Green Day Bassist: Workload Forced Singer Billie Joe Armstrong's Into Rehab

VMA Press Image Green Day - P 2012

VMA Press Image Green Day - P 2012

Mike Dirnt tells BBC radio he feared for his friend's life and had to "get off the road" to help his plight.

LONDON – Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt told the British media the band has to "get off the road" after the band's lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong entered rehab to try and overcome substance abuse.

The rehab has taken its toll on the band's world tour schedule which included several sold out dates in the U.K. and has meant legions of disappointed fans.

Dirnt described Armstrong's stint in rehab to BBC Radio One as a "pretty heavy-duty process."

The U.S. punk stalwarts, which consists of Dirnt, singer Armstrong, drummer Tré Cool and guitarist Jason White, have had to postpone upcoming shows, but Dirnt believes they can overcome the issues.

Said Dirnt: "This is probably the longest time we haven't seen each other ... I haven't seen Billie in weeks. It's an awkward position to be in, but we're going to pander this out. We'll get there."

Dirnt noted in the radio interview that recording their three albums iUno!, iDos! and iTre and a heavy duty world tour schedule added to the pressure on Armstrong.

"Hindsight is 20/20... it was a tremendous undertaking. It catches up with you a little bit," Dirnt said.

Armstrong's breakdown came during a world tour, where the band was promoting the three new albums.
Green Day also played at Reading festival in the U.K. in August.

"Although we were having fun we didn't take our nose out of the book for a long time," Dirnt said. "I think it catches up with you a little bit. We definitely just jumped off a moving train. There were signs of things hitting the fan. We hadn't slept in forever and Billie had definitely had the worst of it. He'd been going through his own struggles. We were there with him but you can only handle things on your own. At the end of the day when we got off the road the most important thing was my friend's life."

Dirnt's candid account came after an on-stage outburst in Las Vegas last month at the iHeart Radio Festival, where the singer smashed his guitar during a foul-mouthed rant.

It was then he announced he would be seeking help for substance abuse.