The 4th of May marked Mike Dirnt’s 45th birthday.
The bass-player is primarily known as a founding member of American punk band Green Day, with whom he has recorded twelve albums with. Dirnt’s career has also seen him perform in various other punk influenced outfits, such as the Foxboro Hot Tubs, Screeching Weasel and The Frustrators. To celebrate his birthday we present you with the top 10 performances Mike Dirnt has committed to tape.
10. 99-Screeching Weasel
Screeching Weasel are a punk band originally from Chicago, Illinois who have undergone many lineup changes. Vocalist, Ben Weasel, has been the only constant member of the band with Dirnt stepping in to play bass briefly in 1994. Dirnt recorded How To Make Enemies & Irritate People (1994) with Screeching Weasel, providing bass guitar and backup vocals before leaving. “99” is a high energy punk rock tune from Dirnt’s tenure with the band.
9. When I Come Around-Green Day
Green Day’s major-label debut, Dookie (1994) was unarguably the band’s major breakthrough. “When I Come Around” is one of the many singles the album spawned and has become one of Green Day’s classic tracks.
8. Pieces Of Truth-Foxboro Hot Tubs
The Foxboro Hot Tubs is Green Day’s garage rock side project. Featuring all members of Green Day, as well as touring guitarist Jason White and saxophonist Jason White, they have released one album, Stop Drop And Roll!!! (2008). The project saw Green Day breaking out of their usual punk template and exploring garage rock influences from the sixties and seventies. “Pieces Of Truth” closes their only album.
7. My Best Friend's Girl-The Frustrators
The Frustrators is a new wave influenced punk band that features Dirnt on bass guitar and backing vocals. They have released two EPs, Bored In The USA (2000) and Griller (2011), as well as one album, Achtung Jackass (2002). “My Best Friend’s Girl” has been credited as the track that best showcases The Frustrators new wave brattiness.
6. Hitchin' A Ride-Green Day
“Hitchin’ A Ride” was the first single released from Green Day’s fifth album, Nimrod (1997). The song features a creeping swing beat that is kept together by Dirnt’s bass and drummer, Tre Cool’s beats. The main descending riff gives the track a mischievous air before launching into an explosive bridge that Dirnt keeps grounded.
5. Red Tide-Foxboro Hot Tubs
Taken from the Foxboro Hot Tubs’ only album, Stop Drop And Roll!!! (2008), “Red Tide” is reminiscent of ‘60s grooves. Extremely laid back, the tune plods along at a smooth pace while lethargic guitar chords are strummed over Dirnt’s moving bass lines. “Red Tide’ takes listeners back to a time of round, tinted sunglasses and shaggy carpet.
4. Homecoming-Green Day
Green Day’s second breakthrough album, American Idiot (2004), contained their two longest songs to date. The band’s popularity had been declining since the release of their major-label debut, Dookie (1994), until the rock opera that is American Idiot boosted them back to the top. The album features two-mini rock operas, both over nine-minutes long. “Jesus Of Suburbia” is the first and generally garners the most attention. “Homecoming” however is the second mini-rock opera on the record and is often criminally overlooked. Made up of five separate parts, the track moves from high octane punk, to marching ballad, to cheeky rock ’n’ roll. Dirnt keeps up with ease.
3. She-Green Day
“She” was the fifth single released from the album that broke Green Day into the mainstream, Dookie (1994). In a period where the band were more less just straight up punk, the song opens with a pretty funky bass line from Dirnt. The rest of the band joins in and it’s all systems go as usual, with Dirnt living in the space between vocalist/guitarist, Billie Joe Armstrong’s, melodies, and Cool’s drums perfectly.
2. The Dark Side Of Night-Foxboro Hot Tubs
Another cut from the Foxboro Hot Tubs’ only album, Stop Drop And Roll!!! (2008), “The Dark Side Of Night” sees the band channelling late ‘60s garage ballads. Featuring a grooving beat, strummed acoustic guitars and flute breakdowns, the track sees Dirnt keeping it all together. His solid bass playing keeps “The Dark Side Of Night” moving forward while the other instruments dance around him.
1. Longview-Green Day
A Green Day classic lifted from Dookie (1994), “Longview” is the catchiest of Dirnt’s bass lines. The verses see the band playing in a swung groove with Dirnt and Cool locking in while Armstrong, with tongue firmly in cheek, laments about the pitfalls of masturbation. “Longview” then moves into a loud chorus with Armstrong’s guitar joining the fold. The track moves between these two parts several times with ease. A fan favourite and one of Green Day’s most well known songs, “Longview” is made by the opening bass line that Dirnt wrote on LSD.
What do you think? How did we go? Did we miss anything? Let us know!
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