Green Day Announce ‘American Idiot’ Documentary, ‘Heart Like a Hand Grenade’
Heart Like a Hand Grenade will premiere in theaters on Oct. 15. It’s directed by John Rocker, who filmed the trio for nine months, capturing American Idiot’s recording and the band performing the LP in its entirety during an intimate concert shortly after the album’s release.
In a statement, Rocker reveals the forthcoming documentary was the first time Green Day ever allowed a filmmaker to capture them in the studio. However, he says the film doesn’t “contain high drama or fighting.” Instead, it “shows a band on top of their game creating incredible music.” Rocker goes on to describe Heart Like a Hand Grenade as a "small film" with a "DIY ethic" behind it:
I would have total access to the band and could film everything. During this time Metallica released their film “ Some Kind of Monster” a film that showed a band on the verge of artistic collapse and infighting. I told Billie [Joe Armstrong] about the film and he thought because there was no drama going on with the band I did not want to continue with the film. I was thinking the opposite. This film does not contain high drama or fighting. It shows a band on top of their game creating incredible music. It is a film that inspires. It is also a very small film. All it took was a box of tapes and one camera. Going back to the D.I.Y. Ethic that I was raised with. It was also a risk for the band because this album was either going to take them to a higher level or sink them. Either way I was going to document it.
After the recording was finished they booked a small theatre and performed the album in its entirety, which is included in the film (Fun fact! This was eleven years ago folks and the camera phone was not invented so this is the only way you can see this legendary concert!) This movie is like a fly on the wall art house piece. It is the first time Green Day allowed someone into the studio to film them. I am so happy I answered Billie’s phone call. This was eleven years ago and the film you are about to see has never been seen. It became a lost film, an urban legend in some ways. Some fans thought it was not real that it was some sort of prank the band and I created. And finally the little film that could is being released.
Read Rocker’s complete statement at this location.