About Green Day
Based in the East Bay of California, best friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt started the band Sweet Children in 1986, when they were both aged 14. The following year, the band had its first outing, playing a small show at Rod's Hickory Pit in Vallejo, California. By 1988, the group had become a trio, adding John Kiffmeyer, former drummer from the Berkeley hardcore punk band Isocracy, to the line-up. They were soon signed to punk rock label Lookout! Records after the label's co-founder Larry Livermore saw them perform live.
After signing to Lookout!, the group changed its name, in order to avoid confusion with the local punk band Sweet Baby, instead deciding on Green Day.
1989-1993: 39/Smooth and Kerplunk
Green Day released its debut EP, 1,000 Hours, in May 1990. The group's debut album, 39/Smooth, was released the following month, followed by the EPs Slappy and Sweet Children that summer. Sweet Children was recorded during a brief break in the middle of Green Day's summer tour while the band were in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it was released with Minneapolis-based indie label Skene! Records. Towards the end of the year, Tré Cool, the drummer from The Lookouts, began filling in as a temporary replacement for Kiffmeyer, who had decided to attend Humboldt State University. Over time, the replacement became permanent and Cool became the band's new drummer, with Kiffmeyer leaving the band on good terms.
In 1991, a compilation, featuring the songs from 39/Smooth, Slappy and 1,000 hours, was released by Lookout! Records under the name 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. That December, Green Day released their second studio album, Kerplunk. Released with Lookout! Records, the album sold 10,000 copies its first day and went on to eventually sell more than 1,000,000 copies in the United States and more than 4,000,000 copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling independently released records of all time.
To promote their albums and EPs, the band embarked on a tour that lasted for most of 1992 and 1993, performing across the US and even a number of shows overseas in Europe.
1994-1996: Breakthrough success, Dookie and Insomniac
With the growing popularity of Kerplunk, the band attracted the attention of several major-labels, and went on to sign with Reprise Records, via producer Rob Cavello who had impressed them with his work with fellow Californian punk band The Muffs.
The band's major-label debut album, Dookie, was released in February 1994. The album served as their mainstream breakthrough and was critically acclaimed. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as charting in the top five in several countries around the world, and was eventually certified diamond by the RIAA for selling over 10 million copies in the US. Dookie launched five singles: "Longview", "Basket Case", a re-recorded version of "Welcome to Paradise" (which had originally appeared on Kerplunk), "When I Come Around", and the radio-only "She". Music videos for "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When I Come Around" received extensive airplay on MTV, which helped with raising the band's profile and increasing the album's popularity, as did a riotous appearance at Woodstock '94, which was televized on pay-per-view, reaching millions of viewers. In 1995, Dookie received a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and "Longview" and "Basket Case" were also nominated for Grammy Awards. The band was also nominated for nine MTV Video Music Awards including Video of the Year.
The song "J.A.R.", a previously unreleased track from the band's Dookie sessions, appeared on the soundtrack for the 1995 film Angus and reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, making it their fourth song to reach the top spot on the chart.
That fall, they released their fourth studio album, Insomniac, which launched the singles "Geek Stink Breath", "Stuck with Me", "Brain Stew / Jaded", and "Walking Contradiction". The album, which had a darker sound to Dookie, peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified double-platinum. After Insomniac, Green Day was nominated for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards, and the video for "Walking Contradiction" earned the band a Grammy Award nomination for Best Video, Short Form, as well as a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards.
1997-2002: Nimrod and Warning
Nimrod, the band's fifth studio album, was released in October 1997 and marked the band's first foray into surf and pop punk, as well as experimentations with other musical genres. Peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200, the album was certified double-platinum and yielded four singles, including the hit "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", which became an unexpected crossover hit for the group, appearing in several television shows and winning the band an MTV Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video. The band toured for much of 1997 and 1998 to support the album.
In 2000, they released their sixth studio album Warning, which launched the title track as a single, as well as "Minority", which stayed at the top spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Songs chart for five weeks. That summer, they embarked on the Warped Tour to promote the album.
Green Day was nominated for Outstanding Album (Warning), Outstanding Punk Rock/Ska Album (Warning), Outstanding Group, Outstanding Male Vocalist, Outstanding Bassist, Outstanding Drummer, Outstanding Songwriter, and Outstanding Artist at the 2001 California Music Awards, winning all eight awards.
Warning was followed by the release of two compilation albums: International Superhits! (2001) and Shenanigans (2002). In the spring of 2002, they co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with pop punk band Blink-182, which was documented on the DVD Riding in Vans with Boys.
2003-2006: American Idiot
Green Day spent the summer of 2003 writing and recording tracks for an album that they had intended to call Cigarettes and Valentines. However, when 20 of the master tapes were stolen from the band's recording studio, they dropped the project and decided to start again on brand new material.
