Diehard Green Day fans almost had a 21st Century Breakdown when one of them discovered a previously unreleased instrumental track hidden in a behind-the-scenes doco chronicling the making of the veteran punks’ ¡UNO!, ¡DOS!, ¡TRÉ! album trilogy.
And it turns out, there’s plenty more where that came from. A SHITLOAD more.
“Yeah, we kind of have a Machiavellian catalogue of shit lying around,” laughs bassist Mike Dirnt. “We have SO much stuff, and some of it has morphed into other songs… you know, a song that took 10, 20 years to evolve but started off as a jam or started off as us singing a different lyric to it or whatever. I mean, there’s little opuses in other songs and things like that we’ve done that people have never heard.”
And, as many fans will be aware, the trio infamously had their 2003 Warning follow-up Cigarettes And Valentines stolen from their studio, which prompted them to go back and record the seminal American Idiot instead. The rough mixes of the lost record — described as being “quick-tempoed punk” in the same vein as their classic LPs Kerplunk and Insomniac — were later recovered and are apparently now sitting in the Green Day vault, alongside a treasure trove of other never-before-heard punk gems from all across the band’s 30-year career.
“What’s cool is that a lot of it’s recorded really well, too,” Dirnt reveals to Music Feeds. “So a lot of that stuff – there’s cassette tape, demo tape stuff – but there’s also stuff that was recorded very well that sounds like it could be on a record, you know? We just didn’t put it out. Which is really nice the way recording is nowadays, it’s so cheap to record things that sound great, not like those crappy cassette tapes. But we do have a lot of those as well [laughs] it’s really neat.”
As for when we might get to hear it all?
“I don’t know when they’ll see the light of day, but me and [frontman] Billie always said ‘at some point everything comes out in the wash’. So, you know, at some point it’ll all come out.”
“We’re not in any hurry to do that because this band has never really been in the business of looking backwards,” he chuckles. “Maybe some day when we’re older, then we’ll look back. At this point, I have stopped and smelled the roses finally, I think. And it’s nice to look back and go ‘Wow, we really have accomplished a lot of stuff!’ But I don’t think we’ll be exhuming any old demo tapes at this point right now [laughs].”
Which is a fair call, considering the band has a brand new album out in Revolution Radio, which has already been a big hit with both fans and critics.
And you can catch Green Day touring it live at arenas across Australia later this month.