Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman of American rock group Green Day, has responded to criticism after he collaborated with Morrissey.
Amstrong, who worked with the former Smiths frontman on a cover of The Fifth Dimension’s ‘Wedding Bell Blues’ last year, has claimed to be unaware of Morrissey’s controversial political stance.
The collaborative song, which appeared on Morrissey’s most album California Son, a covers album which also included the likes of Ed Droste, Sameer Gadhia, Lydia Night and more. The record was also released around the time of political unrest in the UK as the Brexit debate was in full swing. Morrissey, never one to shy away from a hot topic, took the decision to wear a badge that depicted the logo of British far-right party For Britain while performing California Son‘s lead single ‘Morning Starship’ on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Following his very public support of the party, Morrissey hit headlines around the UK for his political leaning which, at one point, resulted in a protest around his planned homecoming concert in Manchester. As the conversation escalated, Morrissey began following it up with more controversial statements which included a moment in which he seemingly suggested that Hitler was left-wing before hitting out London mayor Sadiq Kahn by saying he “cannot talk properly” in an explosive interview.
Reacting once more, Morrissey was part of a bizarre interview in which he claimed that “everyone preferring their own race,” a comment that was met with fury by fans that had previously stood by him in their admiration for his art. Compounding the situation, the former Smiths frontman took the decision to allow himself to be linked to a “white supremacist” video.
Armstrong, however, has said that he was totally unaware of the whirlwind of negative press circulating around Morrissey when he agreed to work with him. “I wasn’t aware until the song came out,” Armstrong told The Guardian.
“We do the song, and he was very lovely, and then the song comes out and a lot of Brits were like: what the hell are you doing? I really did not have a clue …”
He added: “Hey, we’ve all got our Ted Nugents, right?”