Green Day Promise Hits, Not Politics, On Idiot Tour

New Found Glory, Sugarcult to open pop punks' arena tour.

Green Day have recorded a collection of holiday songs, although the chances of anyone actually hearing them are slim.

“[We found] a CD of all these Christmas standards that was music only,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said recently. “And Mike [Dirnt] and Tre [Cool] came in and wrote new lyrics to all of them, some of which are inappropriate to say.”

“Most of them,” bassist Dirnt clarified.

“Yeah, most of them,” Armstrong agreed.

The inappropriate holiday songs were a direct result of the band’s philosophy while recording the hit concept album American Idiot (see “Why Idiot Was The Smart Move For Green Day” ).

“The main idea was just to keep on moving and if anything was getting too old or stale, move on to something else,” Armstrong said. “Tre, get the accordion — you know, do a polka, that sort of thing.”

It’s widely believed those sessions also yielded a new-wave album released last fall under the alias the Network (see “Did Green Day Secretly Release A New Album Tuesday? Only The Snoo Knows” ), although Green Day have never confirmed it.

What has not been disputed, however, is that the philosophy had a profound effect on American Idiot, which recently gave Green Day their first #1 debut on Billboard‘s albums chart (see “Green Day’s Idiot Goes To The Head Of The Billboard Class” ).

The record has garnered rave reviews and at least one hit single (“American Idiot” follow-up “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is also faring well so far), and that’s with only a handful of supporting shows (see “Total Idiot : Green Day Perform Their Punk Opera In Hollywood” ). A full-scale tour kicks off Tuesday (October 19) in Fort Worth, Texas, with New Found Glory and Sugarcult (see “Green Day, New Found Glory Line Up Fall Tour” ).

“This whole record was written from a live perspective,” Dirnt said. “If you’re not singing in the crowd, then you should be playing air guitar or air drums or something. It’s just got that feeling all throughout the record, that type of energy.”

For their shows last month, Green Day played American Idiot from beginning to end and then encored with past hits, but this outing will be a more standard affair. “We’re doing most of our catalog,” Armstrong said. “We’ll see how it goes. I mean, if we get a wild hair, we could just play American Idiot some nights or we could just play covers.”

One thing not to expect is a lot ranting against George W. Bush, something Armstrong has done a lot of lately in interviews and even indirectly on American Idiot.

“We like to stick it in our music [rather than in between-song banter],” the singer said. “We don’t really have an agenda or anything like that, so we really want our live shows to be about having a good time. That’s the most important thing. And if people get something out of it, it’s just the same as getting something out of the records on their own. It’s a personal thing.”

“We’re leaving it up to you, the fans, to stick it to the man!” drummer Cool added with a smirk.

Green Day tour dates, according to Warner Bros. Records:

  • 10/19 – Fort Worth, TX @ Convention Center
  • 10/20 – Houston, TX @ Reliant Arena at Reliant Park
  • 10/22 – Duluth, GA @ Arena at Gwinnett Center
  • 10/23 – Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
  • 10/24 – Louisville, KY @ Louisville Gardens
  • 10/26 – Hershey, PA @ Giant Center
  • 10/28 – Worcester, MA @ DCU Center
  • 10/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Liacouras Center
  • 10/30 – East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena
  • 10/31 – Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center
  • 11/2 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
  • 11/4 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
  • 11/5 – Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena
  • 11/6 – Detroit, MI @ Cobo Arena
  • 11/8 – Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion
  • 11/9 – Milwaukee, WI @ U.S. Cellular Arena
  • 11/10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
  • 11/12 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
  • 11/13 – West Valley City, UT @ E Center
  • 11/16 – Everett, WA @ Everett Events Center
  • 11/17 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE / Pacific Coliseum
  • 11/18 – Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
  • 11/20 – Bakersfield, CA @ Centennial Garden
  • 11/21 – San Diego, CA @ Cox Arena
  • 11/23 – Long Beach, CA @ Long Beach Arena
  • 11/24 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

For more on Green Day and American Idiot, check out the feature “Anatomy of a Punk Opera.”