Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: 21st Century BreakdownReleased: 2009
This song was previously titled "March of the Dogs." Billie Joe Armstrong told KROQ's Breakfast with Kevin and Bean that he got the new title from the movie Juno. It's the scene when Juno gets home late after visiting the adopting parents, and her step-mom says, "Why would you drive all the way to East Jesus nowhere?"
Singer Billie Joe Armstrong (From Q magazine May 2009): "It's inspired by Bill Maher's documentary Religulous. It's about the hypocrisy of religion. I think any good Christian would have doubts about religion."
Armstrong told The Sunday Times April 26, 2009 that the track was inspired by "the never-ending hypocrisy of religion, all those snake-oil-salesman types, and that subliminal thing of threatening people and ripping away their individuality." He added: "I went to a Baptist church when I was, like, 14, and they basically said, 'If you do not accept Jesus Christ into your life, you're going to burn for eternity.' I was this 14-year-old kid, and I was scared s--tless. But then you start to realize, they're all hypocrites. These kids there would be saying things like, 'If you're not paying attention right now, that's Satan taking your mind away.' It was evil. And me, I have ADHD, so I'm there thinking about a million things. I mean, God forbid that you might be sitting in church thinking, 'God, I'd really like to f--k that girl.' You know, 'Satan, get out of my brain.'"
Armstrong told Kerrang! May 9, 2009 the inspiration for the line: "Join the choir we will be singing/ In the church of wishful thinking." The singer explained that he was driving in Wisconsin, alongside his wife Adrienne and her brother when he saw a chapel called The Church Of Divine Hope. Armstrong said: "We'd been driving a while and we were rambling and laughing. I was looking at it deliriously and I thought, 'Oh my God, that's like calling it the Church of Wishful Thinking.' We started laughing hysterically, so I wrote it down and it ended up being in 'East Jesus.'"