Green Day's Dookie wasn't the first pop-punk record, but it was the most important one. It's still the most important one.
There aren't many genres in which it's possible to make such a claim without inspiring major debate. But in this genre, it's simple: Dookie made it acceptable to put pop-punk on the radio. It introduced an entire type of music to the masses, inspiring a domino effect of sorts over the past two decades that has helped shape the way this genre grew. Without Dookie, we might not have the Vans Warped Tour. Your mall's Hot Topic would be totally different.
Of course, you can't say that without crediting artists like the Ramones, the Descendents, Screeching Weasel and the Vandals, who all influenced Green Day immensely and laid the groundwork for a pop-infused punk-rock sound. But Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool's classic 1994 LP can be pointed at for rekindling the mainstream's interest in anything resembling a punk song.
We asked musicians to explain Dookie's importance in today's world of punk rock and reminisce about how it affected their own bands. Members of Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, New Found Glory, The Wonder Years, Bayside, Silverstein, Modern Baseball and more provided personal recollections of their relationship with Dookie and talked about the larger-scale impact the record has had.
Since everyone who contributed had quite a bit to say, we've broken up their responses over the next few slides – we suggest listening to the album while you enjoy their stories.
Taking Back Sunday (Mark O'Connell)
"'Dookie' became one of the biggest musical influences for me and to me, it’s a timeless record. I still listen to it 20 years later. It made Green Day a massive band all around the world and made way for bands like Civ and Rancid to start getting played on MTV, which most likely wouldn't have happened. Listening to bands like them and Screeching Weasel made it ok to write a song with just power chords. That’s how I was able to start playing guitar. I remember thinking, 'That's all you have to do?'
Taking Back Sunday had the pleasure of opening up for Green Day at Milton Keys Arena in London right around the time that 'American Idiot' came out. This was a dream come true for me. After Green Day was done with their set, Billie Joe Armstrong came to our dressing room and invited us to their afterparty. While we were all there I started talking to Mike Dirnt about how he played bass on the Screeching Weasel album 'How to Make Enemies and Irritate People.' While we were having the conversation we had both finished our drinks and he offered to make me one. When he left to make the drink it really came to me that I was talking to the bass player from one of my favorite bands of all time. By the time he came back with my drink I was totally nervous and not playing it cool in the slightest bit, and because of my nervousness my hands started shaking and I was spilling the drink everywhere. He totally noticed that I was being a weirdo and the conversation ended shortly after.
I still remember that night as one of the best experiences that I've had being in a band that's toured for over a decade."