ENTERTAINMENT

Green Day Talk Australian Tour, Legend Status And Ripping Sharks

'This band is having more fun on stage than we’ve ever had in our lives.'

03/05/2017 10:07 AM AEST | Updated 03/05/2017 10:17 AM AEST
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Green Day are back in Australia.

Mike Dirnt is in Las Vegas and he's pumped.

"We just ripped the roof off the place. This tour has been f**king amazing," the Green Day bassist tells HuffPost Australia.

His band, the legendary veterans of the pop-punk landscape, are nearing the end of a long American tour supporting new album Revolution Radio. The Californian trio clocked up 30 years together last year, but you'd never know it from his energy, his youthful exuberance -- even down the phone, halfway across the world, you can almost hear him bouncing off the walls after the show.

"This is probably our favourite tour we've ever done, and I'm not just saying that. Every night has been a really genuinely good connection with good people."

Green Day have a whole new album of songs to play and share with their audiences -- some of whom have followed the band from bratty teenage stoners through unconventional mainstream success and into the arena-level headliners they are today, others who joined the party much later -- but Dirnt said it's the older songs they still get a kick out of playing.

Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters
Green Day perform during the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio

"Part of it is, we've never really nailed it in. The older songs we're playing, the quality of the songs keep us excited. We're playing a lot of new songs but we're also playing a lot of songs from American Idiot, a lot of songs from Dookie, stuff off our older years," he said.

"It's a great show, we go through all the years and have a great time with it. It's just kick-arse, I'm having a great time."

It'll be music to the ears of Australian fans, with Green Day kicking off their first local tour since 2014 this week in Perth. The seven-date Australian run will be their first headlining jaunt Down Under in some time, with their last visit coming as part of the Soundwave Festival. If it's possible, the excitement in Dirnt's voice ratchets up a few clicks when the conversation turns to Australia.

"We've somehow chased the snow for six months now, it's the longest winter I've had. I can't wait to get there, rip through some killer shows, go to the beach, jump in the ocean, rip it with the sharks. Bring it on," he roars.

I don't have the heart to say that their shows will be on the cusp of Australian winter, so the beach might not be the best option.

Dirnt details how their current headlining shows run for the best part of two and a half hours, marathon all-out punk onslaughts which put them into the top tier of world-beating bands these days. Not many bands can match that sort of run time in 2017. Dirnt said the band would be keen to play even longer, but laughed "at some point we realised we're exhausting our crowd."

"If you're describing Green Day, it's the energy that comes across. It's cool because at our concerts, people get older and younger each year. We've got our oldest fans at shows now, and also our youngest fans," he said.

"Billie [Joe Armstrong, frontman and guitarist] had this 65-year-old lady come up and sing 'Longview' on stage the other night, then she laid out on the crowd and they crowd surfed her. Last night he had a nine-year-old kid come up and play guitar with him. Every night, you don't know what to expect. It's always eventful. Whether it's great or whether it completely falls to shit, it's going to be funny, fun, heartfelt, it will be something."

At this point there's not much for Green Day left to prove -- certified legend status, inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, huge genre-defining albums which spawned entire generations of followers and imitators -- but Dirnt said they're not nearly done yet.

"I don't ever see this ending, but I try not to look at things like that. Every day above ground is a good day. As long as this engine fires up, I'm going to gun it," he said.

"I'm not lying. You can tell, it's infectious. You can tell this band is having more fun on stage than we've ever had in our lives."

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