Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong lashed out at one-term President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election, saying his denial is holding “half of the country hostage.”
Speaking to NME, Armstrong joked that it feels like “there hasn’t been a dull moment for the last four years,” as he noted that it’s been “kind of crazy” in the U.S. lately due to the November presidential election and out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic.
And while Trump appears to be digging in his heels as he launches more last-ditch legal efforts to call into question his defeat at the hands of President-elect Joe Biden, Armstrong said he believes it’s “inevitable” that the former Celebrity Apprentice star leave the White House at some point.
“But he’s holding half of the country hostage. I can’t figure out which side – whether it’s the people that support him or the people that hate him?” Armstrong said. “It’s a waiting game at this point to get him out, then the temperature will lower a little bit more.”
Armstrong also spoke about this week’s release of a vinyl compilation of his “No Fun Mondays” cover series, which features his takes on songs by The Bangles, Billy Bragg, John Lennon and late Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger.
“I did ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ first, and it all just started off as something to just keep me busy because I knew that the rest of the year was getting cancelled,” he said of his blazing cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells hit. “I released it on my Instagram to fans and the response was really good. Everybody was saying that it was just nice to hear some music and feel a little bit normal. The sentiment was right.”
He also explained why he loves covers and how he chose which ones to take on during the lockdown series. “I love melodies and feel like that’s in my DNA,” he said. “I also love doing things that are unexpected or doing songs that people haven’t really heard before. I did ‘Not That Way Anymore’ by Stiv Bators, which is a really rare power-pop song. That was really fun. Everything felt really spontaneous. I have a covers band called The Coverups, and we just go to local clubs to play and a lot of our friends come out. It’s all just about having fun and tying into my tastes in music too.”
Armstrong also paid tribute to beloved singer/songwriter Schlesinger, one of the many musical victims of the coronavirus.
“COVID was, and still is, just ravaging through America. You start seeing good people die from it. Adam is one and John Prine is another,” he said. “I’ve always had so much respect for Adam as a songwriter and I just love this song [“That Thing You Do”]. I thought I could a version that was a little bit dirtier by beefing up the guitar. Doing ‘No Fun Mondays’ was like just doing my own radio sessions where I had a captive audience, but could release songs in time with where the consciousness of the culture was at, at that particular moment.”