Published May 22, 2009Possibly taking a page from Trent Reznor's previous tirade against Wal-Mart, pop punks Green Day have entered a skirmish with the world's largest retailer.
According to singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, the chain has refused to stock their latest album 21st Century Breakdown unless it is edited to remove what they feel is objectionable language and content. Wal-Mart has had a long-standing policy of not carrying music sporting Parental Advisory stickers.
However, the band (rounded out by bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool) have refused to cave to the retailer's demands. Says Armstrong, "Wal-Mart's become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won't carry our record because they wanted us to censor it. There's nothing dirty about our record. They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there. We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something.
"If you think about bands that are struggling or smaller than Green Day... to think that to get your record out in places like that, but they won't carry it because of the content and you have to censor yourself. What does that say to a young kid who's trying to speak his mind making a record for the first time? It's like a game that you have to play. You have to refuse to play it."
Armstrong also notes that the store's policy is disappointing, considering it has become the dominant seller of CDs with the decline of traditional music stores. Armstrong has a lot of political views lately, as evidenced here: