History In The Making: Emily’s Army


June 29, 2011

Emily's Army is a four member band based in the East Bay.

Emily’s Army is a teenaged punk band that first made headlines because the drummer, Joey Armstrong, is the son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, but they have a lot to offer other than family connections. They play the kind of fast, loud, poppy punk rock that’s been making kids go nuts ever since the ‘70s and they have such a positive message—their debut album is called Buy Don’t Be a Dick, and they revel in raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis research —that you can’t help but smile when you hear them. They’ve been touring up and down the West Coast (their home base is San Francisco), and they spoke to us about the appeal of punk, having fun, and being inspired by comedy.

Your guys’ bio on MySpace says you’ve known each other since you were four years old. Is that true?
Joey Armstrong and Max Becker: Yup.

So how did you guys go from being friends to being in a band?
Cole Becker: Well, Joey had been learning drums since he was a little kid. One day, we watched School of Rock, which is a really inspirational film, and I decided to take up guitar and Max took up the bass, and we all played together. And Travis came along a little later and we formed a band.

Wow, so School of Rock literally inspired you to form the band?
Travis Newman: Yup.

As far as punk rock goes, did you guys all grow up on punk rock, basically, like with Joey’s dad and everything?
Joey: I mean I did, and I’ve listened to punk rock since I was little, and Travis did too. But Max and Cole grew up with the complete opposite of that.
Max: A lot of James Taylor. It’s just what we grew up on. It’s not anywhere near what we do now.

What attracts all of you to punk?
Joey: Well, not only the sound of it, but also the people too, they’re really interesting and they’re not at all fake. It’s more of a community. We met some punk kids yesterday, and they told us next time we go by there, they’ll have a house for us to stay at, and you just meet cool people through punk like that.

You guys recorded your album in four days, what was that recording process like?
Joey: It was very simple, and it was basically just how we play. It wasn’t anything new for us. That’s how we’ve always done it. We don’t try to spend too much time on detail because then it ruins the fun for us.
Cole: I mean, we’re not a perfect band, we’re not perfect at our instruments, so that’s what we sound like. There are parts where you can tell we messed up in the recording, but we don’t try to fix them, ‘cause that’s not who we are.

Do you feel like there’s any pressure with your dad being “the Green Day guy?” Or is it all positive, your association with him?
Joey: I feel some pressure, just ‘cause we’ve been getting a lot of good press, and as much as we try to avoid the whole “Green Day Jr.” label or whatever, we’re gonna get it put on us. I just push past it—we’re a different band than Green Day. We’ll do what we want and we’ll play how we play.

Is it fun to be your age in a touring band? Do you wake up and you’re like, “Man, this is awesome?”
Travis: Yeah it’s crazy. It’s just nuts. We’re a touring band while most of our friends are on vacation or are at home or with their families. But it’s crazy that we’re the same age as some kids who have never played an instrument before and we’re touring around.

Yeah, that is pretty crazy. Do you get homesick at all on tour?
Travis: No.
Cole: Nah.
Joey: Not really. I don’t think we get homesick cause we’re all here, we see each other everyday, so we don’t miss home. I think if one of us was gone across the world, then we’d probably get homesick ‘cause we’d miss each other. We’re basically like family. Of course we miss our other families, but I don’t think we get homesick.

Check out some tracks from Emily’s Army below!

Emily’s Army – Track: “I Wanna Be Remembered”

Emily’s Army – Track: “Broadcast This”

Emily’s Army – Track: “West Coast”

Emily’s Army on MySpace
Emily’s Army Blog
Buy the album!

