Last Sunday, the punk band Green Day used their musical podium to share their political views (yet again). This time, the band was in the midst of an AMA performance when they decided to take on President-elect Donald Trump. Not surprisingly, Billie Joe Armstrong and the rest of the Green Day crew don’t seem to have a very favorable opinion of the former reality TV star turned upstart politician.
While performing their new track “Bang Bang,” the guys in Green Day burst into a simultaneous anti-Trump chant that Billie Joe swears was unplanned.
“No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”
According to Armstrong, he and the rest of Green Day “borrowed” the chant from another punk band, M.D.C. of Austin fame. However, as Rolling Stone reports, the band “didn’t rehearse it,” it just kind of flowed naturally and organically during Green Day’s AMA performance. And, as Billie Joe says, it was a good place for the band to call out Trump, or at least begin the process of calling out the new president-elect.
“We didn’t rehearse it, We’re just as much in shock as everybody else is about this. But I think with the AMAs [performance], it was a good start to challenge [Trump] on all of his ignorant policies and his racism.”
Billie Joe and the rest of Green Day discussed the AMA performance in a conversation on The Late Late Show With James Corden on Tuesday night, and they were anything but apologetic for using their AMA musical performance as a political pulpit to trash Trump. Rather, Green Day gave a moment of thanks to M.D.C. for their inspiring words, which were altered only slightly during the Green Day AMA performance.
“It was actually done by a band called M.D.C. that are from Texas but moved to San Francisco years ago.”
The original anti-Trump chant yelled by Green Day at the AMAs was not about Trump when it was coined in 1982; it was about war. In its original version, it was “No war, no KKK, no fascist USA.” That being said, Green Day seems to think that it fits today’s political situation in the United States as well as it fit in the early 1980s, and M.D.C. singer Dave Dictor apparently agrees.
After Green Day said their piece, using M.D.C.’s words, during their AMA performance, Dictor spoke out in favor of the way the message was conveyed.
“I just totally applaud it. It’s something that needs to be said, and they obviously have the platform to get that thought out there far and wide. Good on them.”
Anyone who knows anything about Green Day can’t be too surprised about their politically motivated AMA performance. After all, the song the band was singing as they broke into the unrehearsed anti-Trump chant, “Bang Bang,” is politically motivated in and of itself. As Rolling Stone reports, the new Green Day hit is the band’s take on the epidemic of gun violence that has increasingly held America hostage in recent years.
“Bang, bang, give me fame.
Shoot me up to entertain.”
Green Day describes the song as being from the point of view of inside a mass shooter’s head, and even Billie Joe Armstrong admits that getting that close to the subconscious mind of a twisted “shooter” was disturbing, even for him as one of the artists behind the song.
“To get into the brain of someone like that was freaky. It freaked me out. After I wrote it, all I wanted to do was get that out of my brain because it just freaked me out.”
Throughout the band’s history, and for decades before their Sunday AMA performance, Green Day has forayed into the political. Last time America had a Republican POTUS in the White House (ironically, a Republican POTUS who lost the popular vote, like Trump), they blasted him with “American Idiot.” That President was George W. Bush, and Green Day, as MTV News reports, found “American Idiot” to be both political and personal.
“I think, politically, ‘American Idiot.’ when we were writing it, it was trying to make sense out of a big mess. You’re trying to find something to believe in, but it’s difficult when you’re getting bombarded with useless information.”
While Green Day originally dedicated “American Idiot” to George W. Bush and his foreign policies, the American punk band actually re-dedicated the song to Donald Trump at the EMAs prior to the November 8 general election, and well before their AMA performance where they chanted their anti-Trump message on stage. At the EMAs, as Green Day accepted their Global Icon Award, Billie Joe had some words to share about the travesty of the upcoming American election.
“Most of all, it’s nice to be out of America just for a second, because of this horrendous election that’s going on right now. Our entire country is about to have one big, collective heart attack.”
Green Day then inserted Donald Trump’s name into “American Idiot.”
So far, neither Donald Trump nor his campaign have spoken out about the shade thrown by the Green Day AMA performance last Sunday; social media, however, has taken sides in the controversy.
[Featured Image by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP Images]