It’s not everyday you get to witness a conversation so poignant and sincere between two of music’s most endearing names, from different generations. Alas, that’s exactly what Rolling Stone got when they teamed Billie Eilish up with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong for a “Musician on Musician” session.
Billie Eilish and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong go “Musician on Musician”
Half-interviewing each other, the two get deep about the darkness of fame and the pains self-doubt, while Eilish and Armstrong each take turns diving into the others music and fishing out the best qualities. Eilish even surprises Armstrong by revealing her favourite Green Day song, while the “Basket Case” vocalist imparts wisdom when it comes to the pressures of touring.
The interview, which takes place in the back of Armstrong’s ‘63 Ford Falcon in Los Angeles, starts with the Green Day vocalist equating Eilish’s music to liberation. “I always gravitate toward music that sounds like freedom,” he says. “And that’s what I get from your music. It’s like an earnest person that’s expressing themselves and incorporating new sounds.”
Although Eilish is surprised people even like her music in the first place. “Because there’s such a world of liking nothing, music that’s not really doing anything.”
The conversation turns even more serious once the two start musing about the pressures of the industry. For Armstrong, he recalls that he was “sort of lost at sea” in 1994, the same year Green Day’s classic Dookie sold 10 million copies. “I never wanted to feel like I was taking advantage of the situation”, he says. “I didn’t really stop and smell the roses.”
Talk also turns towards the benefits of being “genre-fluid” in today’s age, with Armstrong comparing it to what it was like before. “Things happen so rapidly now,” he observes. “It’s like people go through a cycle of music like it’s a fucking Instagram page, where you just sit there and flick through picture all the time. I think it’s a new frontier for [Green Day], which is really fun.”