Rock band Green Day has returned after a four-year hiatus — and their new single “Bang Bang” is all about mass shootings and the “narcissistic social media” coverage that the tragic events often engender.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told Rolling Stone the song is representative of changes in culture in which people who carry out heinous acts receive celebrity status, sometimes even filming themselves committing the act and disseminating it before their death or capture.
“There’s this sort of rage happening, but it’s also now being filmed and we all have ourselves under surveillance. To me, that is so twisted,” Armstrong told the outlet.
Armstrong told Rolling Stone he was inspired to write the group’s forthcoming album, Revolution Radio, after driving thorough Manhattan and witnessing demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown.
“I got out of my car and marched with the people,” he said. “It was a trip to see people rebel against the old order.”
The album’s lead single, “Bang Bang,” delves into the perspective of a mass shooter.
“I wouldn’t even say I was trying to understand it,” Armstrong told RS. “I was just trying to figure out the character. I don’t know why someone would ever do something that horrific because I know I never would. It’s just sort of meant to also reflect the culture a little bit without sounding pretentious.”
Nevertheless, Armstrong told the outlet he remains “optimistic” about the future of the country.
“A lot of what people cover on sort of the corporate news outlets is the sh*t show. And it’s the reality TV show of like, ‘Look at what this election has turned into.’ But look at the other things and movements that are happening,” the singer said.
“I think Bernie Sanders broke new ground, not just as a protest candidate, but he broke into the inside of Washington,” he added. “I think that getting these young people to start voting and down-balloting, and running for office in their own towns … I think that the next 10 years is going to be a big game-changer.”
Listen to Green Day’s “Bang Bang” above.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.