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Mike Dirnt: Green Day ‘Put the Life’ of Billie Joe Armstrong ‘In Front of Everything’

Green Day
Steven Lawton, Getty Images

Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong melted down in a big way during the iHeart Radio Festival in Las Vegas last month, spewing F-bombs, smashing his guitar and seemingly seething with anger due to a shortened set. Turns out the frontman had fallen off the wagon, and he promptly went to rehab to address his issues. The fallout occurred right around the release of ‘¡Uno!,’ the first album in a planned trilogy, and resulted in canceled appearances and lost promotional efforts. Ain’t no thang, according to bassist Mike Dirnt. The band agreed its friend’s life had to come first and promoting the album had to come second.

During a chat with BBC Radio 1 (quotes courtesy of NME), Dirnt said the band was okay with the cancellations and missed promotional opportunities since “we had to put the life of our friend in front of everything.”

He said that there “were signs of things hitting the fan” in Las Vegas before Armstrong’s verbal explosion onstage, admitting “we hadn’t slept in forever.” Not sleeping and substance abuse are certainly a bad combo.

But the band’s choice to prioritize their friend’s health over their career is a demonstration of some true bro-hood. Dirnt continued, “Hindsight is 20/20… it was a tremendous undertaking… It catches up with you a little bit. We definitely jumped off a moving train.”

Dirnt admitted that he hasn’t seen Armstrong in weeks, as the singer is in rehab and spending time with family to get himself fully on the mend. He also shared that this was the longest stretch the two have gone in 20 years without hanging out.

All in due time, though.

Dirnt is convinced that Armstrong will return better than ever. “We’re still getting ready for the next phase,” he said.

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