On October 10, 1995, Green Day released their fourth studio album, Insomniac. As the album celebrates 25 years, rediscover the music of your past with seven facts about it below.

1.The three skulls on the album cover represent the three band members.

In any streaming service, the album cover is seen as the image above. However, the full album cover on the record is zoomed out and has three skulls. Each skull represents a member of the band. Two of them are pretty easy to spot but the third skull is in the bottom right, stretched out in the flames. You can spot it below.


2. Billie Joe Armstrong almost left Green Day before writing Insomniac.
There were many stressors in the band at the time but because their third studio album Dookie was so successful, he was dealing with a lot of anxiety particularly about having to follow up that success. Billie Joe talked about leaving the band in 1995, but stuck to their music and later released Insomniac.

3. MTV had to drop a clip in “Geek Stink Breath” from it’s playlist.

In the music video for “Geek Stink Breath”, there’s a graphic visual of a methamphetamine addict who gets their tooth extracted. This was originally only meant to be shown late at night on MTV, but an edited version was created in no time. “Geek” in the title is actually a slang term referring to methamphetamine, as the song is about a “path of self-destruction” and battles with addiction.

4. Green Day got away with swearing during their TV debut of “Geek Stink Breath”.

The band debuted the single live on SNL on December 3, 1994, before Insomniac even came out. The lyrics “like a cripple running the rat race, wish in one hand and shit in the other” were sung uncensored on the show because the production team didn’t understand the lyrics to the song, since it was so new. The closed captioning worded it as “unintelligible lyrics” and didn’t know until later that Green Day had sworn TV.

5. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote “Brainstew/Jaded” during a time when he was suffering from insomnia.

The album wasn’t called Insomniac without a reason. There was a time just after he and his wife had their first child, that the baby would keep them up for hours on end, so he would stay up through the night and write those songs. “Brainstew” and “Jaded” were actually two separate tracks on the album (tracks 10 and 11) but the music transitioned in between the two songs effortlessly without pausing, which is why they were later released together as one single.

6. The same year Insomniac came out, Billie Joe Armstrong released an album with a different band.

Pinhead Gunpowder was the name of Billie Joe Armstrong’s other band. They formed three years after Green Day, in 1990. At the same time Insomniac was released, Pinhead Gunpowder released an album with a song called “Walkin’ Catastrophe” which is a similar title to Insomniac‘s “Walking Contradiction”. The two tracks do sound pretty different, but both were sung by Billie Joe. You can compare the two below!

7.The album went double-platinum within a year of it being released.

Although it was not expected for Insomniac to do nearly as well as Dookie, the album still peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and was double-platinum by 1996. It stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for 39 weeks.


Filed under: Album Anniversary, Green Day, Insomniac