Foxboro Hot Tubs is Green Day. No shit.
When the Hot Tubs’ website surfaced late last year with a corresponding EP of six songs, it was pretty obvious what was going on-the same thing that happened in between the releases of Warning and American Idiot when Billie Joe and the gang decided to indulge themselves and write a punk/new wave record under the title The Network. They didn’t promote it; they denied their involvement (still to this day) and let it be.
So basically this time it’s déjà vu except with 1960’s garage rock. The six tunes on Stop, Drop and Roll are catchy, short and extremely reminiscent of anything I would hear on the Sirius “Garage” channel with fuzzy guitars, organs and ho-hum lyrics. “Ruby Room” and “Mother Mary” are standout tracks that recall the swinging vibe of lava lamps and shag haircuts. The production seems well executed and the songs are evidence that if Billie, Tre and Mike wanted to take Green Day in a new direction they could. But they didn’t because this is Foxboro Hot Tubs.
You see, the point is not that this is a brand new side project from the members of Green Day. The great thing about Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network and any other future bands spawned out of the Green Day camp is that they just play music. Fuck all the other bullshit. Shut up, write some songs for fun, put it out for people to hear and go back to what pays the bills.
I’m really sick of practically every new band becoming famous with a hit record, taking a break once its promotion and tour cycle is done, and hearing the most popular member goes off to form an unnecessary side project to really express himself in a different way that his current band. See Davey Havok, Blaqk Audio. LAME.
I don’t have a problem with artists being in several bands (Travis Barker) or musicians who tackle various styles but why must their endeavors be such a big deal and promoted so heavily? Nine out of ten times the side project blows and it ends up hurting the main band as a result. Maybe they are just trying to make more money and support themselves but it seems like a waste of time. What happened to people doing things just to do them? I want a sandwich so I’m going to make one. I wrote a twangy riff so this is a country song.
Certainly, the guys in Green Day are in a much different and more secure spot than pretty much every band alive but the way they go about things is exemplary. They finish two years of touring behind American Idiot, they take a break for some rest, come back together and hey, they decide to write some garage rock tunes. Cool. But rather than try to force these new songs down the consumer’s throat as the next Green Day record, alienating fans in the process, they recognize their brand and decide that it’s probably best to just put them out under a different brand and let fans take it as they will.
With Green Day the process seems to happen much more organically rather than with other musicians who seem to say “I’m in a pop-punk band, but I listen to Dragonforce and love Lil’ Wayne so I’m starting a hip-hop-speed metal band with my friend from high school who owns a Mac and makes ill beats in Garage Band. Hey everyone, check it out! We’re awesome and are gonna be HUGE!”
I’m looking at you Pete Wentz. I know it’s coming.