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Green Day - Biography
|last update : 27-05-2011 18:37|
|Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt are the actual founders of the band Sweet Children, which we know today as Green Day. When they were ten years old (1982), the duo met in the cafeteria of John Sweet High School in Crockett, California. During sleepovers at each other's houses, they played songs by old heavy metal warhorses such as Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, and Van Halen. Other influences would be the "thrash and drang" of the Bay Area's alternative music culture percolating throughout the eighties. Clubs such as Mabuhay Gardens and Berkeley's 924 Gilman Street regularly showcased local groups like the Dead Kennedys and Buck Naked. Billie Joe was 14 when he wrote his first song, "Why Do You Want Him?", a song about his mother and stepfather. In 1987, Billie Joe and Mike recruited drummer John Kriftmeyer (aka Al Sobrante) and formed the band Sweet Children. They played their first official gig at Rod's Hickory Pit in Vallejo, CA. Soon, they started playing at clubs on the infamous Gilman Street in Berkeley, CA.
Through 2005, the band toured in support of the album with nearly 150 dates—the longest tour in its career—visiting Japan, Australia, South America and the United Kingdom.
The final shows of its 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17 respectively. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.
As Green Day, they recorded their first EP, 1,000 Hours, in two days when they were 17 and seniors in high school. Soon, Mike graduated, however Billie Joe dropped out one day prior to his 18th birthday. They followed up the 1,000 Hours EP with numberous pressings of the "Sweet Children" EP, and also the "Slappy" EP. Their official debut album came in 1990, a combination of all the previous EP, and named "1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours". The album was released by local indie label Lookout! Records. Soon after, John Kriftmeyer decided to leave the band to presue college, so Billie and Mike recruited Gilman Street vetran, Tre Cool. Tre had been playing in the band, The Lookouts!, since he was 12. Members of The Lookouts include Lawrence Livermore, the owner of Lookout! Records. In 1991, Tre debuted on Green Day's second album, "Kerpunk!".
Green Day built its following the old-fashioned way -- they earned it. Before they even hooked up with a major label, the band had already completed five national tours, driving their renovated bookmobile (with Tre's father at the wheel) coast to coast and crashing on friends' and fan's floors. After capturing the attention of producer Rob Cavallo of Reprise Records. Faced with a hard choice, the guys decided to sign onto a major label in April 1993, and soon started recorded the album that would through them into stardom, 1994's "Dookie".
Pandemonium struck when their Reprise debut, "Dookie", was released and Green Day introduced an ever-expanding audience to the energy and insanity of punk rock. With the 14 loud'n'fast tunes of "Dookie" clocking in at only 39 minutes, 1993 suddenly sounded more like 1977. Soon, Green Day's songs about picking scabs, pyromania and masturbation had become unofficial national anthems. Green Day was singing about its own distinct form of malcontent, but it seemed there was a world of followers who felt their pain and wanted to laugh --and mosh -- along with it. Immaturity was cool again. "Dookie" went on to sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone, and Green Day won a Grammy in 1994 for "Best Alternative Music Performance." Of course, this led some of the gang back on Gilman Street to cry "sell-out" and "mainstream," but one listen to Green Day and you'd know this wasn't some watered- down white-bread punk designed to impress your parents.
On their next few albums, "Insomniac" and "Nimrod", Green Day has managed to stay true to the punk attitude while proving they're not just one-trick ponies or even three-chord monkeys. On Nimrod, note the surf-style instrumental, "Last Ride In" and the string section of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", which was featured prominently on an episode of ER and the final installment of Seinfield. By this time, the members were starting families, and it was becoming apparent that they were maturing as individuals and as a band. They wanted to take some time off to be with their families and enjoy life. So after the success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", Green Day took a two year break.
In 2000, Green Day hit the music scene once again with their album "Warning". The album is a different sound for the band, a more mellow punk if you will. Unfortunatly, the album wasn't very well accepted by critics and fans alike. The biggest hit from the album was the song "Minority".
So after another four years with a few tours and a couple of compliation albums (International Superhits! in 2001 and Shenanigans in 2002), but no new material from Green Day, fans were hit with the September 2004 released of "American Idiot", an album which lashes out against the American government and the media.
On August 1, 2005, Green Day announced that it had rescinded the master rights to its pre-Dookie material from Lookout! The pre-Dookie material, which remained out of print for about a year, was reissued by the band's current label, Reprise, on January 9, 2007.
In 2006, Green Day won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"which spent 16 weeks at the number one position of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks, a record it shared along with Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Scar Tissue" and Staind's "It's Been Awhile", (the record has been since been beaten by the Foo Fighters' 2007 song "The Pretender" which was at number one for 18 weeks).
Green Day engaged in a number of other smaller projects in the time following the success of American Idiot. They released an album under the band name Foxboro Hot Tubs entitled Stop Drop and Roll!!!. In 2008, the Foxboro Hot Tubs went on a mini-tour to promote the record, hitting tiny Bay Area venues including the Stork Club in Oakland and Toot's Tavern in Crockett, CA.
Green Day performing during a secret show at the Kesselhaus in Berlin on May 7, 2009. The band had been working on new material since January 2006. By October 2007, Armstrong had 45 songs written, but the band showed no further signs of progress until October 2008, when two videos showing the band recorded in the studio with producer Butch Vig were posted on YouTube.The writing and recording process, spanning three years and four recording studios, was finally finished in April 2009.
21st Century Breakdown, was released on May 15, 2009. The band started playing shows in California in April and early May. It was their first live show in about three years. Green Day went on a world tour that started in North America in July 2009 and continuing around the world throughout the rest of 2009 and early 2010. Wal-Mart refused to carry the album as it contains a Parental Advisory sticker and requested that Green Day release a censored edition.
In 2009, the band met with award-winning director Michael Mayer and many cast and crew members of the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening to create a stage version of the album American Idiot. American Idiot: The Musical opened in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre during the end of 2009. The show features an expanded story of the original album, with new characters such as Will, Extraordinary Girl, and Favorite Son.
American Idiot: The Musical on Broadway and the ninth studio album: 2010–presentOn April 20, 2010, American Idiot: The Musical opened on Broadway, and Green Day released the soundtrack to the musical, featuring a new song by Green Day entitled "When It's Time".
Green Day plan on having a follow-up album within the next couple of years, but no specific dates have been stated.
The live CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray entitled Awesome as Fuck was released on March 22, 2011.
On April 13th, 2011, a film version of American Idiot was confirmed. Michael Mayer, director of the Broadway musical, will be directing the film. It will be produced by Green Day, Pat Magnarella (Green Day's manager who also produced Bullet in a Bible, Awesome As Fuck, and Heart Like a Hand Grenade), Playtone (Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman) and Tom Hulce.