Mayer & Armstrong: One on One

By Michael Mayer
01 Apr 2010

MM: You've been involved in this show to a degree that's surprising. Why was that important to you?
BJA: It was a growing love for the project. When people are cool, I like to get close to them, and I like to share whatever I have as well.

Armstrong on the performance of the song "21 Guns" at the Grammy Awards with the cast of American Idiot. (In true rock star fashion, some colorful language used here.) Mayer talks about the cast’s chance to party like rock stars.
MM: It was unique to do the development work for the show in Berkeley [California], which is basically your backyard. It meant you guys were really allowed to be involved. Can you talk about what it was like to see the show for the first time in a fully realized production with your family and your community watching alongside you?
BJA: There was a lot going on personally in my own life at the same time; I had a friend who committed suicide, so there were a lot of emotions going on. That thing where you're scared and you're worried about failing, and at the same time when you lose someone to such a senseless death, it makes you realize you have to live. Who cares what anyone else thinks? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

MM: The theatre fans who came to see the show, to my great delight, really dug it. And a lot of them didn't know Green Day's music. I was also nervous about what your fans would think. What has been your experience so far with your fans and the show?
BJA: It's been really positive. Especially when you go to the shows where it becomes really Green Day fan–heavy. There were a couple of moments when I literally thought a pit was going to start happening.

MM: I love the idea of a mosh pit in a Broadway theatre someday.
BJA: Yeah. Someday.

MM: Now that you've had this experience, do you think you'd want to write another musical? And by the way, you already told me that you did, and that I could direct it, so I'm going to hold you to it, and this is in Playbill, so it's the truth! But seriously, does that still interest you?
BJA: Totally. I think the first thing for me is to try and come up with a good story that means something to me and then the music will start to unfold. Yeah, I wanna do another one.