Green Day’s lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong might have suffered a “brain fart” during his Friday appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, but this is one punk rocker who still knows how to cut to the chase in one concise breath.
“Religion is a bunch of bullshit,” he told Maher, after essentially stammering for a moment.
“That’s what I want to hear!” the famously atheist host said, slamming his palms on the table and laughing.
Armstrong, who’s been on the media circuit lately to promote Green Day’s upcoming tour and the “American Idiot” Broadway show debut, appeared somewhat befuddled by Maher’s prompting to talk about religion.
“One of your favorite subjects,” Armstrong wryly said.
“How would you characterize your feelings on the subject in a setting like this?” Maher retorted.
The Green Day singer mentioned one of his songs, then said, “I have a kind of a fetish for the Bible a little bit. You know, songs like ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ and ‘St. Jimmy’ … And, uh, it’s kinda … Uh, it’s like one of those things, it’s the, to question everything and, uh … Oh, God, brain fart again, uh … Um, but like, you know, I mean, if you have to question religion, you know, it’s like …”
Maher cut him off, questioning Armstrong’s religious beliefs as a child.
“I was raised with a fear of God,” he said. “I think that’s something that’s ingrained in us. It’s beaten into us as a society, that we fear God. And I think we, you know, so, you’re, you’re accepting of the story. You’re accepting of the talking snake and the burning bush and, you know, and you’re, you know, so, you know, it’s, like, which are just stories, you know? And it’s supposed to, basically be about, I think it was about law and order and trying to keep people subservient.”
“Still is,” Maher said.
Armstrong went on to say that evangelists “are basically rockstars now,” saying that many of the themes in his own music are “basically calling out that religion is a bunch of bullshit.”
“That’s what I want to hear!” the host cheered.
Green Day is also kicking off an American tour this summer and is set to headline the Lollapolooza music festival from August 6-8 in Chicago. The band is also getting a full video game makeover by Rock Band developer Harmonix. The game, set to release in just under two months, will feature 47 of the Green Day’s most popular songs.
This video is from HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired Friday, April 9, 2010.
This video was created by the Associated Press, published March 24, 2010.