Do you know Nimrod?
The one who lives in the third house right down the street, you probably do not really know him.
You may have seen him on the street once or remembered what he wore but you did not really get to know him.
We are almost certain that this is also what happened to you with "Green Day's" fifth album released on October 14, 1997.
An album that was not a huge success and not one of the most prominent in the band's discography, but you must have heard the song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" from it and one more thing, it is a very important record for the band itself.
A year after the meteoric success of the album "Dookie", the fourth album "Insomniac" was released and the band members continued to gallop on the wave of success as they embarked on an intense tour around the world. During this tour, the band moved from performing in medium and large clubs to arenas and large stadiums. The process took place very quickly and already in the middle of the tour the band members found themselves performing in large stadiums with fame and success enveloping them not softly.
They found themselves at the center of exactly the same things they hated and disliked, the filthy feeling and strong longing for home made them make a decision and cancel the last part of the tour.
Towards the end of 1996, they packed their bags, canceled the remaining performances, and returned home.
Returning home and aversion to the magnitude of the success led Billie Joe Armstrong and the rest of the band to create the album they had always been waiting to create. An album that is not subject to any restrictions, definitions, constraints, guidelines, music style, or other constraints.
Billy said he had been thinking about this album for the 6 years before it, they were all waiting to make a different album. They could not do this before because they did not feel ready or confident or the success did not allow them but now they did not care at all and created the album they so wanted. An album where they can explore and experiment with styles and elements that they did not use in the previous albums, such as acoustic songs, songs with influences from Surf Rock, Ska Punk, Hardcore Punk, and songs with strings.
The band members said that on the previous albums, every time they played and started wonder around to other places and spaces they immediately returned to the theme of the album and made sure to focus on the style and theme of the album. This time they did not and each time they slipped into other areas they just kept flowing with each other until a base for the song was formed.
Producer Rob Cavallo who also worked with them on the previous album (which was not a dizzying success) also worked with them on this album and his job was to be a mentor and support them in the new areas and new experiences. Therefore, each song on the album has its own character, it sounds different from its predecessor and there is no single thread or style that connects them all.
For example: "Nice Guys Finish Last" The strong punk song that opens the album is supposed to be the connection to the previous album, which suppose to hold you not to fall straight from the chair or legs. The next song "All the Time" is already going more toward hard rock and slowing down a bit. In the third song "King for a Day" you already understand that the train is not going to stop at the regular stations because the trumpets herald otherwise but do not worry the DNA remains. The song "Last Ride In" sounds like a taken from a scene in a James Bond or Kill Bill movie. The song "Walking Alone" has a beautiful use of the harmonica and the song that came out as the second single from the album and was a resounding success is the acoustic song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)". The band members spent four months recording the album and created over 30 songs, of which 18 entered the album.
Also in terms of lyrics, Billy has gone out into other spaces and he is starting to talk about more mature topics than in previous albums, topics like growing up, and his role as a father and husband. The song “The Grouch” addresses his fear of losing things in life like his principles, his health, and his own character. In the song "Hitchin a Ride", he talks about his inner struggles to stay sober and free of alcohol. The song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" was inspired by a failed relationship when the lady left to enlist in the Peace Corps.
Billy said that unlike the form of writing on previous albums, for this album he wrote all the songs first on acoustic guitar, and only then did the rest of the band join and make it what it is.
The tour to promote the album was also done in a different way. The band members decided not to add additional instruments and musicians to the stage as they appear on the album, but to remain in the band's lineup only. Also in terms of size, they decided to keep the performances for medium and big clubs but not stadiums, arenas, or festivals.
An "exceptional" event opened the tour when the band was scheduled to perform at the Tower Records music store in Manhattan as a grand opening for the tour. The band members got upset when they read reviews that indicated that the band had lost the strong punk that so characterized it, and during the first songs a commotion started !! Armstrong then spray-painted the words "Fuck" and "Nimrod" in black on the shop windows, continuing to expose his buttocks in front of a crowd of 1,400 people. After an even bigger commotion erupted on the spot, Coley threw his bass drum into the crowd while Armstrong tried to throw the monitor but got a stubborn fight from the store manager. No indictments were filed and no casualties were reported, but the store was closed for the day to repair the damage caused.
Festive opening no?
If you have asked yourself what the name of the album means and who is "Nimrod", then we will tell you that this is the name of a character from the Bible that in American English has become a nickname for a stupid or dull person.