Green Day - Why All the Hate?

Every band is hated by somebody. However, I’ve noticed among a lot of people an extreme and excessive hate for the band Green Day. Really, people, what is the big deal? I don’t listen to them all the time, but I do know some of their songs, and some of them are pretty good. I hear a lot of different arguments.

“They’re not real punks.”

What are “real punks”? Do they not play loud enough or scream loud enough?

“They’re obviously just faking it.”

As opposed to everyone else, who are obviously not faking it?
“They’re sellouts to the record industry.”

I don’t know a successful band that isn’t. It shouldn’t be a musicians main priority to make money, but they defenitely have the right to keep it in mind. Besides, taking a major label gives them extra money, but it also gives them extra listeners, an easier time setting up tours, and so forth.

“They’ve changed, they’ve become more poppish just to please the masses.”

First of all, people’s music changes. It had been quite a while since Green Day had released anything, so a different sound could be expected. The Stones and the Beatles would change styles constantly back in their heydeys, but people loved it. If American Idiot is dumbed down just to please the masses, I sure can’t hear it. The music sounds pretty original to me.

I don’t mean to make such a big deal out of this or anything, but when a friend of yours blocks your SN briefly just because you told them that you like Green Day, you tend to wonder just what is wrong.

I don’t know about all this punks/sellout/pretending stuff. I just think their music really sucks.

I don’t think that constitutes “hate” though.

I have also always thought their music was horribly overrated (ESPECIALLY the recent stuff). There is no factual reason for my dislike, I just. don’t. like. 'em.

Three big reasons:

  1. There are some folks who just hate anything that’s really popular. Green Day is really popular, and these folks hate 'em. That’s compounded by the fact that Green Day has moved to a more pop-oriented sound over the years. You could call that selling out, I guess, but it’s not like Dookie sold poorly.

  2. Green Day sounds different enough from previous punk bands to get the punk purists all riled up.

  3. Green Day took punk from a largely underground and the domain of the self-proclaimed elite to a popular style that pretty much everyone knows. In so doing, they inspired legions of lesser followers–some much lesser, at that.

Love 'em so I’m definitely biased. Especially their very latest release which is very political. I think Billy Jo explained quite well in Rolling Stone recently how they have matured over time, “It’s sexy to be an angry young man, but to be a bitter old bastard is another thing altogether.”

They sell out venues so somebody else likes 'em.

I don’t know about ‘hate,’ but I listened to American Idiot once…thought it was OK…but I really have no desire to hear it again. I guess I just don’t see the big deal about them.

I’m going to go with the whole “popular” idea. Certain people like their musical genres unpopular and underground. Once it becomes popular, the whole deal is off. Therefore anything in the genre that becomes popular must be a sell out to preserve the integrity of the genres underground nature. The band and anyone in it loses its “cred.”

And American Idiot is a brilliant album. Easily one of my all time favorites. If this is the sort of stuff they do when their angry, I may just have to vote republican for a good long time. :wink:

Just passing through on my way to another thread and saw this. I don’t listen to their music, so I don’t have an opinion, but they were savaged in Q Magazine according to Instapundit.

They were taking the same kind of crap as far back as Dookie.

I didn’t like their earlier stuff all that much, but I think American Idiot is an absolutely brilliant album.

While I suppose we could debate why these boys are hated, I suspect that there will be more posters interested in contributing their views over in Cafe Society, which is where you will find this, next.

[ /Moderator Mode ]

What you’re hearing is the same old tired punk criticism: “They’re posers, man.” Invariably this line is uttered by one who fits the given description. It’s just an elitist copout.

They’ve been saying it about GD et. al. for a long time – not just since “American Idiot”.

I personally don’t think much of Green Day, their style is more pop punk on the level of New Wave of the late 70’s / 80’s - and I will admit I am elitist when it comes to punk.

On to an elitists explanation: In the current definition of the genre, Pop punk is what is being presented as “Punk” - is not actually punk, not because they are popular, but because, just as new wave had been a watered down sub-genre of punk, this current genre is a watered down mass marketted version.

Punk isn’t just about the music either, punk is a subculture, a society of its own, including things like the DIY ethic which produced most of the music of the 80’s which is punk, also excludes Green Day from the genre because they are a major label band. If you are wondering why “Punks” don’t like Green Day, look into the punk subculture, and then see if you could fit a major label band into that definition.

