Yusuf/Cat Stevens Reveals Unexpected Love Of Green Day

17 March 2023 | 9:04 am | Mary Varvaris

"I love Green Day because of their message."

(Pic by Aminah Yusuf)

Yesterday, Yusuf/Cat Stevens announced his 17th album, King Of A Land, which will be released on 16 June. 

The album arrives just days before the beloved singer-songwriter makes his Glastonbury Festival debut on the Sunday tea-time legends slot at the Pyramid Stage and a month before his 75th birthday.

To celebrate the album announcement, NME caught up with him for a wide-ranging chat about the festival, the current UK government, and Green Day?

Yusuf believes that Green Day were listening to some of his music, particularly his 1971 classic, Bitterblue, when they wrote Know Your Enemy from 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown

Know Your Enemy is led by a pounding drum beat and a catchy guitar riff, with Billie Joe Armstrong’s ability to spin a dark subject into something upbeat on display.

When NME asked if the Father And Son singer keeps up with current-day music, he responded, “Not very much. I came from one of pop’s pinnacle eras when there’d be a new milestone every week, so I tend to listen to that period most. But I love Green Day because of their message. Know Your Enemy is an incredible song with a message about the Iraq war that was right on time.”

Of course, Yusuf was then asked if he’d like to collaborate with the punk rockers in the future. He replied with an emphatic “Yeah! Wow, that’s a good idea. I think they listened to my song Bitterblue before making Know Your Enemy, as I can hear little titbits of it in the chords and some of the words. I reckon we could definitely get it on.” 

Listen to Know Your Enemy and Bitterblue below.

“Looking at the jagged journey of my music, beginning as I did in the 60s, I would say this new record is a mosaic. A very clearly defined description of where I've been and who I am,” Yusuf commented about his new album. You can pre-order King Of A Land here.