
there were other interests, but you know, nobody is gonna destroy the scene by writing an article about it.
I liked good rock and roll, it didnt have to be punk rock . I loved the punk rock scene because it was so

Were you hesitant about signing to a major?

Well this was our deal. We said we’ll send em a tape and if they want, you know..I would never suggest
to anybody else to do it. But we had already established a musical direction with like 60,000 fans and
musical definition for ourselves and what we wanted to sound like and what we did sound like. All we
knew were we were a good band. We didnt know how many records we were going to sell but it was
either that or we’d break up. We toured Europe extensively and couldn’t get our records to anybody. We
played three shows in Poland and nobody had our record. It was really about the distribution. We werent
going to go to another independent label because we were on the best one on the planet. A real
independent label, not an independent label that can sell several million records. I love Epitaph and I
have no problem with anyone that puts out punk rock records. But they’re the most major independent
you’re gonna get. Despite being an independent label it’s still a corporation. Whereas a record label like
Lookout! is entirely organic. Nothing against Epitaph they distribute our records in Europe

Do you miss playing for smaller crowds?

It’s probably harder to play in front of like 20 kids because everyone and their staring opinions is gonna
be more difficult .

What have you been listening to lately?

D Generation, Mr T Experience, Screeching Weasel

What was your first experience with drugs?

My mom was a heroin addict. I smoked my first joint with one of my mom’s friends.

If you weren’t in Green Day right now on a major label, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be starting my comedy carreer and still playing music. Probably like small punk jazz bands.