June 24, 2013


Warped Tour 2013: Emily's Army Excels Past Family Ties

Joey Foley/Getty Images
Joey Foley/Getty Images

After I graduated college, I knew a few friends who went to go work for their fathers. One became a junior-level employee at an advertising firm. Another did human resources at a technology company. Others went into marketing or finance.

Luckily for Joey Armstrong, his dad does something a little more entertaining to earn a living.

Joey is the son of Green Day frontman / living and breathing rock legend Billie Joe Armstrong. So when Joey went to work with his dad for the first time, it was in a recording studio. He was playing drums in an Oakland-based pop-punk band called Emily’s Army and Billie Joe was producing the group’s debut full-length effort, titled Don’t Be A Dick, which came out in 2011 via Adeline Records.

Fast-forward two years, and Emily’s Army has released a sophomore album, Lost At Seventeen, on Rise Records and is on the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer. Lost At Seventeen may not be a Dookie, but Joey is doing his own thing and doing it well.

Emily’s Army plays a brand of juvenile (in a good way!), catchy pop-punk that bears resemblances sonically to pre-Dookie-era Green Day records while still reeling in younger music listeners who primarily enjoy poppier music. Vocalists Cole and Max Becker sounded on point at Warped Tour in Pomona, CA on Friday afternoon, ripping through these short punk songs with swift aggression.

The Oakland quartet may not be reinventing the wheel that Green Day helped shape, but the group of teenagers are having fun and seeing some moderate success while they’re at it. Emily’s Army has a lot more touring and recording experience under their collective belt at a very young age than many bands will ever acquire throughout a career. At barely 18 years old, Joey Armstrong plays like a veteran – at least according to what we saw in Pomona last week.

There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being the offspring of a living legend if you decide to follow in said legend’s footsteps. But Joey Armstrong doesn’t seem phased by it. “I just push past it — we’re a different band than Green Day,” he told Converse. “We’ll do what we want and we’ll play how we play.”

As long as Emily’s Army keeps that mindset and grows off the foundation they’ve built for themselves, they’ll be sticking around for a while.

Keep up with all our Warped Tour coverage!