Green Day is an American punk rock trio composed of Tre Cool on drums, Mike Dirnt on bass and Billie Joe Armstrong on lead vocals and guitars. They have backup members for guitars (Jason White), keyboards (Jason Freese) and trumpet (Ronnie Blake).
During the mid 90s, along with other Californian bands like Rancid and The Offspring, Green Day revived the popularity of the punk rock scene in the United States. The success of Green Day and other punk rock bands have influenced the new generation of punk rock bands like Good Charlotte and Sum41.
Having sold over 25 million records in the U.S. alone and over 65 million albums worldwide, Green Day is one of the most successful punk rock bands of all time.
Green Day have successfully won three Grammy Awards Best Rock Album for American Idiot, Best Alternative Album for Dookie and Record of the Year for the single Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
The story of Green Day started when childhood friends Mike Dirnt and Billy Joe Armstrong, which were both 14 years old in 1986, decided to form a 2 person band that they called Sweet Children.
Performing their first live act at the workplace of Armstrong’s mom, Sweet Children experience their first exposure as a band. In 1998, however, Al Sobrante joined the band as their drummer. The three piece band soon switched their band name to Green Day after a marijuana incident and played their first performance at Sobrante’s school in Contra Costa College, San Pablo, California.
When Larry Livermore of Lookout! Records saw Green Day performed, he offered the band a record deal and immediately released their first EP in 1989 called 1,000 Hours. The band recorded two other EPs known as Slappy and Sweet Children.
When Sobranted moved to California to attend college, Tre Cool became a temporary drummer for Green Day. However, when Sobrante couldn’t commit to the band any further, Tre became the permanent drummer for the band.
In early 1991, Green Day released their second album known as Kerplunk! under Lookout! Records, while featuring Tre Cool on drums. Green Day successfully performed plenty of live acts during 1992 and 1993 all throughout U.S. and Europe. The second album sold over fifty thousand albums in the U.S. alone and over two million records worldwide.
With the release of the successful Kerplunk! album, Green Day was a focus of major record labels and the band ultimately left Lookout Records. Although many fans regarded Green Day as a sell out, the trio had no choice but to move.
In 1994, Dookie became a major commercial hit, after recording it in a mere three weeks. Songs like basket case, when I come around and Longview all became #1 songs on different charts. Because of this massive popularity, Green Day was able to perform at Woodstock 1994 and Lollapalooza. The following year, Green Day was nominated for nine awards while winning the Best Alternative Album.
Green Day released a single entitled J.A.R. in 1995, which was soon followed by their third album Insomniac. The album comprised of a darker and more melodic style of songs like Walking Contradiction, Stuck With Me and Brain Stew/Jaded. After winning an MTV Video Music Award, Green Day took a break from producing music and performing concerts, claiming exhaustion.
In 1996, after their much criticized break, Green Day recorded and released their nimrod album. Major hit songs like Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Redundant and Hitchin’ a Ride were products of the band’s experimental style, far from their standard pop punk rock signature. The band again took two years off to spend time with their families.
When Green Day came back to the music scene in 2000, they released an album called Warning:, which reflects a more mature version of their music. However, the Warning: album only received gold, instead of double platinum labels like their past albums. Fortunately, Green Day won eight awards at the California Music Awards on 2001 for this album.
While Green Day was working on a new album, which was supposed to be entitled Cigarettes and Valentines, the master tapes of 20 complete tracks were stolen from their recording studio. In 2004, without trying to use their materials from the stolen album, Green Day released the 2004 American Idiot album, which instantly became #1 on different music charts.
All throughout 2005, Green Day did 150 shows promoting their album on a worldwide tour. To this day, Green Day remains a strong influence to modern punk rock bands.