Billie Joe Armstrong Was On Meth While Writing Green Day’s Worst Song Ever

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong discussed the one song he wrote while on meth in a new interview with Song Exploder Podcast.

During his recent appearance, Armstrong broke down how the song came about and even shared the music from his initial 4-track demo with the original lyrics in place.

Apparently, it was one of the worst songs he has ever written under the influence of meth. Referring to their hit ‘Basket Case,’ the frontman confessed:

“The true confession is I was on crystal meth when I wrote the lyrics to it. And I thought I was writing the greatest song ever… As you know, with drugs, they wear off. And then, I felt like I’d written the worst song ever.”

He then went on to confess that he had written songs on drugs before too, later comparing them to ‘Basket Case’:

“I thought that the lyrics were just embarrassingly bad. I had a few songs before that I’d written on drugs, but this one was the most pitiful I felt after.”

‘Basket Case’ Initially Had Different Lyrics

As the frontman stated during the podcast episode, the original lyrics were supposed to be for a ‘love song.’ While sharing the original 4-track demo of the track, the original lyrics for his ‘love song’ were as follows:

“I really don’t know / Where this story began / My friend Houston had got himself a girl

Swanky is her name / She’s got the best of him / And he’s got the best of her in the palm of their hands

And they could care less what’s coming up / Sometimes the future doesn’t have much luck / This wigged-out thing called love / It may get kinda rough / And they don’t really mind / They’re on their own

They said this has been / Motionless orbit flight / Around each other intoxicating their minds

Dancing in the street / Under suburban lights / They stumbled to the concrete without a hurt

They’re on their own, own.”

How ‘Basket Case’ Came Together

According to Armstrong’s account, he managed to earn some money during the Kerplunk! tour and decided to invest it in a new amp and a 4-track recorder. His intention was to teach himself how to record demos. The band might have changed the lyrics eventually, but they kept the melody the same. Armstrong explained:

“I had this melody lingering in my mind for a while, and I wanted to create a grand song about a love story. It was around 1993, early ’93, when I initially wrote the song.”

He added:

“I envisioned the song having an introduction resembling a ballad that would seamlessly transition into the full band, giving it a more rocking vibe. To achieve the drum sound, I even used a beatbox effect with my mouth.”

You can hear the demo of ‘Basket Case’ below.