Green Day Frontman: 'I Couldn't Predict Where I Was Going To End Up At Night'

Billie Joe Armstrong talks about his drinking problem and last year's onstage meltdown.

Ultimate Guitar

After admitting himself to rehab after an onstage meltdown during a performance at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas last year, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has decided to open up about his substance abuse issues in the latest interview with the Rolling Stone magazine.

The band's show being cut short proved as a cracking point for the singer, causing the profane outburst and guitar smashing on stage. After months of rehab, Armstrong finally took some time to discuss the situation.

"I couldn't predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night. I'd wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn't remember how. It was a complete blackout," the frontman tells Rolling Stone.

As for the incident itself, the singer confesses he merely remembers small fragments of the whole night.

"I remember tiny things. The next morning, I woke up. I asked [my wife] Adrienne, 'How bad was it?' She said, 'It's bad.' I called my manager. He said, 'You're getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately.'"

With the recent announcement of the band's post-rehab comeback show, things seem to be going better for Green Day.

The show is set to take place on March 15 at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The group has also confirmed a big London concert at the 60.000 capacity Emirates Stadium on June 1, as well as a performance on Optimus Alive festival in Portugal this July.

"Let me f--king tell you something. I've been around since f--king nineteen-eighty-f--king-eight. You're going to give me one f--king minute? You've got to be f--king kidding me. What the f--k? I'm not f--king Justin Bieber, you motherf--kers.," the frontman said during an infamous meltdown last September.

