And Finally

Green Day bassist discusses Armstrong burnout

By | Published on Wednesday 10 October 2012

Green Day

Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt has been discussing frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s supposed meltdown at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last month.

As previously reported, when the band had their set cut short and were informed they only had one minute of stage time left, Armstrong ranted: “You’re kidding me, you’re fucking kidding me. What the fuck? I’m not fucking Justin Bieber you motherfuckers. You gotta be fucking joking. This is a fucking joke. I’ve got one minute, one minute left. Oh, now I’ve got nothing left. Let me show you what one fucking minute fucking means”.

He then smashed up his guitar and threw the remains into the audience.

Recognising that iHeartRadio owner Clear Channel – the biggest radio firm in the US – was not a company they could afford to piss off, the band issued an apology the next day and informed fans that Armstrong was receiving treatment for substance abuse.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Radio 1 about the whole thing this week, Dirnt said that recording a trilogy of albums and then heading straight out to promote them was perhaps not such a great idea. He said: “With hindsight 20/20 it was a tremendous undertaking. Although we were having fun we didn’t take our nose out of the book for a long time. I think it catches up with you a little bit. We definitely just jumped off a moving train”.

He continued: “There were signs of things hitting the fan. We hadn’t slept in forever and Billie had definitely had the worst of it. He’d been going through his own struggles. We were there with him but you can only handle things on your own. At the end of the day when we got off the road the most important thing was my friend’s life”.

He added that with promotional activities and live performances cancelled for the time being, the band have also had a break from each other, saying: “I’m sure Billie’s had it really rough. There’s been very little contact between us [since the iHeartRadio festival], so I guess I’m just generalising, but it’s a pretty heavy-duty process. This is probably the longest time we haven’t seen each other – I haven’t seen Billie in weeks. It’s an awkward position to be in, but we’re going to pander this out. We’ll get there”.