Green Day Go Power-Pop On Uno!, Dos!, Tre! Trilogy

'The last record got so serious. We wanted to make things more fun,' Billie Joe Armstrong tells Rolling Stone.

As if the prevalence of phrases like “It’s F— Time!” (or the fact that it’s three separate albums ) weren’t already evidence enough, Green Day are letting it be known that their upcoming ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! trilogy is going to be a departure from their recent work.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong says that Green Day are moving away from the massive sound (and scope) they explored on American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown in favor of leaner, meaner rock.

“The last two records were studio albums. This one, we started rehearsing every day, constructing these songs together,” Armstrong told RS‘s David Fricke. “It felt like we were all in a room jamming … everyone in the mix, throwing out ideas. If you listen to it, it feels grand. But it also feels like a garage band.”

And while the upcoming trilogy, produced by Rob Cavallo (the first installment, ¡Uno!, is due September 25 ), may signal a return to the raw, don’t expect Green Day to rehash the scruffy punk of their earlier albums. Instead, Armstrong said the band is focused on honing their sound.

“My son asked me, ‘Dad, would you ever go back to playing songs like from Dookie or Kerplunk?’ I love those records. I love the punk stuff I grew up on. But there are so many bands who make the mistake, ‘We’re going back, old-school.’ Well … you already did it,” he said. “So we’re changing the guitar sound. We’re not going with the big Marshall-amp thing. We wanted something punchier, more power-pop. Somewhere between AC/DC and the early Beatles.”

And yes, Green Day are aware their new albums warrant comparison to some previous over-the-top efforts (the Clash’s triple-LP Sandinista!, Kiss’ four solo albums), but that’s not stopping them for going for greatness with ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and —Tré!

“The songs just kept coming, kept coming. I’d go, ‘Maybe a double album? No, that’s too much nowadays.’ … And one day, I sprung it on the others: ‘Instead of Van Halen I, II and III, what if it’s Green Day I, II and III, and we all have our faces on each cover?’ ” Armstrong said. “The last record got so serious. We wanted to make things more fun.”