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Green Day’s Mike Dirnt: “I Don’t Think People Should Be Afraid To Approach Any Instrument”

Rob Sayce
Rob Sayce 31 August 2017 at 14.29

"Writing music has given me a voice that’s going to be here a lot longer than I am…"



Green Day's Mike Dirnt has spoken about his life in music, and offered advice to budding musicians,

"My introduction to playing music was probably when I realised most of the bands I like play guitar, so I actually started off playing guitar," he explained.

"My mom had an old pawn shop bass, so I jumped on that, it had two strings, an E and an A."

"I met Billie [Joe Armstrong] in the fifth grade. He already played guitar a bit. I’ve always gone back and forth with bass and guitar."

"It’s funny, growing up people say you have to be either / or. I’ve always, since I was 5 years old, sat up on the piano and banged on it too. I don’t think people should be afraid to approach any instrument."


"Your heart and your soul are going to gravitate towards one of them eventually, but [your] introduction to music is really not being afraid of instruments, being able to walk up to them and put your hands on them."

Here's one of Mike's classic basslines.



"When we were kids, we would try to play anywhere we could. The school dance, to the little keg party, to somebody’s back yard. That same ‘play anywhere and everywhere’ carried into touring."

"Playing all the time as kids, it was always like ‘This is the best thing I have going in my life’. It wasn’t until we wrote and recorded our second record ‘Kerplunk’ with Tre, the way we were playing and gelling, that I realised ‘oh wow, I’m in one of my favourite bands.'"




"I think my favourite part of being a musician is the satisfaction that we get when we’ve written a song or an album that you know is going to stand the test of time. It’s going to pass the campfire test."

"If it’s just an acoustic guitar and a campfire 50 years from now, it’s still a great song. Then you know you’ve created some sort of indelible mark. That’s a really gratifying thing, it’s like having another kid. You absolutely love it, and it’s a part of your family forever."

"Writing music has given me a voice that’s going to be here a lot longer than I am…. The most important thing I’m ever going to do in my life. I’m blessed to have found that voice and it’s created a really amazing vessel for us to grow and learn and experience life in all of its different facets."

You can watch the full interview here:

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