Billie Joe Armstrong Leads Anti-Trump Rant During Green Day ‘AMA’ Performance
Billie Joe Armstrong is getting vocal about his feelings for President-elect Donald Trump. At the 2016 American Music Awards, Armstrong led his band, Green Day, on an anti-Trump rant during their performance of the song “Bang Bang.” Us Weekly posted a video of the controversial performance, which had Billie Joe delivering a revamped version of the 2016 song with the blistering lyrics “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” You can see Armstrong and Green Day performing the song at the AMAs in the video at the end of this article.
This is not the first time Billie Joe Armstrong has changed Green Day’s lyrics in regards to the U.S. election. Earlier this month at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Armstrong changed the lyrics in the band’s song “American Idiot” to include the line “subliminal mind-Trump America.”
Billie Joe Armstrong has long made his feelings about a Trump presidency known. In an interview last summer with the rock magazine Kerrang, Armstrong compared the Republican candidate to Hitler. At the time, Billie Joe dismissed the thought of Trump as a future president, saying he “just can’t wait ’til he’s gone” and that the worst problem was actually the followers of the real estate mogul.
“I actually feel bad for them, because they’re poor, working-class people who can’t get a leg up,” Armstrong said. “They’re pissed off and he’s preyed on their anger.”
Armstrong added that the songs for Green Day’s latest album, Revolution Radio, were written way before the election was in high gear, but that the songs almost predicted what would happen.
“It’s interesting. These songs were written before this presidential election,” Billie Joe told Kerrang. “I use a lot of metaphor, and I blow things out, as any good punk rocker should. And it was interesting to see how songs like ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Say Goodbye’ went from metaphor to literal, and that’s the part that was tripping me out. It was almost, kind of like, predicting the future, in a way.”
Shortly after Trump’s win was announced, Billie Joe Armstrong told U.K.’s Radio X that he was stunned by the results of the election.
“I went to bed, and everybody kinda thought the correct side was gonna win,” Billie Joe told the U.K. radio station. “I fell asleep, and at 6 a.m. I woke up choking … I look at my phone and I had 50 messages and I was like, ‘Oh, this is not good,’ ’cause usually I get like four every day. All my friends and family, everybody was freaked out because they just elected a fascist into the White House for the first time in American history. It’s all sinking in right now.”
And after the election results were announced, Armstrong took to social media to post his thoughts on Trump’s win, writing that the country’s “social progress got punched in the face hard.” Billie Joe also made it clear that “racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobes have no place” at any Green Day event.
Of course, this is not the first time that Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day have gotten political. The band’s 2004 album, American Idiot, slammed the Bush administration, most notably with the title song and the popular track “Holiday.”
It’s no surprise that social media had a field day in response to Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day’s AMA performance of “Bang Bang.” While longtime fans were supportive, others questioned why the band would do such a thing at an awards show.
“I can’t believe Green Day would openly criticize Trump!” – People who don’t recall they made an entire anti-Bush album.
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) November 21, 2016
an anti president chant on live national television is such a billie joe armstrong thing for billie joe armstrong to do
— emo roadman (@abandonedjessi) November 21, 2016
Take a look at the video below to see Billie Joe Armstrong singing “Bang Bang” at the 2016 American Music Awards.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]