From the minute Green Day started talking about their ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre! trilogy, they seemingly wanted to make one point clear: These albums were going to be nothing like American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown.
“The last two albums … sort of bookend each other, and it’s the end of that era,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told MTV News last month. “I think with writing these three albums … we just started writing songs, just getting back to basics.”
And while that may be true about ¡ Uno!’s pro-party first single, “Oh Love,” even the guys in Green Day will admit that the new album has some similarities to American Idiot … mostly in the form of “Kill the DJ,” a spiky slab of dance punk that, title aside, echoes many of the sentiments contained on that politically charged record.
“It’s more [about] the static that’s in the air … it’s kind of a subject matter that’s always been a part of our songs; it’s very similar to American Idiot in subject matter,” Armstrong said. “Because you’re just getting all this false information coming from all directions. And then there’s sort of a decadent, party atmosphere that goes along with it, so there’s that kind of static and noise that goes on. So it’s sort of like walking through the noise, high as hell.”
Then again, there are plenty of other moments on the trilogy that are about as far removed from Idiot or Breakdown as you can get. Take, for example, ¡Dos!’s explorations of hip-hop, which not only prove that Green Day are trying to move on from their political past, but that they’re willing to try anything once.
“There’s this band called Mystic Knights of the Cobra, and they come from the same small town we do, around Crockett, California,” Armstrong said. “[They have a singer] named Monica Painter, aka Lady Cobra … and she’s a good rapper, so we ended up collaborating with her. She’s this punk girl, she’s in his wild band that does anything from punk rock to hip-hop, so we collaborated with her and it ended up being great … this is the first collaboration in a long time. I’m not rapping, though. She’s rapping. I’m the hype man.”