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Green Day has been one of the most successfully adventurous bands of the past two decades, writing Broadway musicals and soundtracks, releasing concept albums, penning rock operas, dropping trilogy discs, and maintaining a steady fan base while doing it.
Starting out as a punk trio that could only play three chords, Green Day helped craft the sound of the ’90s with their iconic albums Dookie, Insomniac and Nimrod. Since then, they’ve widely been critiqued as sell-outs in the punk world thanks to their mainstream success, but what’s more punk rock than doing exactly what you want?
Green Day have now dropped “Bang Bang,” the lead single from their upcoming 12th studio album, Revolution Radio, set to be released October 7. The new record comes four years after the band’s hiatus following the rocky release of the trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tre!. Shortly after the albums dropped, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong entered rehab following a breakdown at a concert in L.A. in 2012, while bassist Mike Dirnt’s wife and touring guitarist Jason White were diagnosed with cancer (both are now in remission).
The new disc marks one of the longest breaks between Green Day records, though 2016 could be the best time for the band to drop an album. Just ask Blink-182.
Both trios formed in the early 1990s and experienced success with their third studio albums (Dookie for Green Day, Enema of the State for Blink). Touted as punk by media, the bands were too pop for punk and too punk for pop, both paving their own way during years where grunge and boy bands ruled the airwaves.
Green Day and Blink-182 have suffered through band shake ups, including Armstrong’s substance abuse and the highly publicized exit of Blink-182 founding member Tom DeLonge. Solo and side projects have been explored by Blink-182 and Green Day with varying degrees success, but in the end, both bands find their greatest strength as a unit.
When Blink 182 dropped their seventh studio album, California, on July 1, it seemed like an effort purely for die-hard fans. Who else would be listening to aging pop punkers in a time of 808s, folk music and rap, especially with the exit of DeLonge? Apparently, a lot of people.
California managed to knock Drake’s Views from the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart, a position that at the time seemed unattainable for any other artist.
Sitting at No. 1, Blink-182 returned to the top, which they hadn’t seen since 2001’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. Their first-week rock album sales trailed only Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and David Bowie’s Blackstar. They’re currently in the middle of a massive North American tour that will take through the fall. All in all, it’s been a good year for Blink 182.
Of course, Blink-182 and Green Day aren’t the same band. They don’t even sound alike, although the Venn diagram of Green Day and Blink-182 fans would likely exhibit a large overlap. But what Blink-182’s recent success shows is that there’s still an audience for bands of the ’90s releasing music in 2016. And we’re pretty excited about it.