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Album
Bang Bang.jpg
Released August 11, 2016
Recorded January 15 – July 24, 2016 at Otis in Oakland, California
Genre Punk Rock

Pop-Punk

Rock

Length 3:25
Label Reprise
Producer Green Day
Green Day chronology
"Xmas Time of the Year"

(2015)

"Bang Bang"

(2016)

"Still Breathing"

(2016)

"Bang Bang" is a song by American punk rock band Green Day, released as the lead single from their twelfth studio album, Revolution Radio (2016), on August 11, 2016. Regarded as combining elements of the band's early punk rock days with themes from their politically motivated later albums, the song was inspired by the events of mass shootings in the United States and is written from the viewpoint of a mass shooter.

The single's music video was released on September 13, 2016, showcasing a trio, with masks of the band members' faces, robbing a bank, and then attending a Green Day house party. The song received positive critical reception, peaking at number one on the US Mainstream Rock, Alternative Songs, Rock Airplay, Canada Rock, and the UK Rock charts, as well as multiple international charts.

Background

Stylistically, Bang Bang resembles the fast-paced punk vibe of previous Green Day songs such as St. Jimmy and Jaded. Lyrically, the song is similar to Having a Blast, where the narrator of the song wants to take out their anger on innocent people through violence (although for different reasons).

Billie Joe Armstrong spoke to Rolling Stone about the conception of the track in an article released on the same day as the song, revealing: "I moved into a new studio that I built in Oakland and I just started messing around with different riffs. The first song where I was like, "OK, I'm onto something" was Bang Bang." He also added: "It’s 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. To get into the brain of someone like that was freaky. It freaked me out. After I wrote it, all I wanted to do was get that out of my brain because it just freaked me out... I wouldn’t even say I was trying to understand it. I was just trying to figure out the character. I don’t know why someone would ever do something that horrific because I know I never would. It’s just sort of meant to also reflect the culture a little bit without sounding pretentious."

Release

"Bang Bang" was released on August 11, 2016, via digital download as the lead single from their forthcoming studio album, Revolution Radio.The band also released the single's official lyric video on August 12, which had been viewed over two million times by August 17. It was noted the lyric video was inspired by recent incidents of mass shootings in the US. On August 28, the band announced on its website that the single would be released on CD for sale exclusively at Best Buy in the US only, and would include a live version of "Letterbomb" as the B-side. A music video was released for the song on September 13, 2016.

Track Listing

All lyrics written by Billie Joe Armstrong; all music composed by Green Day.

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Bang Bang" 3:27
CD
No. Title Length
1. "Bang Bang" 3:27
2. "Letterbomb" (live from Chula Vista, California on September 2, 2010) 4:34
Total length: 8:01

Live

This song was a permanent fixture of the Revolution Radio tour, the second song played after Know Your Enemy. It was also played at many media appearances.

In September 2019, Bang Bang was performed at the Hella Mega Tour launch show, suggesting that it would continue on from the Revolution Radio tour setlists.

Lyrics

[Intro]
This is definitely not the first video to surface of an execution. The blue stash of men, they claimed responsibility for the executions. Described as severely mentally disturbed. It appears to show another hostage executed by the terrorist group. Deserve to be annihilated.

[Verse 1]
I get my kicks and I wanna start a rager
I wanna dance like I'm on the video
I got a fever for the violent behavior
I'm sweatin' bullets like a modern Romeo

[Chorus 1]
Bang, bang, give me fame
Shoot me up to entertain
I am a semi-automatic lonely boy
You're dead, I'm well fed
Give me death or give me head
Daddy's little psycho and mommy's little soldier

[Verse 2]
I testify like a lullaby of memories
Broadcasting live and it's on my radio
I got my photobomb, I got my Vietnam
I love a lie just like anybody else

[Chorus 2]
Bang, bang, give me fame
Shoot me up to entertain
I am a semi-automatic lonely boy
You're dead, I'm well fed
Give me death or give me head
Broadcasting from my room and playin' with my toys
I wanna be a celebrity martyr
The leading man in my own private drama
Hoorah, bang, bang, hoorah, bang, bang, the hero of the hour
Daddy's little psycho and mommy's little soldier

[Bridge]
I wanna be like the soldiers on the screen
It's my private movie (Holy War)
Oh baby, baby, this is Viva Vendetta
Oh this is love or it's World War Zero

[Chorus 2 - Revised]
I wanna be a celebrity martyr
The leading man in my own private drama
Hoorah, bang, bang, hoorah, bang, bang, the hero of the hour
Daddy's little psycho and mommy's little soldier
I wanna be a celebrity martyr
The leading man in my own private drama
Hoorah, bang, bang, hoorah, bang, bang, the hero of the hour
Daddy's little psycho and mommy's little soldier

In other media

Bang Bang was used in season 29, episode 14 of The Challenge.

Video gallery

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