Billie Joe Armstrong added a power-pop spin to Kim Wilde’s 1981 hit “Kids in America” with the latest installment of his quarantine cover series “No Fun Mondays.” The frontman belts the track over distorted guitars that build from palm-muted chugging to surging chords.
The singer dedicated the track to “the one, the only Mike Dirnt,” Green Day’s bassist and his bandmate of over two decades. “Play this one loud just for him,” Armstrong wrote in the video’s caption. The clip features an animated unicorn bassist bouncing along as a hand writes out the lyrics on notebook paper in green sharpie.
Armstrong also noted that Wilde’s song was later covered by punk rock act the Muffs. (Their version appeared on the soundtrack to 1995 film comedy Clueless.) After that band’s singer-guitarist Kim Shattuck died in October at 56 from complications of ALS, the Green Day member praised her as a major influence on his work. “She was one of my favorite songwriters,” he wrote. “When we recorded Dookie, we listened to the first Muffs record constantly. We will hear that rock n roll scream from heaven.”
In previous quarantine covers, Armstrong recruited the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs for that band’s “Manic Monday” and tipped his cap to the late Adam Schlesinger by tackling the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do!”
Green Day released their 13th studio album, Father of All…, in February. And Armstrong is already eyeing the band’s next project, having recently written a handful of new songs.
“I had all these melodies in my head, so I wrote, like, six songs since all of this has been going on,” he told Kerrang. “I don’t know when I can get together with Mike and Tré, but I told them to make sure that they’re quarantined for now, and then I hope down the road we can get back in the studio with [Father Of All… producer] Butch Walker.”