Despite a perky posting on the band's website in December, it seems all is not well between Green Day and producer Scott Litt (R.E.M., Nirvana, Liz Phair). The pop-punk band and legendary producer parted ways this week just days into pre-production on Green Day's follow-up to 1997's Nimrod, according to sources close to the band. Rob Cavallo, who produced the band's three previous projects, is back in the fold, but not as the album's producer.
The Green Day camp would not comment on the cause of the split, and Litt had not returned phone calls at press time.
The break between Green Day and Litt runs contrary to the tone of an enthusiastic handwritten letter posted on the band's Reprise Web site by Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong late last year: "He seems like the right person for the job," Armstrong wrote of Litt. "As long as he can put up with [drummer] Tre [Cool], I think he'll be fine."
In the posting, Armstrong stated that the band would begin recording in March or April – possibly even filming the event for a documentary. "Our plan is to record in East Oakland and hopefully do a documentary on the making of the new record," Armstrong wrote. "We're really excited about the new songs. The overtone in the lyrics seems to be more positive. Not in a Prozac sort of way, but more in the sense of surviving and living to tell about it and taking on new challenges."
The band is planning to continue work on the new album March 27 in an Oakland studio. Fans seeking a preview of the new material will be able to catch Green Day as they play a number of summer dates on this year's Warped Festival tour.