They are no more punk than Blondie was - the best I can give Green Day is that they are a “punk-style” pop band being marketted to young adults and teens by major record industry.

I wouldn’t say it’s hate. They are a perfectly competent band, musically, and Billy Joe has a knack for writing pretty impressive and catchy pop punk songs.

Unfortunately, they’ve never really done anything that wasn’t already done better years ago by The Clash, The Ramones, or Husker Du, so ultimately they contribute very little to the musical landscape.

Oh, but when Billy Joe commented that music can be popular and still be “dangerous,” that pissed me off. There ain’t a single thing dangerous or “edgy” about Green Day. Unless you’re 12.

I think of myself as being pretty familiar with the punk scene, and I love Green Day. Stylistically, they’re actually one of the more consistent bands out there, as well. 10-minute tracks aside, “American Idiot” doesn’t sound that different from “Dookie”: you still have Armstrong’s I-have-a-permanent-head-cold voice belting ridiculously catchy melodies over pounding drums and chugging power chords.

They were extremely fortunate to benefit from the hard work of volunteers at the Gilman St. Center and Maximum Rock’n’Roll, both of which espoused a DIY ethic that they certainly crapped all over by signing to a major label. Those institutions created the audience which widened through time to the point that the majors took notice. It’s as if all those people volunteered their time for years so that these nitwits could get rich.

All right, there are legitimate reasons to not like Green Day- and I’ll get to those sometime later-, but I’m first going to defend them first.

A lot of the snobbish punk stuff is bullshit. A lot of today’s kids who call themselves punks are the real “posers” (I hate that word)… proof: They idolize Sid Vicious, of all people.

Although Glen Matlock claimed he was kicked out of the Sex Pistols for liking the Beatles, Punk really is an inclusive genre. There’s enough room for Green Day.
Somebody mentioned Blondie- they were absolutely a punk band.

Writing catchy songs and joining a major label don’t make a band non-punk. Many punk bands have done both.

Many young punks don’t quite get into the culture of punk and understand the decades of punk that came before.

There are still young punks interested in the punk scene and punk culture, and there are others who buy a Sid & Nancy t-shirt and listen to Green Day.

Talon Karrde - most punks over 30 and the music business in general consider Blondie NEW WAVE.

There are two definaitions of punk, ones who were or are part of a punk scene, and those looking from the outside in - only outsideers considered Blondie to be a punk band, albeit the members of Blondie were on the scene, the band itself was never punk.

I know many old punks between 35 and 50 who feel that major labels have stolen from thier ideas and thier culture, and consider Green Day to be traitors to the punk scene for the same reason. And some kids in the scene being true to the ethics of punk, and who understand the culture & the scene of punk, feel the same way about Green Day.

Re: burning the US Flag, the last time I checked, it wasn’t illegal (yet) unless you violate some other law (like setting fires in a city street or something)

As for why I don’t like Green Day… I like a lot of the random older stuff of theirs that I’ve heard, but never enough for me to buy a CD. The more recent stuff I hear on the radio is usually enough to inspire me to fire up my CD player (sometimes I wonder if radio stations play crappy music as a means of promoting the CD industry), but mainly because they don’t have enough subtlety to do good political music.

These guys could learn a few things by listening to some of the songs done by Tom Lehrer (a famous mathmatician some of you Dopers are no doubt familiar with) While I imagine that I would have agreed with very few of his political ideas behind his music, I sure as heck like listening to his music. Listening to the guy from Green Day do his darndest to give himself a sore throat to do a high-volumed but poor impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger was amusing, the first time I heard it. The next 80 times I heard it over the coarse of a week kinda wore thin though. :rolleyes:

Maybe I can explain that better - there is a punk scene, those who are part of the grassroots of punk, who put on all ages shows, shows at venues, run record labels, and put out zines, all in the spirit of punk community. The punk scene is the core who created the music and defined the genre (personally, I have been part of the punk scene since 1985 in varying capacities).

Then there are the media moguls and record labels telling the masses what is punk and selling it under the name of punk.

Blondie & Green Day are considered punk only by those who are outside of the scene, and it is the media and record labels who created this definition, not the actual creators of the scene.

Ergo, Blondie and Green Day aren’t punk.

But I do like Blondie, and not every song by Green Day is bad either, but I would never call either them punk.

The animosity rises in that people who are not part of punk are trying to define the genre and sell music as if punk is just a label for a sound, where as in many people’s minds it is an identity and culture, not just a music genre.