Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong reacts to backlash for Morrissey collab: 'I really did not have a clue'
Billie Joe Armstrong received criticism for his collaboration last year with Morrissey and explained how he had no idea what the UK singer's political stance was
Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of American punk rock band Green Day, responded to criticism he received for his collaboration with former The Smiths frontman Morrissey.
Armstrong had worked with Morrissey on a cover for The Fifth Dimension's 'Wedding Bell Blues' which released in April last year and is on Morrissey's covers album 'California Son', his most recent release.
The Green Day frontman claimed on February 11 to have been oblivious to the knowledge of Morrissey's controversies surrounding political issues.
'California Son' was released during the political unrest in the UK when the Brexit debate was underway. The British singer wore a badge that depicted the logo of British far-right party For Britain while performing 'Morning Starship', the lead single on 'California Son', on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'.
Morrissey has taken to sharing some of his strong political views on his new website Morrissey Central where he openly stands with the far-right and political party For Britain.
He declares that he "despises" racism and fascism, among a string of various comments. He pleads to the public to follow For Britain and "not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM" expressing that people should not close their minds.
Although Armstrong previously described his collaboration with the UK singer as being "an honor", according to NME, he now denied having any knowledge of Morrissey's views.
Armstrong told The Guardian, “I wasn’t aware until the song came out. We do the son, and he was very lovely, and then the song comes out and a lot of Brits were like, 'what the hell are you doing?' I really did not have a clue."
He added, "Hey, we've all got our Ted Nugents, right?" Ted Nugent is an American rock artiste and gun enthusiast who was previously investigated by the Secret Service for comments about Barack Obama, according to NPR.
Broken Social Scene's Ariel Engle, Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, and Lydia Knight of The Regrettes also appeared on 'California Son', although Engle was the only one to speak out at the time of the LP's release.
According to NME, she explained that she had been ignorant of Morrissey’s opinions and only learned of his political views when a friend challenged her about working with him via email.
"It's a very weak argument to claim ignorance but it is my argument," she told the Guardian. "It's not an excuse but it happens to be the truth."