Though Billie Joe Armstrong had the time of his life headlining the When We Were Young Festival, the Green Day frontman still thought the emo revival was still 2000 light years away.
“Emo was dead — then just five years later, we’re having emo club nights,” Armstrong, 51, told The Guardian in an interview published on Wednesday, December 27. “Like, aren’t you supposed to wait another five years for this? My Chemical Romance just broke up!”
My Chemical Romance, arguably the one band most music fans think of when it comes to emo, announced in March 2013 that they were taking a break. The band reunited in secret four years later and was set to embark on a reunion tour in 2020 before COVID-19 pushed it back to 2022. MCR is scheduled to headline When We Were Young in 2024, where they’ll perform their 2006 album, The Black Parade, in full.
Armstrong thinks that streaming services and “the way things go viral now” have fueled the emo revival for millennials and Gen-Z fans. “There’s this band, the Walters, that broke up four years ago and suddenly they have this song that’s everywhere,” Armstrong told The Guardian. “Same thing with Deftones — all of a sudden their music is showing up on all these TikTok videos. There’s this new algorithmic way of discovering new stuff. It’s really prevalent in rock music and it shows how people are paying less attention to the radio [and other traditional platforms].”
The coming year is a big one for Green Day. The band will release their new album, Saviors, on January 19. Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool will later embark on a massive tour with The Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid and The Linda Lindas.
The band first revealed their upcoming tour in October at a secret show in Las Vegas commemorating the upcoming 30th anniversary of Dookie, Green Day’s breakthrough album. Armstrong said that Dookie was recorded in the summer of 1993 and set for a February 1994 release, joking, “So in October of 1993, we were just scared s–tless.”
In addition to celebrating Dookie turning 30, Green Day’s The Saviors Tour will commemorate the 20th anniversary of American Idiot, the album that endured them to emo fans.
“I think a lot of my lyrics come from feeling lost,” Armstrong told The Guardian. “It could be feeling lost like you literally don’t know where you are — the GPS is wrong in your car or something like that — or [being into] conspiracy theories and feeling like you’re trying to find the truth in something but it’s missing. It’s about trying to find the truth, but it has to come from the heart in the same way that a love song does.”