With the release of their 2004 album American Idiot, Green Day stamped themselves as punk rocker unafraid to criticize the US government. Since then, the group has used its platform to highlight several social causes and to criticize politicians they feel are unfit for office. However, in their last few albums they seemed to have dialed back their commentary.

On November 21, Green Day revealed the reasoning behind that decision during an interview with 102.1 the Edge. As they chatted about their forthcoming album, Saviors, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong talked about their sharp-tongued lyrics.

“For ‘Father of All,’ we didn’t want to go political because it was so obvious, and it was such low-hanging fruit,” said Armstrong. “We had such terrible politics and terrible division in the United States. We got away from the politics for a while… we just didn’t want to be, you know, another pundit on CNN finger-pointing.”

He continued, “But songs, political songs, it takes a lot of heart to do that, and I think if you keep doing it for the sake of doing it just because you’re angry, then you take the heart out of it. Then it just becomes part of what everyone is complaining about.”

Armstrong admitted that the group will return to their political roots in the future. “This time, we brought it out, and we felt like it was the perfect time for it,” he said. “It takes those special, inspired moments to have a moment like ‘The American Dream Is Killing Me.’”

Listen to the full interview above.

Saviors is out 1/19/2024 via Reprise Records. Find more information here.

Green Day is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.