“The Longshot”; Billie Joe Armstrong’s Green Day 2.0


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Joe Kronberg, Staff Writer

Since Green Day formed in 1986, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has been singing and writing music that has become iconic. Though he is famous for his work with Green Day, Armstrong has started a new path, while his fellow performers need a break, with his band/project The Longshot.

The Longshot features Jeff Matika on bass and vocals, Kevin Preston on guitar, and David S. Field on the drums. The new band has released 11 songs so far, Love is for LosersTaxi Driver and Chasing a Ghost are featured on their EP, The Longshot, which was released  April 8, Body Bag and Kill Your Friends were released on their YouTube Channel April 16, and all five of those alongside The Last TimeCult HeroHappinessSoul SurrenderTurn Me Loose, and a cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s Goodbye to Romance on their album Love is for Losers, which was released  April 19.

As a fan of Green Day, I was excited to listen to Armstrong’s new music, but was a little disappointed to find that their sound is essentially the same as Green Day’s more recent music. Usually when an artist starts a side project of some kind, they will experiment with a new sound, which sadly was not the case for The Longshot.

For those familiar with Green Day’s music from about 2012 onward, it essentially sounds like B-side tracks of Uno Dos and Tré, which I personally am not a fan of, except for Body Bag which sounds like it could have been used on Revolution Radio if it had been written while that album was being created.

Green Day did have a very long tour recently, which may have caused the other members to need a break for a while, but Armstrong naturally decided to keep writing, needing a new project to keep the creative juices flowing.

I suppose part of my reasons for hopes of a new sound is that’s what has happened in some of Armstrong and Green Day’s side projects. Pinhead Gunpowder had a more intense punk/grunge sound (in my opinion anyway), The Network featured a more New Wave and electronic sound, and Foxboro Hot Tubs showcased a classic garage rock sound, using the keyboard and flute alongside the electric guitar, American Idiot the Musical, which wasn’t created by the band but earned their stamp of approval, along with a night of Armstrong starring as Saint Jimmy, The Coverups, which was essentially a way they performed smaller gigs without a lot of people knowing, and Armstrong teamed up with Norah Jones for a folk album titled Foreverly.

I definitely think it’s good for artists to branch out from their roots, which may mean solo careers, new bands, or a completely different sound, but The Longshot doesn’t appear to be any of those. Things may change over time as the band develops, they only have five songs released after all, and an album titled Love is for Losers is in the making, but when songs can easily be used in a current band, a still-thriving one for that matter, I don’t see the point in starting a completely new band.

Hopefully, the band will start to stretch their branches for a sound that they haven’t used before, or even expand more on previous side projects, but for now, The Longshot is essentially the Green Day for when the band needs a break.