113 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Again, nobody is calling it a meltdown. I thought it was one of the coolest things I've seen from Green Day in a long time.
    They're doing it for fun.
    As soon as I read the first sentence of the article, where it mentions the "onstage meltdown" yet again, I thought it's gotta be their new "thing". They just had the article at the end of 2012 about all the running gags for the year, and "UG Memes", so at this point, to KEEP using the exact phrase "onstage meltdown" in EVERY GD-related article, it's GOTTA be it. I bet we see this on the 2013 end of year list
    Even if it was a normal thing for punks, you have to be keeping up appearances when you're in a pop band and a whole generation of pop kids is looking up to you. So they quickly disguised it in a meltdown and "fixed" him so he can walk proud once more among the adoring sea of emo teenagers the band relies on. Good business!
    Putting yourself back together after getting your ass kicked by addiction is incredibly difficult. I wish him the best.
    Billie Joe: 'I Couldn't Predict Where I Was Going To End Up At Night' Keith Richards: 'That's cute, kid.'
    most people cannot predict where they will be tonight anyway... seems like a normal thing really.
    I remember when smashing gear onstage and yelling at *****s who "don't get it" was praised by fans and they cheered that shit on. Nowadays it apparently requires and apology and a stint in rehab. This generation is full of pussies.
    It was stupid then, and stupid now. Your last statement is definitely true, though.
    It was the most punk thing he's done in a while.
    Crying like a child when the corporate concert you signed a contract to play at tells you your set needs to end soon so other artists can play??? No, not 'punk' at all. Lame is a more appropriate term.
    Not as lame as your comment.
    I'm sorry if you think the truth is lame.
    I agree with rabidgoon, d00ds haven't done anything punk in almost 20 years now. Also, bitching at corporate concerts =/= punk, DIY is punk. The most lovely thing about this comments are the ad hominem retorts such as mrmojorisin420.
    Josh Reubenking
    Says the one who isn't onstage, making money doing what he loves to do, and doesn't have an entire fanbase, and doesn't have talent. The only thing lame here is you. Go **** yourself.
    You don't know him. Maybe he is working his dream job a has a pretty good life. Grow up and learn that different people aspire to be different things. Not everybody wants to be on stage and not everybody wants a fanbase.
    Josh Reubenking
    lol. How cute, Mr. Hero coming to his defense. I'm just saying, Billie had a right to react the way he did. Fuck Usher. They shouldn't have cut down their time.
    I may no longer listen to Green Day, but I still hope they get back out there and kick some more ass! Keep up the hard work!
    He ended up being a hero to many for speaking his mind...which just happened to be the truth
    If your hero is some narcissistic rock star who complains that he's being treated 'unfairly' because the concert promoters who are paying him tons of money to play told him to soon stop so the rest of the show could go on as planned, then you fail as a human being.
    I don't think it was 'as planned' hence, he got pissed off because he found out his set got cut while he was playing it. Cutting someones set on shot notice is a dick move, but not telling them until they're actually playing is just insulting.
    No one knows what punk is anymore. Black Flag, Bad Brains, The Clash, New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Germs, The Replacements, Husker Du, hell even the Beastie Boys were way more punk than Green Day ever was.
    Yeah, well now they're all middle aged, so do you really expect them to be like "**** society!" with kids, a wife, and millions in the bank? On their behalf, I apologize for growing up.
    i dont get it.. whats the big deal about this, in the 90s they always smashed their gear.
    There's a pretty long way from the 90's Green Day to the 2012 Green Day. Mostly a downhill way.
    Insomniac - better than Dookie Nimrod - as good as Insomniac Warning - better than Nimrod American idiot - better than Warning 21CB - As good as AI The Trilogy - still listenable Nope, I'm pretty sure they kicked ass the whole time.
    American Idiot is what completely ruined them.
    It's their best album. It didn't break them. They did something fresh and interesting, did their biggest tour ever and picked up some awards and fans.
    I disagree, it was 21CB that broke them, imo. American Idiot was a new direction in a lot of ways. They tried to keep that going, but couldn't do it twice, so it wasn't as good, but still had radio/mainstream playability. At least that's how I see it.
    nope, i think dookie kerplunk and 1039/smooth were their best albums, theyre some of my favorites. (i dont mean their new ones are shit theyre okay too)
    Your opinion is completely biased. They haven't done anything exceptional since Dookie. All the rest was generic and uninspiring.
    I think he made a good point. You shouldn't put a time limit on a concert. Let the band play their set, and whenever they're done, they're done. It's not like the crowd is going to complain about a longer show. More concert for their money.
    Sometimes because of local ordinances, venues will shut the show down before the end. A few years ago, the Eagles came to Busch Stadium in St. Louis with the Chixie Dix opening for them. I know several local stagehands and production guys that worked on the show and said that because the opening act went on so late going on (over an hour, I think), they tried to cut the Eagles' set short.
    Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen on stage simultaniously got cut short a few months ago. I'd say that's a pretty good example of a show getting cut off due to local ordinances.
    That's not how festivals work, unfortunately. And the frontman of a band like Green Day should know that by now.
    yeah the fact that you said that tells me you have 0 experience playing gigs. Everything is set.
    People with opinions on how punk a band gets to be are the worst thing to ever happen to the genre
    I can't really sympathize with rich 40 year old musicians who have drug problems.
    Oh, well I guess you're not 'punk' according to green day fanboys. Cuz, y'know, 'punk' is all about making generic pop music and taking rehab vacations
    Okay. We get it. You don't like Green Day. I don't see the point why you even came to this article in the first place.
    To make fanboys cry. Mission accomplished.
    Well I'm not crying nor am I a fanboy. But if doing this is what gets you off then have fun with that.
    Wow, your life must be so great if that is what you like to why would we cry over you not liking a band?
    I don't know. Why don't you tell me why you're whining about my opinion...
    Maybe you should do something more worthwhile, like learning Portuguese.
    Making mall goth punk. Singing about the suburbs and whining about loneliness. Not very appealing.
    Sid Vicious couldn't handle his I guess that makes him a bitch too huh?
    yes he was a bitch, he couldn't even play bass; a four stringed instrument in a band which played 3 chord punk rock. The Sex Pistols are pretty sweet but cman man he was a joke.
    Of course he was a joke he let a drug take over his life and that is true he couldn't play the bass to save his life.
    Darth Wader
    Meltdown definition: a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation). So...yeah
    what he said during his "meltdown" makes more sense to me than what he said afterwards.
    I'd like to see if Jim Lindberg would do something like this stupidity.
    Wow - just think how all that time in rehab he must have spent thinking of 'new' ways to string power chords together and make generic 'punk' riffs... I'm sure we'll be hearing the results in due time...
    You haven't listened to anything off of their last 3 albums, haven't you? Also, that's not what you do in rehab. Try harder next time.
    No, I listen to good music, not generic, derivative garbage like green day.
    Oh well then you are definitely the expert on what all of Green Day's songs are like! Good job!
    How many times are you going to comment on this article? You don't like Green Day we get isn't like you have to keep saying it over and over again.
    Greenday's last good album was Warning, they have sucked since then, aaaaand ever since then (when the album didn't do so well) they have been pandering to a new generation of frankly put mall punks. Thats all I have to say.
    how is green day old their first album waS american idiot and it came out in like 2005
    No it wasn't...their first real album was Kerplunk! back in 1991...they got popular with Dookie in 1994 and got popular again in 2004 with American Idiot.
    Confused by this... But that album turned into a musical on Broadway .. So... That is not very punk.
    His so called "meltdown" wasn't even that great
    are you kidding? it was hilarious and pretty awesome. they cut his set short i didnt realize how bad they literally put it up on all the TVs "5 minutes" or whatever it was and he blew up it was epic
    Isn't this guy a little old to not be able to handle his booze and drugs?
    It's been happening since 1997 (he was 25 then). Not a new thing.
    I'm 25 now and I can damn well handle booze and occasional drugs. Getting a hold of you habits comes with age and maturity.
    It was kind of embarrassing to watch not because he had a meltdown but because he wanted to play his new music. He loses right there, "I wanna play a new song **** this shit, give me a ****in break one minute left." Well as long as your playing the new stuff why don't you just get off stage? Super weak guitar smashing at the end too.
    Get off the stage because he wants to get the new music out there and heard? That makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich.
    The only people I know that enjoy Green Day's new shit are mostly girls with some pretty weak daddy issues. Not exactly what, say Dookie, was about.
    I'm not a girl.....and I have no daddy issues. I like their new albums...not as much as the older ones but I still like them. I also enjoy The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix and a lot of other classic rock bands so what does that say?
    If I were him I wouldn't claim their new music, let alone play it live. Their new music is so cheesy and terribly written. They should only play their classics like the other bands of 88' like Poison and Motley Crue because it is all they are good for.
    To each his own man. But for them not to play their new music on their new tour to promote the 3 new albums....then what would be the point?
    matteo cubano
    Everyone and their mother seems to have a drinking problem. It's getting ridiculous that everytime someone gets pissed off on stage it results in rehab. Is it so crazy that he was just pissed off and acted on it?
    Does he remember putting eyeliner on? Maybe we can blame that on drugs too. I hope that's the reason.
    Fuck anyone who thinks Billie Joe did not earn/have reason to get pissed. Green Day was told they would have 45 minutes to play their set, but it was cut short to 20 by so called "musician" Usher. LONG LIVE BILLIE JOE!
    Usher has absolutely more fans than Green Day. Maybe the people there were getting fed up with their shit. Maybe someone realized d00d was drunk off his mind and decided to call it off.