Comments (29)
  • AyameIsAFan! Seriously, these people are the NBT in my eyes! And the twist is, they sound NOTHING like Green Day!! xD You'd think so after hearing the surname Armstrong, huh? Mon Sep 19, 2011
  • Kyle Emily's Army is a huge inspiration to me. I'm in a teengae punk band to with some of my friends, and we really look up to them. Sun Sep 18, 2011
  • Taylor I have been watching Emily's Army progress since "This Kid" and I don't plan on stopping! I am gonna meet them someday :) Northern California is close! These guyz are the real deal, Next Big Thing in my eyes! So when they are on the cover of Rolling Stones, I TOLD YOU SO, BITCHES!!!!! Mon Aug 29, 2011
  • Alexa I'm glad our generation is finally making good music now. I love Emily's Army, and you guys actually inspired me to pick up the guitar. Hope you guys come to Texas soon[: preferably Dallas. Fri Aug 19, 2011
  • Kiki Where'd you get the name Emily's Army? Wed Aug 10, 2011
  • Maria =P You are pretty good rookie. but Green Day is better Mon Aug 08, 2011
  • Kirsten I'm nearly old enough to be a grandmother to these boys, but I'm an old punk at heart and went to see them play in Kelso, WA when they were here. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed their set. Lots of energy and they just seemed to be having a blast. Did I buy their CD? Of course! Would I go see them again? Absolutely! Thu Aug 04, 2011
  • wayne martin Emily's Army fans, check out this interview: http://bit.ly/nhcNcX Thu Aug 04, 2011
  • PunkRocker546 Hey guys love your sound and I love Green Day but yhall sound nothing alike!!!! Love You your AMAZING!! Thu Aug 04, 2011
  • Karly [: The east NEEDS you guys! There is absolutley no one that I can see in concert! Personally popular music now is at an all time low! it's all Ke$ha, and Wacka Flocka Flame???? Seriously. By the way...Screw labels! You guys kick some serious ass! Emily's Army Forever <3 Tue Aug 02, 2011
  • Emily This music does my name justice! Awesome songs :D \m/(=.=)\m/ rock on Sat Jul 30, 2011
  • pau chevere :p Fri Jul 22, 2011
  • Bridget Dude, Emilys Army rocks! Much different sound than Green Day, definitely. My nimber one goal in life is to tour along side you guys! [also teenager cali band xD] hella rad album Mon Jul 18, 2011
  • ForgottenPUNK37 you guys and green day are my all time favorite bands and i hate when people say you sound like green day cuz i don't think you do at all. Both bands have their own sound and thats why i love them... but its easier to go to your concerts:) You guys play amazing shows and i cant wait to go see you again with my two best friends!!! Wed Jul 13, 2011
  • laura ibanez excellent sound, waiting for them to come to the UK now haha Tue Jul 12, 2011
  • signal strength yall really need to come to the south! louisiana/texas most of all!! we need a rock revival down here.....an i wanna see u guys in concert! its great that more 15 yr olds are making room in tha world for punk!!! haha im 15 an im a fan an i will try to convert as many of my friends as possible! Tue Jul 12, 2011
  • vicky you are PERFECT ! I love you ! you are awsome ! Fri Jul 08, 2011
  • ge gee EMILY^S ARMY I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! Thu Jul 07, 2011
  • ge gee emily's army is the best band i've ever seen it.PLEASE COME TO SWITZERLAND!!!!! Thu Jul 07, 2011
  • meuw#1 I think Emily's army is a very good band, have all the charm of punk!! & they are AWESOME!!!!! Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • Little Face 26 DUUUUUDE- Come to Tejassssss (TX)! Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • Karma Come to TX!!! Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • Ariana Moonshine Dude, come to Houston, Texas! Punk is dying down here and we need y'alls help! ;) Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • ali I really want you guys to come and do a gig in San Antonio,Texas :) Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • Ouça músicas do Emily’s Army, banda do filho de Billie Joe do Green Day - Besouros.net Hardcore Punk Rock Metal [...] ouve “I Wanna Be Remembered” e “Broadcast This” and “West Coast” clicando aqui, logo após de uma entrevista com a banda (em [...] Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • Andrew is a punk rocker These guys are awesome!!!! Their own individual sound and style. AWESOME!!! Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • kailen Joey seems like his dad. He takes charge of the band, answers all the questions and really cares about his bandmates. Wed Jul 06, 2011
  • jimbo verry cool juste to greenday!!!! Tue Jul 05, 2011
  • Christine Marchesotti Terrific Awsome Sun Jul 03, 2011
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