Redundant

Album: Nimrod (1997)
Charted: 27
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Songfacts®:

  • Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong married his longtime girlfriend, Adrienne, in 1994 just as the band was starting to get really famous. They had their first child a year later, and while Billie Joe's life with Green Day was anything but mundane, his family life was listing toward monotony. In "Redundant," he does his best to put words to the scattered and unwelcome feeling that comes from loving one deeply but still being miserable. The repetition is wearing on him, but the thought of breaking routine is terrifying, because he doesn't want to lose her. Armstrong does very well with poetic contradiction, as seen here:

    Now I cannot speak, I lost my voice
    I'm speechless and redundant
    'Cause I love you's not enough
    I'm lost for words
  • "Redundant" was the third single from Green Day's Nimrod album, following "Hitchin' A Ride" and "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)." The band was still honoring their punk-rock roots, both in their music and behavior - they trashed a record store soon after the album was released. Over the next few years, they mellowed out a bit and got more political with their music, but "Redundant" is a throwback to when Armstrong was still thrashing against his internal strife.
  • When Green Day started making music videos, they were lucky to get teamed with director Mark Kohr, who shared their sensibility for the goofy and outrageous. He made the off-the-wall Primus videos for "Tommy The Cat" and "My Name Is Mud," and was open to ideas while also bringing lots of his own. For "Redundant," he had the band perform in front of a green screen and composited behind them a cast of characters who come in and out, repeating the same actions. One woman repeatedly walks in an picks up a newspaper. When the video ends, she comes in again but the paper isn't there, so she lets out a blood-curdling scream.

    In a Songfacts interview with Kohr, he explained the concept and execution: "'Redundant,' we made the set and we dressed it with all the props, then we marked all the props and locked off the camera. We pulled everything out and we painted it blue, then we put in props selectively depending on the person and their path through the set, and then we had everyone shoot their action in those paths. Even though they weren't shot together, we didn't want them to have collisions. Then somebody went through the great pain of keying them all back in, in these layers of action.

    The idea takes a little while to pay off because we're stuck in repetition and then at the end the repetition is broken by the girl, and she's terrified. That adds to it, the whole thing of how when we break pattern we become scared."
  • The woman in the video who strips down is the model/actress Dita Von Teese.

Comments: 7

  • Phoebe from Belchertown, MaI adore this song :) very to the point.
  • Caroline from Long Island, Nythis song is about billie joe trying to express his feelings for Adie, and how he loves her so much, that if he simply told her that, he would feel redundant, it is also about how repetitive fame can be.
  • Sarah from Sandiego, Cathis song is so cool its about how you live your life with your"partner" and youve been together for so long that saying i love you is like a routine. its like a never ending cycle
  • Rob from Castaic, CaThe video for this song is awesome. Extremely clever and amusing. It brings me back to the times when I could watch a Green Day video and not see a little emobitch trying to preach to me.
  • Jason from Willmar, MnWOW!!!!!! this song like sums up my life allways doing the same thing over and over again and it is like a production line...lol...ok not funny but still
  • Eileen from San Diego, Cathis is my favorite song from green day. i love it so much. it reminds me of my "ex" boyfriend and how "i love you" wasn't enough from me. ROCK ON!!!
  • Tanya from London, EnglandBillie Joe : "This song's about repetition and feeling lost in a cycle. When people have been together in a relastionship for a long time, eventually, saying 'I love you' isn't enough. It becomes routine." He wrote this when he and his wife hit a rocky stage in their marriage. A few songs on 'Nimrod' are about that, such as 'The Grouch' which we wrote after an argument with her
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