Green Day’s new single Bang Bang takes aim at America’s obsession with fame and guns

Time away has not dimmed the political fire in Californian pop punk veterans Green Day, who have released the first single from an upcoming album, aimed directly at America’s mix of celebrity and gun culture.

In Bang Bang, singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong pokes fun at instant notoriety (“Give me fame, shoot me up to entertain … I wanna be a celebrity martyr/The leading man in my own private drama), gullible news consumers (“I got my photo bomb, I got my Vietnam/I love a lie just like anybody else”) and the home-based warriors for attention or infamy (“Broadcasting from my room and playing with my toys”).

After a four year wait, Green Day release their new single Bang Bang, controversially written from the perspective of a mass shooter.

What gives the song extra poignancy is that it is sung from the perspective of a mass shooter.

The single precedes the October 7 release of Revolution Radio, whose title was inspired by what Armstrong described in a Rolling Stone interview as people willing to “rebel against the old order”. The album will also feature songs about drugs, death and returned soldiers.

While they may have begun as snotty oiks intent on some serious misbehaviour, Green Day developed a reputation for commentary that peaked with the album (and subsequent Broadway musical) American Idiot, which was inspired by the base stupidity of the George W. Bush years.

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On their triple album release of 2012 – iUno! iDos!, iTre! – were tracks that continued their examination of American culture, and sub-cultures, though the impact was dissipated by Armstrong’s return to rehab which ended thoughts of major touring.

The potential for a Trump presidency may become a subtext to the new songs, which were written before his ascension to the Republican nomination but which have the potential to be less metaphor and more literal in depicting the “chaos” captured on Revolution Radio.

Although there have not been any Green Day albums since 2012, Armstrong has been busy with other projects including an unlikely country/pop album with Norah Jones, while illness has affected several members of the band’s wider circle. Consequently there have been no gigs either.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald