On January 19th, God’s favorite band, Green Day, released their 14th studio album titled ‘Saviors’. The new album clocks in with a total runtime of 46 min and 2 sec with a total of 15 tracks (or 16 if you’re in Japan). Along with this new release is the Saviors Tour in both the U.S. and Europe. In both the U.S. and Europe, Green Day will be the headline act and will perform the entirety of their albums Dookie and American Idiot in honor of Dookie’s 30th anniversary and American Idiot’s 20th anniversary. Green Day will be joined by The Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, and The Linda Lindas in the U.S., and in Europe, Green Day will be joined by Nothing But Thieves, The Hives, Donots, The Interrupters, and Maid Of Ace.

Ethan Walker | PNN Photo: Alice Baxley. Mike Dirnt (Left), Billie Joe Armstrong (Middle), and Tre Cool (Right)

Along with the newest album came 4 music videos directed and co-directed by God’s favorite directors Ryan Baxley and Brendan Walter. Get ready to meet the talented directors and photographers who bring American rock band Green Day’s music to life visually. With their eye for detail and creative flair, they capture the band’s energy and attitude, making it into captivating visuals that resonate with fans worldwide. From music videos to album artwork, their work adds depth and emotion to the Green Day experience, making each visual element an integral part of the band’s identity. With each track, Green Day delivers a powerful reminder of why they’re one of the most iconic bands in rock history. PNN reporter Ethan Walker gets insight from directors, Ryan Baxley and Brenden Walter. So, strap in, turn up the speaker, and get ready for the unforgettable journey through Green Day’s latest musical odyssey.

Get to know Ryan Baxley and Brendan Walter:

Director, cinematography, and editor Ryan Baxley, first started school for Audio Engineering soon having to drop out due to financial issues. He then got a job at a local production company doing radio spots. The owner offered Baxley more work to learn video editing. Baxley agreed to the offer and ended up liking what he was doing. This resulted in Baxley quitting audio and starting to get more into video. After six to seven years of working with video Baxley’s brother-in-law’s band got signed and they received money to make a music video, this is where his skills became illuminated. “I was like, ‘let’s use that money and make shirts and we could just make four music videos for free’ and just doing that people kind of saw those and started to hit me up,” says Baxley. He originally started the video work as more of a hobby and a way to get better out of everything outside of editing. 

Brenden Walter, creative director, first played in a band called Valencia for about ten years. He designed his own album covers, photos, and music videos alongside his friends’ bands as well. Walter challenges himself by always trying to make his new work better than his last. After two years of working with the Crush music company, Green Day joined the company and Walter knew he had to be involved with his favorite band. With Green Day making their new album, Baxley’s reel made its way to Crush where Walter saw it and wanted to offer him a job working for Green Day..  “I met Ryan last year, Ryan and I really connected and had very similar ideas of what this stuff should be and really work together on all these things y’know, like the album cover, the logos and the music videos. We really wanted to make this cohesive, cool vision that brings Green Day back to something,” says Walter. As Baxley and Walter work together they enact the vision that the band wants for the album, bringing the thought to life. 

Ethan Walker | PNN Photo: Alice Baxley. Ryan Baxley (left) and Brendan Walter (right)

The ‘Saviors’ Music Videos:

The first song on the new album, ‘Saviors’, is “The American Dream is Killing Me” which the symbolism in the music video can be infinite. Zombies are a number one symbol that highlights the destructive nature of the American Dream when pursued at the expense of personal identity and fulfillment. “Billy kept bringing up ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and how it has a statement on the civil rights movement. It had more symbolism than just it being like a scary movie but it was done in a very subtle way where it didn’t feel like it was beating the message over your head,” comments Baxley. 

The “Look Ma, No Brains” music video was a quick turnaround as it was filmed in 45 minutes and Baxley came up with the idea the day before it was shot. Green Day was filming a video for the Amazon live set the same day they filmed “Look Ma, No Brains.” This caused a chaotic yet productive 45-minute shoot. With the song planned to be released 2 days after shooting, it made for a very chaotic yet rewarding 2 days.

Ethan Walker | PNN Photo: Alice Baxley. Green Day and Ryan Baxley on the set of Look Ma, No Brains.

