Green Day reflects on ‘Dookie’ & ’American Idiot’ anniversaries: “We wanted to make our ’Sgt. Pepper’”

Disney/Chris Willard

In addition to releasing a new album, Saviors, Green Day will be respectively celebrating the 30th and 20th anniversaries of their landmark albums Dookie and American Idiot in 2024. Speaking during rehearsals for Green Day’s performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong shares how it feels to hit those milestones.

“When people say, ‘It seems like yesterday,’ they’re wrong,” Armstrong says. “It feels like a long time ago.”

With 1994’s Dookie, which is certified Diamond by the RIAA and helped launch the pop punk movement of the ’90s with songs including “Basket Case,” “Longview” and “When I Come Around,” Armstrong had hoped to “make a record that we could play 20, 30 years later.” In perhaps the understatement of this young year, Armstrong says, “That’s the part I feel successful about.”

A decade later, Green Day set their ambitions even higher than that with 2004’s American Idiot, a politically-driven concept album.

“We wanted to make that monumental … we wanted to make our Sgt. Pepper,” Armstrong says, referring to The Beatles‘ iconic 1967 album. “I feel like we did that, we achieved something in our career that was an essential moment.”

Along with the Dookie and American Idiot anniversaries and the release of Saviors, which drops January 19, Green Day’s already had an eventful year. They made headlines for changing lyrics from the song “American Idiot” to “I’m not a part of the MAGA agenda” during their NYRE performance.

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