That year, a mysterious and enigmatic band called The Network was signed to Billie Joe Armstrong's label, Adeline Records. The record label gave little information about the band, who performed with masks and costumes to conceal their identities. The group opened for Green Day several times and Armstrong released several press statements that suggested a feud between the two bands. In September 2003, the new wave band released their first and only album, Money Money 2020. Ten years later, The Network was confirmed to be a Green Day side project.
In November 2003, Green Day collaborated with Iggy Pop on two tracks for his album Skull Ring.
American Idiot, their fifth studio album, was released in September 2004. A concept album and punk rock opera, addressing themes of political disillusionment, coming of age and rebellion, it marked the beginning of a new era for the band. The album launched five successful singles: "American Idiot", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", "Holiday", "Wake Me Up When September Ends" and "Jesus of Suburbia", and peaked at number one in 19 countries, including the US and UK. Critically praised, the album won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. At the MTV Video Music Awards in 2005, Green Day was nominated for eight awards and won seven, including the Viewer's Choice Award.
To promote the album, the band embarked on an extensive world tour throughout 2005. Two of their shows at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England were filmed and released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible, and the concert was voted "The Best Show On Earth" in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll.
In January of the following year, the band was awarded a People's Choice Award for Favorite Band.
2007-2010: 21st Century Breakdown and American Idiot stage adaptation
In 2008, Foxboro Hot Tubs, a Green Day garage rock side project, released the album Stop Drop and Roll!!!, which launched the single "Mother Mary". The band, under the Foxboro Hot Tubs name, went on a mini tour to promote the album, playing small clubs and venues.
Green Day's eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, was released in May 2009. The album takes a similar vein to American Idiot in its themes of alienation and politically motivated anger and, like the previous record, takes the form of a rock opera. The album reached number one on the United States Billboard 200, the European Top 100 Albums and the United Kingdom Albums Chart, as well as on several other charts around the world, making it Green Day's best chart performance to date. Of each of the 14 countries in which it reached number one, the album also received gold or platinum certification. 21st Century Breakdown won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010.
At the end of 2009, a stage adaptation of American Idiot opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The following April, it opened on Broadway and Green Day released the soundtrack to the musical, featuring a new song: "When It's Time". To date, the musical has won two Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Christine Jones and Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Kevin Adams. It also received a nomination for Best Musical. In 2011, its Broadway cast recording won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
Green Day: Rock Band is Rock Band video game that features the full albums of Dookie, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown as well as select songs from the rest of Green Day's discography.
The band recorded a live album of the second leg of their 21st Century Breakdown Tour and released the live CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray, entitled Awesome as F**k, in March 2011. The recording features the previously unreleased song "Cigarettes and Valentines".
2011-2014: ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!
Under the name Foxboro Hot Tubs, Green Day performed several secret shows of previously unheard material at the end of 2011.
They released a trio of albums - ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! - in September, November and December 2012, respectively to critical acclaim. Long term touring band member Jason White, who has performed with Green Day since 1997, was introduced as an official member of the band with the trilogy.
In March 2013, the band embarked on the 99 Revolutions Tour in support of the albums' release, and that June, they broke Emirates Stadium attendance record, selling 60,000 tickets.
¡Cuatro!, a documentary about the making of ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, was released on DVD in April 2013. Broadway Idiot, another documentary, which focuses on the creation on the American Idiot musical and Billie Joel Armstrong's run playing the character of St. Jimmy, was released in October 2013.
For Record Store Day in April 2014, Green Day released a compilation album called Demolicious that contains alternate versions and demos of songs from ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!. The album also contains a song called "State of Shock", which was previously unreleased, and an acoustic version of "Stay the Night", from ¡Uno!.
2015-2017: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Revolution Radio
On April 16, 2015, after a year's hiatus from performing, Green Day played a set as Sweet Children with John Kiffmeyer, followed by a set as Green Day. Two days later, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Fall Out Boy.
On Christmas Eve 2015, Green Day released their first Christmas song: "Xmas Time of the Year".
Revolution Radio, the band's 12th studio album, was released in October 2016, debuting at number one in the US, UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. The album was well-received by both fans and critics, and launched three singles: "Bang Bang", "Revolution Radio", and "Still Breathing". The album appeared on NME, Rolling Stone, Kerrang! and Radio X's end-of-year lists. A month later, the band performed "Bang Bang" at the American Music Awards. They embarked on a world tour, The Revolution Radio Tour, from September 2016 through November 2017.
In November 2017, Green Day released its second greatest hits compilation album, God's Favorite Band, which contains 20 of their hits, as well as two new tracks: a new version of the Revolution Radio track "Ordinary World", featuring country singer Miranda Lambert, and a previously unreleased song titled "Back in the USA".
2018-present: Father of All Motherf***ers and continued activity
The band released their Woodstock 1994 performance on vinyl for the first time in April 2018 for Record Store Day.
Green Day announced the Hella Mega Tour, with Fall Out Boy and Weezer as co-headliners and The Interrupters as the opening act, in September 2019. They also released "Father of All...", which is the lead single from their thirteenth album, Father of All Motherf***ers.