It was probably the worst-kept secret in rock history, but it's a secret no more: Green Day have confirmed that they are, in fact, the Foxboro Hot Tubs.
They made the announcement in an e-mail to MTV News late Wednesday night, ending months of speculation that the Hot Tubs — a secretive East Bay garage act that appeared out of nowhere late last year and sounded an awful lot like Green Day — were actually Billie Joe Armstrong and company playing some sort of elaborate prank on their fans. It's the same kind of stunt they pulled back in 2003, when they released an album as the masked synth-rock outfit the Network.
"We think that the only similarity [between the Hot Tubs and Green Day] is that we are the same band. That is basically the only similarity," the Hot Tubs, er, Green Day, wrote in the e-mail. "We are Jason White, Jason Freese, Michael Pritchard, Frank Edwin Wright the Third and the Reverend Strychnine Twitch. ... We are four guys who love to play music and be spontaneous, [and] after a few late night jams and a few too many bottles of wine, we were inspired to record some rockin' eight-track recordings."
For those who didn't know, Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt's real name is Michael Pritchard, and drummer Tre Cool was born Frank Edwin Wright III. We're just going to assume that "Strychnine Twitch" is the alter ego Armstrong has adopted for the Hot Tubs project (it's also a lyric in Foxboro's tune "Stop Drop and Roll"). Freese and White have both played on Green Day's recent albums, and White is also a member of Armstrong's side project, Pinhead Gunpowder.
In the e-mail, Green Day didn't make mention of anything they were working on (like, you know, the follow-up to one of the most successful rock albums in recent history), but they did spill the beans on a bunch of Hot Tubs details, such as where they got their name ("The Foxboro Hot Tubs were a place we used to sneak booze and chicks into late at night. But most of the time it was just 'dude soup' "). It also discusses their debut disc, Stop Drop and Roll!!!, which fans got a sneak preview of when the Hot Tubs made it available for free download on their official site in December.
"The record goes up for sale any day," they wrote. "We hope people have a chance to pick up the soon to be released vinyl. If you want to buy it, buy it. If you already have it, buy it anyway!"
You can't argue with that logic. And if you can't wait for "any day," you can download the first single from the album, "The Pedestrian," right now on the band's Web site, FoxboroHotTubsDownload.com. Whenever the vinyl version is released — on "Jingle Town Records," which astute Green Day fans will recognize as the suburban setting of most of American Idiot — the Hot Tubs want you to know that they plan on touring in support of it, and they're looking to line up a couple of pretty solid openers to fill out the bill.
"All things considered, either the Network or Green Day would make excellent openers for a FBHT tour," they wrote. "Anyone know how to book a tour?"