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I remember hearing the single for the first time, being debuted on Radio 1, while I did Summer work in a factory before going to Reading Festival to see them headline. It was genuinely exciting in only the way a 16-year-old can get excited about his favourite band releasing a new song. It also took the edge off having to work in a factory and the rest of Radio 1's output at the time.
Weirdly the album itself came as a let down. I was probably expecting every track to sound like the punk blast of the lead single and when it wasn't (it was padded out with things like ballads and generic alternative rock songs) I felt slightly annoyed. Still, I like about 80% of it now so it gets a pass from me.
I've also since learned that much of the song's style was whipped from US Forces by Midnight Oil. Oh well, steal from the best.
Here's one of the pages from almost 10 years ago to the day, https://web.archive.org/web/20040208041954/http://www.greendayauthority.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=32b269fad0216093a564dd6329d63923;act=SF;f=1
You can also see how excited we all were for AI, https://web.archive.org/web/20040524120912/http://www.greendayauthority.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=ca582a230158006d18688b33cd2f87f0;act=ST;f=1;t=663
That'd be fine if they had enormous production costs and a huge stage show like the Iron Maidens and U2s of this world to justify it, but they didn't. They played at one end of a football stadium with screens on either side.
Unless t-shirt cannons cost thousands of pounds to maintain it is ridiculous. For comparison, the Wembley show cost £40.
I would be concerned that, at this stage, Cavallo is little more than a 'yes' man in the studio. The band needs a good filter to challenge terrible ideas and point them in the right direction. If he's just saying "yeah Billie, that sounds great" to everything then the trilogy (the product, not the sales) explains itself a bit more.
I have no opinion on Butch Vig, 21st Century Breakdown got about 10 spins from me.
My preferred producer, simply because he has made some of my favourite albums, would be Nick Launay but that'll never happen so I don't know why I posted.