This song was inspired by the Occupy movement and the band's political frustration. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong told NME it, "deals with everything, not just lefties but it goes all the way up to cops and firemen and unions, and that's where we come from, the working class. It's in our DNA."
Armstrong and his bandmates have been participating in the protests in Oakland since 2011. "We wanted to be part of it in some way," the frontman explained to Rolling Stone. "I thought it was about working people and where we come from. But Oakland got really complicated when the anarchists started coming in. I'm not into that - smashing the windows in a small business."
The song title comes from the movement's slogan We are the 99%, a reference to the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earners compared to the other 99 percent. Armstrong admitted to Rolling Stone, "I feel like a 99, but technically I'm a 1. You know, ['99 Revolutions'] was an easy song to write. I know that's where I come from - the 99 - even though I can afford for my kids to go to a good college."