Green Day bandmate explains Billie Joe's meltdown


Green Day

Green Day's Mike Dirnt says singer Billie Joe Armstrong had to seek help for substance abuse and that they "had to put the life of our friend first".

The 40-year-old announced he was to receive treatment after an on-stage outburst at a festival in Las Vegas last month.

Bassist Dirnt confirmed he hadn't seen his bandmate "for weeks" but said the band was going in "a good direction".

"We'll be all right but thank god it was only what it was," he said.


Speaking to Radio 1's Zane Lowe, Dirnt said the workload connected with the trio recently making three new albums had taken its toll on Billie Joe Armstrong.

"With hindsight 20/20 it was a tremendous undertaking," he said.

Although we were having fun we didn't take our nose out of the book for a long time. I think it catches up with you a little bit
Mike Dirnt, Green Day

"Although we were having fun we didn't take our nose out of the book for a long time.

"I think it catches up with you a little bit. We definitely just jumped off a moving train."

Dirnt explained that they had not expected Armstrong's on-stage outburst.

"There were signs of things hitting the fan," he said. "We hadn't slept in forever and Billie had definitely had the worst of it. He'd been going through his own struggles.

"We were there with him but you can only handle things on your own.

"At the end of the day when we got off the road the most important thing was my friend's life."

'Really rough'

Armstrong's treatment came in the middle of a world tour promoting a trilogy of new releases.

Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day
Image caption Green Day played a surprise slot at this year's Reading Festival

At the show in Las Vegas last month the front man was seen stopping the band's set mid-song, swearing repeatedly and smashing his guitar.

Following their performance the band confirmed the singer was "seeking help for substance abuse", saying they would have to postpone some upcoming shows.

This now includes a headline appearance at the VooDoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans on 27 October.

"I'm sure Billie's had it really rough. There's been very little contact between us, so I guess I'm just generalising, but it's a pretty heavy-duty process.

"This is probably the longest time we haven't seen each other - I haven't seen Billie in weeks.

"It's an awkward position to be in, but we're going to pander this out. We'll get there."