By Rami Abou-Sabe
Billie Joe Armstrong, 45, is no longer the young, brash face of America’s favorite pop punk act. Far removed from the days when Green Day could score a hit on Top 40 radio, Armstrong and company still carry the same vitriolic anti-establishment fire that put them on the map – even if it’s a bit more family friendly these days.
“People know how I feel,” Armstrong said about Trump. “I feel like going negative is just throwing fuel on the fire. I feel like the government is trying to create a culture war between us in a lot of ways. They’re trying to get between your average citizens based on red and blue. I think we’re in a crisis mode right now. For me, it’s important to get back to fundamentally what it feels like to be an American. We all come from different backgrounds, but we come together and create this world. It’s like a microcosm for the rest of the world. I want people to feel unity when they come to a show. At the same time, I’m not going to puss out on saying what I feel about him and his administration.”
When pressed to compare our current president to his Republican predecessor, Armstrong had pointed words for former President Bush. “Bush, as far as I’m concerned, is a war criminal,” Armstrong said. “With Trump, we have no idea. Right now it’s just a freak show.”
Armstrong, clearly concerned about the trajectory of the country, is more optimistic about his own children’s future. “I look at my kids as the Harry Potter Generation,” he said. “There’s a sense of justice about that, in beating Voldemort. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil. To have a role model like Harry Potter that says you can defeat evil, but still be a complicated human being. That gives me a lot of hope.”