Tre Cool and Jason White were interviewed for a piece in Arkansas Online, which came out as the band was getting ready to do their show in Little Rock last week. It's a nice well-rounded piece that talks about Green Day's history through the years and about the current tour. The most interesting stuff — which is nice to hear laid out in one place — is how Jason White joined up with the band.
Check out the full read at Arkansas Online.
"The band I was in at the time, Step By Step, opened for Green Day in Memphis at the Antenna Club," says White, who has also played in Little Rock bands Chino Horde and The Big Cats. "Only Green Day didn't show up! We were loading out after most of the crowd had gone and they pulled up and said, 'Are we too late?'"
The groups hung around together outside the club and later at a house party, where White passed along his band's demo tape to the Green Day bunch. Jump ahead to 1992 and White was living in the Bay Area after following a girlfriend there.
"I joined Pinhead Gunpowder, which Billie Joe was in, around late '93 or early '94," he says from Phoenix, where Green Day was kicking off the U.S. leg of its current tour. "We became fast friends."
When Green Day needed an extra guitarist for their acoustic set at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert in 1999, they asked White to help out, and when they needed additional guitar for the tour supporting 2000's Warning, he joined full time.
"I've been with them ever since," says the 43-year-old married father of two.
It was through White that Matika, of local punk legends Moving Front, Ashtray Babyhead and Magic Cropdusters, landed his current gig with the group.
"Around 2009, before we started out for the 21st Century Breakdown tour, they wanted someone to sing high harmonies and play a little bit of guitar," White says. He had known Matika from their Little Rock days and suggested him.
"He's a great harmony singer and guitar player," says White, who usually makes it home each December for a show at the White Water Tavern with his bandmates in The Big Cats.
"Jeff Matika is comedy, man," says Cool, whose faux-hawk hairdo and quirky demeanor betray his own sense of humor. "He's got this Southern drawl and he's definitely an Arkansan. It's really fun to go to England because everybody there just wants to hear him talk because he sounds so cool.""
Go check out the full interview at Arkansas Online. The whole piece is pretty good and worth a read.