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Billie Joe's voice change


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34 replies to this topic

#1
nwn222

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Hi everyone,

I was just thinking about this the other day. I've noticed that Billie Joe's voice sounds a lot higher than it does on records like Nimrod and Dookie. Actually on 21st Breakdown it sounds higher than American Idiot. Anyone noticed this? It's probably normal I suppose. I believe it's because he was singing more nasally back then, but who knows.

-nwn222

#2
Bastard of 1967

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Hi everyone,

I was just thinking about this the other day. I've noticed that Billie Joe's voice sounds a lot higher than it does on records like Nimrod and Dookie. Actually on 21st Breakdown it sounds higher than American Idiot. Anyone noticed this? It's probably normal I suppose. I believe it's because he was singing more nasally back then, but who knows.

-nwn222

He's 20 years older, Butch Vig pushed him into exploring his higher register on 21stCB, and he now has a successful run in a Broadway musical under his belt. I'd be stunned if he *didn't* sound different after all this. :)
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#3
Dylan.

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Most punk singers have this arrogance about their voice. They don't want to change how to form pitch--even if it's not correct. They just want it to sound cool. As Billie has aged, he has wanted to become a respectable musician outside of punk circles. He's grown, and I think part of him wants to be known for more than the brat with a nose ring and blue hair. His voice has matured along with it--as well as his music and lyrics. So, forget about a higher voice--his tone and pitch are clearer.

Of course, it is nice that he can hit notes like this:


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#4
kelly42fox

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Honestly the main differences in Billie's voice are that he annunciates his words more and that he doesn't force a/the sound as much... Which, as Dylan mentioned, is a 'maturity' thing... There's a whole lot of technical vocal blah, blah to this that I won't go into...

The vocal range he uses hasn't changed much. He's just broadened the range used within a single song a little (I'll cite the chorus of 21 Guns as an example). But Billie has always had a lot of melody in his songs. <3

#5
Laly

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I realize of his change but I don't know a thing about vocal stuff :P I like it, of course, and sometimes in certain songs he still sounds like a little teenager :) And live is... no words.

#6
nwn222

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Agreed to all. I think his voice is getting better and better :)

#7
WalkingContradictionPL

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Isn't it caused by cigarettes? Smoking changes human's voice, but I don't know exactly how, but maybe it is also the reason, why Billie sings a little bit different. I can hear the difference between When I Come Around from Foot in Mouth and Awesome as Fcuk.


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#8
nwn222

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That's what I'm talking about, and I'm sure smoking has something to do with it, but Idc. I love Billie Joe's voice regardless!

#9
BJA TC MD

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I reckon his voice is getting stronger, and better. Probably because of maturity, as previously mentioned. I think as you look through the albums, Billie is perhaps pushing himself vocally a little more, like in the beginning of Before the Lobotomy, when he gets the really high notes. I love his voice anyways

#10
Brigister

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Sometimes that is an effect made in studio, actually. Anyways, I don't think he's been changing his voice since when he was like 25 or something. Puberty is kind of gone.

#11
greendaytodeathandback

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I agree, his voice is really maturing and getting better and better :wub:

#12
I_am_B

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producing technology has come on alot since the old days, now green day are very produced compared to the old days, all those lovely raw sounds you find in bands first offering are smoothed out and perfected within an inch of its life, they can make a record sound however they want it to now!
that plus age and cigs change a voice

#13
LinziLetterbomb

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His voice now is the best it has ever sounded! Although i have always loved his singing i think now his range is just so much better...stronger. :wub:

#14
No Rhyme Or Reason

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I don't think his voice itself is really chaninging, more like he's getting better at using his voice. He's using more of his range, especially the higher notes (particularly on their last two albums). I think Billie's becoming a much better vocalist every year, and I love that he's trying to sing even better than he used to. Like how he sang in the musical - that was amazing!

I'm pretty sure smoking usually makes people's voices lower and kiind of raspier, so I don't feel like that is as much of a factor in Billie's singing, since we're mostly talking about his higher range. But I don't know, I don't smoke, so I might be wrong.
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#15
Jaymee!!

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I'm sure he had some vocal training as well for his time on Broadway, and is taking that knowledge with him into the studio and on the road. You can notice it after American Idiot came out, he started singing some songs live in a similar fashion instead of the 'old' way, which are more diverse for his vocal range.

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#16
billieve

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He's just getting older!

#17
Bastard of 1967

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I'm sure he had some vocal training as well for his time on Broadway, and is taking that knowledge with him into the studio and on the road. You can notice it after American Idiot came out, he started singing some songs live in a similar fashion instead of the 'old' way, which are more diverse for his vocal range.

