Billie Joe Armstrong Quotes

For over twenty years, Green Day has been releasing albums loaded with some of the best modern rock songs to date and giving interviews in which some of the best Billie Joe Armstrong quotes have been recorded. From the band’s breakout album “Dookie” to the rock opera “21st Century Breakdown,” Billie Joe Armstrong has shown mature growth in his songwriting. His social commentary and political stances have transformed him from immature slacker to respected punk rock elder statesman. The following are some of the best quotes by the trio’s frontman.

  1. “Punk is not just the sound, the music.” Billie Joe Armstrong was once asked what he thought of people saying he was no longer “punk” and he had “sold out.” He responded with “Punk is a lifestyle. There are a lot of bands around who claim to be punk and they only play the music. They have no clue what it's all about. It's a lifestyle I chose for myself. It's not about popularity and all that crap.”

  2. “I didn’t know I was writing a musical when we were doing it.” Green Day’s 2004 rock opera “American Idiot” was turned into a Broadway musical in 2009. Billie Joe talks about what influenced that album: “I always liked records they could make a film out of, like (the Who’s) 'Quadrophenia.' Theatrical records. I loved 'Ziggy Stardust.' They were some of the influences when we were writing 'American Idiot' and I did listen to a little bit from 'West Side Story' and 'Hair' and stuff like that, just to think outside of the box.”

  3. “My range of favorite songwriters goes anywhere from the Sex Pistols all the way to Lennon and McCartney.” As Green Day matured, so did their songwriting and Billie Joe was constantly asked to answer to claims that his band no longer fits the punk rock mold. His answers never wavered in terms of punk rock not just being about the music. “That's what Green Day is—there are no rules.”

  4. “Our country, and the world for that matter, is in the worst shape I’ve ever seen it.” “21st Century Breakdown” was Green Day’s follow up to “American Idiot” and it did not disappoint. The material is a scathing commentary on the state of the world and America’s place in it. “There’s this sense of hope that people have. And there’s a lot of confusion. It’s the strangest time. And that’s kind of what '21st Century Breakdown' is about.”

  5. “It's about trying to mentally keep yourself in a place where you're never resting on your laurels.” Billie Joe was once asked why he seems to never age. His response was not normally what you would expect from a singer in a punk rock band. “That's the fountain of youth. It has nothing to do with the wrinkles on your face, how fat you get or if you get gray hair. It's your zest for life.”

  6. “I wrote a song called ‘Green Day’ because I was smoking a lot of dope.” Every band gets asked the inevitable question, “Where did you get your name?” Billie Joe doesn’t mind telling the story. “Our drummer put Green Day on his jacket and said, ‘Maybe we should call the band that.’ And I said, ‘That's a good idea.’ We used to be called Sweet Children.”

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