The Green Day frontman talks about Donald Trump and his kids' generation in a new interview

By Ariana Bacle
March 27, 2017 at 10:09 AM EDT
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Green Day Perform at L'AccorHotels Arena In Paris
Credit: David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns

Billie Joe Armstrong will shout “F— you, Trump!” during a Green Day concert, but he’s not going to spend the whole show railing against the current president, he told Rolling Stone in an interview published Monday.

“People know how I feel,” Armstrong said. “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.”

“I want people to feel unity when they come to a show,” he continued. “At the same time, I’m not going to puss out on saying what I feel about him and his administration.”

Green Day are known for their outspokenness regarding politics: 2004’s American Idiot openly criticized President George W. Bush, who began his second term just months after the album’s release. And although media has treated Bush with more warmth in recent months — he joked around with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show in January and made headlines for his painting hobby — Armstrong isn’t giving him a break.

“Bush, as far as I’m concerned, is a war criminal,” he told Rolling Stone. “With Trump, we have no idea. Right now it’s just a freak show.”

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He has hope for the future of his two sons, though, who he says come from the “Harry Potter generation.” “There’s a sense of justice about that, in beating Voldemort,” he said. “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.”

Read more from Rolling Stone interview with Green Day here, and buy tickets for their ongoing tour here.