Green Day to unleash a trilogy: '¡Uno!,' '¡Dos!' and '¡Tre!'
Give rock 'n' rollers a taste of Broadway and their dramatic ambitions will never cease. West Coast punk rock band Green Day on Wednesday announced that it will be releasing a trio of albums, beginning later this year. The first is due in September, according to a tweet from frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. A spokesman for the band confirmed that the news is no joke.
The full tweet from Armstrong is as follows: "Ok. Here's the deal. We're making a 3 album trilogy. Not 1. Not 2. But 3 albums. Called ¡UNO! ¡DOS! ¡TRE! Coming September November January."
No further details were immediately available, and thus it was unknown whether the language and punctuation hinted at a Spanish-language influence creeping into Green Day's increasingly theatrical rock 'n' roll. A spokesperson did, however, confirm that the third album, "Tre," would not, in fact, be a solo effort from Green Day drummer Tre Cool.
Armstrong had earlier announced that the band had entered the studio around Valentine's Day of this year. Currently, the musical inspired by the act's "American Idiot" is stationed in Los Angeles, and can be seen at the Ahmanson Theatre through April 22.
Green Day is no stranger to thematically connected works. While the songs of "American Idiot" touch on religion, politics and suburban emptiness, 2009's "21st Century Breakdown" took the concept album to an even greater extreme. The album was a multi-act cycle centered largely on two characters -- one rebel and one idealist. Musically, the album showed Armstrong more adeptly using a falsetto, and unveiled a more versatile-than-ever Green Day, as the band toned down some of the aggression for flashes of John Lennon-inspired pop.
Yet Green Day's own concerts of late have become a near-theatrical production themselves. The act is a long way from its 924 Gilman St. days, and it no longer shies away from arena-rock antics such as pyrotechnics, sing-along ballads and extended medleys. The band even brought the cast of "American Idiot" to the Grammy Awards, and Armstrong himself joined the "American Idiot" cast at New York's St. James Theatre.
Green Day's plan to release multiple albums in succession is not unprecedented in the rock world. L.A.'s System of a Down released its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" in 2005, yet shied away from labeling them part of a piece.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: A portrait of San Francisco Bay area-based band Green Day from 2009, when the group helped adapt its album "American Idiot" as a theater piece with the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Mike Dirnt, left, Tre Cool and Billie Joe Armstrong. Credit: Warner Bros. Records