Lean, Green and Mean: Terra Linda Punk


Dylan Johnson and Dylan Johnson

Sup, I’m Dylan Johnson. You’ve probably seen me around school: brightly dyed hair, gauges, dark and foreboding clothing– I’m punk. I’m here today to give you your regular dose of music review through my punk lens.

An album dear to my heart:  American Idiot by Green Day, in my opinion, the most recognizable punk band of the past 32 years. This album, next to their other album Dookie, is considered some of best work of punk/alternative rock music. I love this album, from the political message of the title track, to the story of “St. Jimmy” and “Jesus of Suburbia.”  It’s a fantastic display of the fast, grungy nature of punk that makes my head have the urge to bang.

However, the album does have sweet mellow tones, like “Whatsername.” This song is about a girl who hurt the lead character of the album St.Jimmy, but he can’t remember her name hence the title “Whatsername.” As well as “Wake me up when September Ends”, a song about when lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong’s dad died.  

TL student  Alessandro Lovo  is a musician who loves the style of punk and alt rock as well as metal. He’s a bass/lead guitarist and dirty vocalist for Black Light Dreams (I’m the lead vocalist). I checked in with him about American Idiot.


What does the album mean to you?


“I think it’s more of a political kind of view of how the government runs the US and how not to listen to what the government says because they’re not actually supporting the average person ”


What song really made that anarchist inside you smile?


“I really enjoyed “Holiday” but really I just enjoy all of their music. It’s all just a fun time for everyone.”


SO, the punk scene always gets a bad wrap for their messages, do you agree with the messages that we stand for?


“I agree with it, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t think being in a world where there isn’t punk rock is a world I wanna live in.”


You know Green Day has really helped me get through hard times. How about you– has Green Day ever helped you out?


“Has it really helped me get through hard times? I would say no, but their music is something that sticks with you for awhile, ya know? I mean, they’re my inspiration for music today. They’re a band who has overcome so many obstacles and have become a huge influence. I want to be like that one day.”


Does any lyric jump out at you like a stage diving fan?


“One lyric that really stands out to me is in “American Idiot”. It goes “Well maybe I’m the f****t America. I’m not a part of a redneck agenda. Now everybody do the propaganda. And sing along to the age of paranoia.” Because really, people have insulted me about my looks and what I listened too but I just realized they’re  simple minded people under the government’s stupid s***”


Do the album’s political views relate to us?


“Well again it’s really mostly political, only a few songs like “Whatsername”, “Letterbomb”, and “Holiday” really stand out and talk about the teenage life.”


Would you recommend this to someone with Pop washed ears?


“I definitely think that the average person would like Green Day, and if they don’t like the punky songs they have many other songs with different variety but still brings that punk element to it.”


American Idiot album impacted the world: it peaked at  number 1 in 19 countries, sold over 16 million copies, won Green Day a Grammy for best rock album, and went platinum all over the world making it 40x. It’s definitely a huge milestone in Green day and the punk genre itself. So, if you have a moment, stop listening to your Drake, Lil Pump, Maroon 5, and all that crappy pop/rap trash, and pick up a copy of American Idiot. I promise you that it’ll give more of a message and love for music than any other song made from 2018.