Back in the day, [artist id="988"]Green Day[/artist] were pretty avid gamers. They even had a Sega Genesis on their old Book Mobile tour bus, though don’t try to ask them what they used it for — they don’t really remember.
“I think we played, like, ‘[Mike Tyson's] Punch Out’ or ‘Football’ maybe?” drummer Tre Cool laughed. “I think it was like ‘Madden One’ or ‘Madden Two’ or something … you know, state of the art. This was before the megapixel. It was just pixels.”
OK, so maybe they weren’t the hugest gamers in the world. Still, they did play, which, when coupled with their current role as perhaps one of the five biggest rock acts in the world, made their decision to join forces with the “Rock Band” franchise a (relative) no-brainer, even for a band whose punk roots run deep.
“We got approached by ‘Rock Band,’ and they showed us the one they did for the Beatles, and we really liked that. It made me go back and listen to my old Beatles records, you know?” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said. “So it’s kind of archival, it’s kind of a history lesson, it goes beyond just playing a game. … And it’s proven that games like that can get kids involved in music. … I know my kids played it and they know songs I never thought they would ever [hear]. I’d be like, ‘Wow, where did you hear that?’ ‘Oh, “Rock Band.”‘ ”
So, on Tuesday (July 7), Armstrong and Co. released a trio of tunes from their 21st Century Breakdown through the “Rock Band” music store. The songs — “Know Your Enemy,” “21 Guns” and “East Jesus Nowhere” — are the first made available thanks to a partnership between MTV Games’ Harmonix and the band. And now that they’ve teamed up with “Rock Band,” it appears the sky’s the limit.
“I think it would be interesting to have, like, a laser gun in ‘Rock Band,’ so you can shoot some aliens at the same time as rocking out,” Armstrong laughed. “Or it would be like a cross between ‘Border Patrol’ and ‘Rock Band.’ ”
We’re not sure if that project will ever see the light of day, so we asked the guys if they had any other “Rock Band” ideas. Like, maybe who they’d like to see in an upcoming installment of the game. There were some pretty big names tossed around — the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Ramones, to name just a few — but it was the following exchange, between Cool and Armstrong, that really got us excited.
“I would like to see them make something with an accordion,” Cool said.
“A ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic game!” Armstrong added. “You know, ‘Polka Band.’ ”
We’ll get Harmonix on that right away, guys.