By Maria Sherman
Ahh, the dudes from Down Under. Michael, Calum, Luke, Ashton -- you know this pop punk boy band well. If it weren't for one very vital band, however, they might have ended up just another group of Aussies -- or, possibly, a barber shop quartet or something.
5 Seconds of Summer are undoubtedly GIANT '90s pop punk fans. Without bands like Mayday Parade, All Time Low and Boys Like Girls, the four Aussie heartthrobs might have never met and started making music together. And at the heart of all those American acts is Green Day, one of the first pop punk bands to acquire international success -- and the arguably the guys' favorite act. Without them, your fandom probably wouldn't exist. Crazy, right?
So, in honor of the iconic California band's impending induction Saturday (April 18), here are eight reasons 5 Seconds of Summer owe a lot to Green Day:
They Wouldn't Know How To Play Their Instruments
At least that’s the case for Ashton and Luke. The American Idiot single “Holiday” was the first tune Ashton learned how to play -- and the same goes for Luke. And, get this: They both learned the track on the drums! Somewhere along the line the singer annoyed his folks with the booming instrument and switched to guitar.
Ashton Initially Hated Blink-182
Green Day and Blink-182 are the two bands that bridged the gap between the punk and pop worlds and often act as a gateway band for the pop punk genre. Without Green Day, who knows if Ash would’ve ever started listening to this music!
“I didn’t like Blink. I thought they were messy live and I didn’t really like that. I was a Green Day guy because the first DVD I bought was Green Day’s Bullet In A Bible, the live album,” the drummer told SPIN. “That really empowered me to be not just a drummer but a performer. It’s a really crucial part of why I wanted to be in a band. I got into Blink in the past four years to be honest. I just didn’t really like his voice when I was younger. I liked Billie [Joe Armstrong] better because he seemed to be able to belt a tune out live as well. I really respected that.”
Calum Was Really Into R&B At First
In an interview with the New York Times, Calum admitted that it wasn’t until he heard Green Day that he started listening to punk.
“When I was younger, my sister was a big fan of R&B -- Usher and Chris Brown," he said. "I got a lot of my love for R&B from her. She used to sing all the time, and I used to wonder why I wasn’t as good as her. When I was about 14, I got on the bus, and my sister’s friend’s brother handed me a burnt CD that said American Idiot, and that was pretty much the first time that I fell in love with music. I couldn’t stop listening to it. I saw an acoustic guitar sitting around the house, and I picked it up.”
'Long Way Home' Was INSPIRED By Green Day
It name-checks the California group early on in the song with the lyric: “Green Day’s on the radio and everything is alright.” Conspiracy theorists will also note that the song plays on themes similar to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
Their Live Show Was Also Inspired By Green Day
Ashton cites Green Day as a major influence, explaining that the band’s power comes from their live performance, something that he and the rest of the boys attempt to mimic.
“I’m more a fan of a Green Day’s live recordings. They're so amazing,” the drummer told Alternative Press magazine. “I love that Billie can command a stadium. He and [Foo Fighters'] Dave Grohl have that power. I look at that and get really inspired. That's the way we perform, a lot of yelling and sh-t. We want to get a toilet paper gun for the next tour.”
'Social Causality' Is Basically 'Minority'
Come on guys... you hear it, right?
Green Day Found A Place In The Mainstream For Punk
Without that niche, 5 Seconds of Summer could never have found the level of success they did; the space had to be created and opened for them. That’s not to say the dudes from Down Under haven’t put in the work, but the idea that cute boys with tattoos and palm-muted power chords can break the Top 40? We have Billie Joe and crew to thank for that one.
Also, Being Green Day Fans Gives Them Cred
By covering “American Idiot,” both for their live album and for KERRANG!, 5 Seconds of Summer have proven that they’re not a boy band (duh) but a punk, pop rock act. It’s important that they sustain their underground fanbase while embracing their young (typically female) one, and they have... just like Green Day. Rock Hall here they come?