Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool were so devoted to making June 8th's Green Day: Rock Band, the trio let themselves suck — again and again. "We filmed a bunch of animations of the band failing and the crowd booing them," Harmonix Project Developer Chris Foster tells Rolling Stone. "It turns out when Green Day saw the finished version, they loved it. They thought it was hysterical."
The key to making the game, which will feature three full albums (21st Century Breakdown, American Idiot and Dookie), plus a handful of the group's earlier songs, was the details: the band insisted on including stage divers and crowd surfers, the innovative video segments currently rolling on the 21st Century Breakdown tour and key elements from their early days (keep an eye out for their first van, the Bookmobile). The avatars' tattoos evolve; the guitars are scratched in the back where the bandmembers' belt buckles have etched in deep scars. And the band is convinced fans will dig the effort: "Seeing ourselves through the lens of this video game has been mind-blowing," Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong says in a statement. "Green Day: Rock Band undeniably manages to capture the best moments and work of our insane careers. We can't wait for our fans to experience it."
Green Day: Rock Band comes with a 47-song track list that rolls out as the band progresses through three venues. The game opens in a fictional space dubbed the Warehouse, which Foster says captures the grimier spaces the band was still rocking as Dookie broke. The trio then move to the Milton Keynes National Bowl, home of Green Day's 2005 live album Bullet in a Bible, and wrap their tour at Oakland, California's Fox Theatre with 21st Century Breakdown — the same spot where they debuted the disc one year ago (read David Fricke's full report). The in-game track list contains 12 of 21st's 18 songs, and the remaining six tracks are already available as downloadable content that will automatically plug in to Green Day: Rock Band. Songs from Insomniac, Warning! and Nimrod made the cut, but Foster says developers couldn't get the multitrack recordings for Kerplunk and 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours.
But the game does include archival photos and video — tons of it mined from the Warner Bros. archives and MTV's vaults. "MTV sent us 14 DVDs with 20 hours of footage," Foster says, explaining how the game's makers poured over entire concerts, sound checks and rare interviews. The result is Green Day: Rock Band includes twice as much video as the Beatles' game. "It's about them and doing right by them," Foster says, "so it's just great to have the opportunity to include so much."
Check out a sneak peek of the animations included in Green Day: Rock Band and more of our interview with Foster above, and the track list right here:
Green Day: Rock Band
"Having a Blast"
"When I Come Around"
"Welcome to Paradise"
"In the End"
"She's a Rebel"
"Jesus of Suburbia"
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
"Are We the Waiting?
"Give Me Novacaine"
"Hitchin' a Ride"
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
"Nice Guys Finish Last"
"Brain Stew" / "Jaded"
"Geek Stink Breath"
The Fox Theater, Oakland:
21st Century Breakdown
"Song of the Century"
"¿Viva La Gloria? (Little Girl)"
"21st Century Breakdown"
"Restless Heart Syndrome"
"Before the Lobotomy"
"Horseshoes and Handgrenades"
"Last Night on Earth"
"The Static Age"
"See the Light"
• Green Day Talk "American Idiot" on Broadway and Film at Sneak Peek of New Show
• Green Day Reveal Summer Dates of "21st Century Breakdown" Tour
• The Birth of Green Day's American Idiot Musical
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