It is one of those strange stories in which you just know that you’re disappointed with someone for selling out, but you can’t quite work out who: Green Day, potentially the only punk band that still sees itself as being outside of the establishment after being nominated for multiple Tony Awards, has signed a deal withAngry Birds creators Rovio that will not only see the band turned into pigs for a new version of the game, but also an exclusive new track only available for those who complete the game.
I promise, although it really sounds otherwise, this is not a story from the Onion.
Not content with invading the mainstream with a musical version of its popular 2004 album American Idiot, the trio made up of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool have signed a deal that will see them all re-imagined as villainous pigs in a brand new ten-level edition of the Facebook edition for the popular game, Angry Birds Friends, released in the near future. Players that manage to complete all ten levels will be rewarded with the unlock of a new Green Day song titled “Troublemaker.” Whether or not said new song will include any Angry Birds-specific lyrics or touches – The idea of Armstrong foregoing his traditional vocals in order to oink the entire performance in some kind of nod to his new incarnation as a brightly-colored, egg-stealing porker is almost inevitably too much to hope for, sadly – remains to be seen.
In the announcement of the partnership between the band and the game, Armstrong spoke of the band’s love for the game. “It’s such an addictive game that when we first started playing it we couldn’t stop,” he was quoted as saying; accompanying the announcement was a trailer for the game – sadly devoid of any animation featuring the band-members-as-pigs, although there’s a glimpse of them at the very end – that featured the band’s new single, “Oh Love,” which debuted last week. That hints at the true purpose of this game; with “Oh Love” being released last week and this announcement today, it’s clear that the promotional machine is definitely roaring into gear to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the band’s upcoming three album releases, entitled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! (The albums, recorded simultaneously, will be released two months apart; ¡Uno! is released on September 25, with ¡Dos! following on November 13 and ¡Tré! closing out the release on January 15 2013).
While it’s likely true that Armstrong and cohorts are avid fans of Rovio’s addictive avian attraction, what motivated this surreal moment of cross-media partnership is, sadly, just the chance for cross-promotion between the band and game’s target audiences. Still, it’s hard to be too mad about the partnership; if nothing else, if you really want to punish them, you can always take extra glee as you smash their structures.