Green Day is taking aim at the US culture around mass shootings as the punk rockers return with their first album in four years. The group, who rode a rebirth of punk in the early 1990s, announced Thursday that its 12th studio album, "Revolution Radio," would come out on October 7.
Green Day released the first single, "Bang Bang," which is marked by the blistering guitar chords of the band's best-known work set to lyrics that accuse US society of turning killers into celebrities.
"Bang, bang, give me fame / Shoot me up to entertain," frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sings. "I am a semi-automatic lonely boy / You're dead, I'm well-fed," he sings.
Armstrong told Rolling Stone magazine that the song was "about the culture of mass shooting that happens in America mixed with narcissistic social media. There's this sort of rage happening, but it's also now being filmed and we all have ourselves under surveillance. To me, that is so twisted," he said.
The United States has been shaken by a series of mass shootings including at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, and more recently at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Green Day is no stranger to politics. The 2004 rock opera "American Idiot" paints a bleak picture of the country under George W Bush's administration, amid its invasion of Iraq.
Hailing from the San Francisco area, Green Day broke into the mainstream with its 1994 album "Dookie", which took up issues from depression to masturbation set to energetic rock inspired by classic punk. The band was inducted last year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility.
Green Day last put out recordings in 2012 with a trilogy of albums "Uno!", "Dos!" and "Tre!" that came out within months of one another. Armstrong since then has sought treatment for addiction to prescription medicine, and has played the part of a punk rocker in the film "Geezer", his first leading role.