Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong stars in the band’s new video for “Back in the USA” as a character in a black-and-white sitcom inspired by John Carpenter’s They Live. Like Roddy Piper’s character in the 1988 film, Armstrong has glasses he puts on to see what the world is really trying to convey.
In this video’s case, that means that Armstrong purchasing a intriguing new pair of glasses from a solicitor that comes to his family’s door. As soon as he puts them on, he can see in color. More poignantly, messages on the television morph into “President to lie to nation tomorrow night!” and car posters on the wall to “Consume” and “Conform.”
Toward the end, a bloodied zombie clearly meant to be President Donald Trump appears on screen. Green Day, especially Armstrong, has not shied away from criticizing Trump since he announced his candidacy.
“Back in the USA” is one of 22 songs included on Green Day’s new album humbly titled Green Day Greatest Hits: God’s Favorite Band, which arrived today (Nov. 17).
“Blessed are those who listen to God’s Favorite Band,” the punk rock band tweeted. “The new greatest hits album is out everywhere now. Go stream or download the ultimate playlist of 22 hits including “Back In The USA” & “Ordinary World” ft. @MirandaLambert”
Blessed are those who listen to God’s Favorite Band – the new greatest hits album is out everywhere now. Go stream or download the ultimate playlist of 22 hits including “Back In The USA” & “Ordinary World” ft. @MirandaLambert https://t.co/IFxiNgnuH4 pic.twitter.com/Hbaypfsy5A
— Green Day (@GreenDay) November 17, 2017
Green Day then boosted their original announcement by tweeting that fans could “now go live out the American Dream with our new video for Back In The USA.”
Upon initially hearing that Green Day was teaming up with country star Miranda Lambert on Greatest Hits: God’s Favorite Band, fans were likely a bit confused. But upon hearing the duet, a re-working of “Ordinary World” off the band’s 2016 release Revolution Radio, it’s sure to be a pleasant surprise to those puzzled fans.
The track isn’t wildly changed up for the new release. Instead, Lambert’s voice allows the lyrics’ call to folk classics to ring out more prominently, similar to Bob Dylan’s “Blowing In the Wind” or Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.” The harmonies created for this particular collaboration turns what seems like a strange pairing — the punk cries of Billie Joe Armstrong with Lambert’s country crooning — into what the song seemed destined to become.