 Baxley along with the band had conceived the idea for the “Dilemma music video” while traveling Europe on the Hella Tiny Tour. Baxley had the ingenious idea of having Billie in a first-person POV camera rig to visually show Billie’s tunnel vision and limit his range of motion. Walter was named the creative director of the “Dilemma” music video. He came up with the switch from black and white to color in the video. He tied the ideas of the video to the lyrics of the song which resonates with struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and reality versus what you see in your head. Walter says, “ And at the beginning of the video it is meant to be like ‘when I’m drunk I feel like the best- coolest person in the world and everyone loves me’ to the second half of the video where it’s actually ‘no, actually people are really annoyed with you and you’re kind of a mess and you need to get your shit together’ and I thought the end would be really flat, like how we view regular life. But I thought it was a very subtle way to get that point across.”

The “Bobby Sox” video was filmed on high analog tape, super 8 film, 60-millimeter film, and Canon R5 Cinema. As there was no storyboard for this video the team managed to have four people film different angles to provide multiple options when editing the footage together. The music video also served as a farewell party to one of Baxley’s friends who had lived at the house where the video was shot and was soon moving out which ended up creating an amazing community. They made sure to add in small characteristics humans do throughout their daily lives and simply have fun. Baxley and Walter met up in a hotel in New York to take turns editing the video while putting in their favorite footage. 

Ryan and Brendan’s Favorite Video:

“The Bobby Sox video, maybe because it’s the most recent, but I think that one was my favorite video to shoot just because I felt like the message of innocent crush feeling. It was like let’s love your friends. You have romantic love but there’s also friendships and just being together ,” Baxley says. “It didn’t feel like work at all, like it all felt special.” All the recordings were real interactions and real human instincts, meaning nothing was staged. The genuine human connection is shown throughout the music video as it appreciates the love people have for one another, rather it be romanticly or platonically.

“My favorite video would have to be between American Dream and Bobby Sox. I think Bobby Sox was just so fun. People were like ‘this is work? Like we’re getting paid to hang out?’ which was the exact idea. And then the American Dream was just something we’ve never done so it was fun to have all the tools at our disposal,” says Walter. The celebration of love was a key idea throughout the video which is shown through the human interaction within the video. 

Ryan and Brendan’s Favorite Memories:

The time spent with everyone together was quoted as “unforgettable” and there were many moments that they hold dear to their hearts. “I think the pub show in London was my favorite memory because it was completely unplanned. Like I think the guys woke up one day and were like ‘I think we should play at a Pub today,’” says Baxley. The pub show was played in a small pub that fit a two-seat table and a bar. The crew walked in not knowing what would happen which made the feeling of adrenaline beam. “Again, I just think the Bobby Sox video was fun because they just played a five or six-song show in a backyard, it was just so cool to see them play “Nice Guys Finish Last” in a backyard with like 30 people is just awesome,” says Walter. Walter also recalls a time when Billie had suggested he wear his shirt from the now 30-year-old music video “When I Come Around,” but unfortunately, that outfit didn’t make the cut. 

Ethan Walker | PNN Green Day playing in the Marquis Covent Garden.

What To Expect In The Future:

Ryan Baxley will be going on the Saviors tour this summer with Green Day. The band is considering more videos for the ‘Saviors’ era in the future, both Walter and Baxley would love to tackle the track 1981 as a possible next music video although nothing is set and stone. The directors behind Green Day’s music videos have played an important role in shaping the band’s visual identity and enhancing the impact of their songs. Through their vision, they have brought Green Day’s music to life in a way that connects deeply with their fans. The partnership between the band and their directors has elevated their music videos to a form of artistry in their own right. As Green Day continues to evolve and inspire, their collaboration with talented directors ensures that their visual storytelling remains as impactful and relevant as their music itself.

Advice For Aspiring Filmmakers: 

“I feel like it’s the same as somebody that wants to be in a band or something where it’s just like…it’s definitely competitive and it’s not an easy thing. But if you love doing it…the only consistent thing you can do is make something you’re proud of and then no matter what anybody thinks, you’re still happy with what you made.” says Baxley.

 “I think people like wait for permission-…Go ahead and do it and then put it up on YouTube. And like, if it’s amazing, people will see it. …You can read a lot of books, and you can learn a lot of things. But like, I think you just gotta do it” Says Walter.