The thing that I absolutely adore about his voice since AI/21stCB/AIOB is that he can croon sweetly in one second and shoot out a blood-curdling scream the next, and then switch right back again. I saw that a lot on the tour and while he was on Broadway. It's a gift, and I hope he uses it to its full advantage in the studio this time around.
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#18
lucatotti

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so here we are talking about his vioce. alright. maybe this is a little bit out of topic but it's about his voice.

Well in A**** ** Fuck his voice sounds to me very "equalized". Also I cant stop thinking about autotune or not in christie road on awesome as fuck.
Even if billie has tweeted there were no effects over that album.

Edited by lucatotti, 24 February 2012 - 02:38 PM.


#19
Bastard of 1967

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so here we are talking about his vioce. alright. maybe this is a little bit out of topic but it's about his voice.

Well in A**** ** Fuck his voice sounds to me very "equalized". Also I cant stop thinking about autotune or not in christie road on awesome as fuck.
Even if billie has tweeted there were no effects over that album.

Dude, you can't equalize or autotune what ain't there to begin with. I've heard him live on Broadway from the front row. He's that fucking good.
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#20
Nemo.

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i think the technology in the studio is the main cause that bj´s voice sounds so different on 21st CB. when i compare awesome as fuck with foot in mouth there is just a little diffrence.
but in my opinion bj´s voice on 21st CB is the best

#21
sara_gd

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I think that a big part of it is him wanting to sound better, focusing in his voice and the sound of it, taking care about the end of the verses, etc, instead of simply singing the melody.
The "high notes" is just a thing that he wanted to try for 21stCB, I'm sure he could do them in the 90s if he had trained his voice a little bit back then.


But, I do think that his voice has changed a bit. Voice does change with age, (although

Puberty is kind of gone.

:lol:) like when you hear someone speaking and you know if he's a young man, middle aged or old. You can hear it when he's talking, and it obviously affects his voice when he sings.





#22
lucatotti

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Dude, you can't equalize or autotune what ain't there to begin with. I've heard him live on Broadway from the front row. He's that fucking good.


oh alright, sorry for that.
i wouldn't know why they should do it, because i know that he's really good. I've seen that broadway video before. it just sounds like.
anymways: no doubtful thinking when it comes to green day. it's everything how it should be :D ;D

#23
pisquano

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Actually, he used to hit high notes in the very first records. I was there, Why Do You Want Him, Dry Ice, they all show us that his vocal range was already wide, but from Dookie to Warning he used a lower range.
So it's not that his vocal range changed, he just improved and worked on his tecnique, trying to get the best from what he already had. :)
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#24
Sleeper Agent.

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i guess his change in voice can be put down to age and working on his pitch and tone, which is cool cause sticking to the same pitch and tone can be quite boring

#25
Sixtrix

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Actually, he used to hit high notes in the very first records. I was there, Why Do You Want Him, Dry Ice, they all show us that his vocal range was already wide, but from Dookie to Warning he used a lower range.
So it's not that his vocal range changed, he just improved and worked on his tecnique, trying to get the best from what he already had. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...


I noticed that too. It probably had to do with his vocal techniques back then when he would sing those songs with high notes more often during live shows that he maybe could sense some difficulty on a long term, and maybe decided that it would be "more safe" to sing in a lower range.

It is noticeable that he really worked on his vocal techniques after Warning. I also noticed that his vocals during some of the live performances on their Warning tour sounded like they were worn out. Maybe he had to work on his techniques to handle his vocals better without damaging it after forcing it too much. And I am sure he also wanted to improve his vocals to be able to raise that bar with his songwriting.

#26
Matt.

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The more you sing and the more rangy material you sing, your voice naturally progresses. I can vouch for that as it has happened to me.
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#27
billiejoephil

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BJA is just working on his technique. I guess he's aspiring to improve and get better every day. I've been in vocal training for a while now, and I'm pretty sure that Billie still trains his voice a lot. He can sing things he couldn't do a few years ago; which is pretty amazing in my opinion. He's just a a musician thru and thru, aiming for improvement all the time and wanting to progress. That's an attitude which is really worth mentioning.
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#28
GeekStinkMe

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I think Butch vig kinda tolfd him to sing higher (21CB)
and before, .. he's getting older ;)

#29
DannyDirnt

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Noticed the change,but don't know anything about music at all.I like when he sings older songs,for example Welcome to Paradise at they sound different :D

#30
bloodsexbooze31

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Anybody notice in recent live video's that Billie's voice seems to be pretty weak? Idk if its from the illness he had a little while back or just from being tired, just wanted to get others opinions
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