The New Age

Nimrod and Warning: (1997–2002)

After taking a break in 1996, Green Day began work on a new album in 1997. From the outset, both the band and Cavallo agreed that the album had to be different from their previous records.The result was nimrod., an experimental deviation from the band's standard pop-punk brand of music. The new album was released in October 1997. It provided a variety of music, with everything from upbeat pop-punk, laid-back surfer rock, and peppy, silly ska, to an acoustic ballad. nimrod. entered the charts at number 10, thanks to the surprise hit "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", an acoustic ballad that singer Billie Joe almost did not place on the album for fear of it being too different from the band's usual style. The success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" won the band an MTV Video Award for Best Alternative Video for the song's video, which depicted people undergoing major changes in their lives while Billie Joe Armstrong strummed his acoustic guitar.Other singles released from nimrod. were Nice Guys Finish
Last, Hitchin' a Ride and Redundant. Nimrod. also featured one of the band's live staples, "King for a Day", which, when played live, is accompanied by Billie Joe wearing a crown and/or cape. After the release of nimrod., Green Day took a two-year break, deciding to step back from the spotlight and spend some time with their new families.

In 2000, Green Day released Warning:, a step further in the style that they had hinted at with nimrod. Changes in their personal lives were reflected in the more mature and straightforward approach they took to their music, replacing nearly adolescent mantras of masturbation with more introspective statements. Critics' reviews of the album were fairly positive, although the album was greeted with mixed reviews within their fan base, who had grown accustomed to their 1990s pop punk sound. Though it produced the hit "Minority" and a smaller hit with "Warning", some observers were coming to the conclusion that the band was losing relevance, and a decline in popularity followed. While all of Green Day's past albums had reached a status of at least double platinum, Warning: was only certified gold. Although the band felt this was some of their strongest work to date, the decline of sales fueled questions regarding the band's future.

At the 2001 California Music Awards, Green Day won all eight awards that they were nominated for. They won the awards for Outstanding Album (Warning:), Outstanding Punk Rock/Ska Album (Warning:), Outstanding Group, Outstanding Male Vocalist, Outstanding Bassist, Outstanding Drummer, Outstanding Songwriter and Outstanding Artist.

The release of a Greatest Hits compilation, International Superhits!, and the token complementary assemblage of B-sides, Shenanigans, only fueled the theory that Green Day's career was on the rocks. International Superhits and its companion collection of music videos, titled International Supervideos! sold reasonably well, going platinum in the U.S. Shenanigans sported the band's b-sides, including "Espionage" which was featured in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. "Ha Ha You're Dead", recorded specifically for Shenanigans, is seen as the highlight of the album.

In 2002, Green Day co-headlined the Pop Disaster Tour with blink-182 helped to resurrect some of the band's popularity, and earned the group many positive concert reviews. The band decided to take some more time off after the Pop Disaster Tour closed, to spend time with their families.

American Idiot and renewed popularity (2003–present)

In the summer of 2003 the band went into a studio to write and record new material for a new album, tentatively titled Cigarettes and Valentines.After completing 20 tracks, the master tapes were stolen from the studio. The band, understandably upset, chose not to try to re-create the stolen album, but instead started over with a vow to be even better than before. In addition, they underwent serious "band therapy," engaging in several long talks to work out the members' differences after accusations from Dirnt and Cool that Armstrong was "the band's Nazi" and a show-off bent on taking the limelight from the other band members.

The resulting 2004 album, American Idiot, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, the band's first ever album to reach #1, backed by the success of the album's first single, "American Idiot." The album was billed as a "punk rock opera" which follows the journey of the fictitious "Jesus Of Suburbia". Also the album marked a significant growth in the band as musicians. American Idiot won the 2005 Grammy for "Best Rock Album" and the band swept the 2005 MTV music awards, winning a total of seven of the eight awards they were nominated for, including the coveted Viewer's Choice Award.

Through 2005, the band toured in support of the album with about 150 dates — their longest tour in their career — visiting Japan, Australia, South America and the UK, where they drew a crowd of 130,000 people over a span of two days - one of the largest crowds ever drawn for a rock concert. While touring for American Idiot, they filmed and recorded the two concerts at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England, which was voted 'The Best Show On Earth' in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll. These recordings were released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible on November 15, 2005. This CD/DVD featured hits from American Idiot as well as a few songs from all their previous albums, except "Kerplunk!" and "1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours". The DVD featured behind-the-scenes footage of the band, and showed how the band prepared to put on the show. The final shows of their 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17 respectively. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.

On August 1, 2005, it was announced that Green Day had rescinded the master rights to their pre-Dookie material from Lookout! Records, citing breach of contract regarding unpaid royalties that had been ongoing for some time, and with other Lookout! bands as well. The pre-Dookie material was reissued by their label, Reprise, on January 9, 2007.

In 2006 Green Day won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" which spent 16 weeks at the number one position of Billbsoard's Modern Rock Tracks, a record it shares along with Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Scar Tissue" and Staind's "It`s Been Awhile". Green Day was also nominated for Best Rock Video for "Wake Me Up When September Ends" at the 2006 MTV Video Music awards, but lost to AFI's "Miss Murder". Both the music videos "Wake Me Up When September Ends", "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" retired showing on TRL after being on the top ten for 50 days each.

In September 2006, Green Day teamed up with U2 and producer Rick Rubin to record a cover of the song "The Saints Are Coming" with an accompanying video, originally recorded by The Skids. The song is to benefit Music Rising, an organization to help raise money for musicians' instruments lost during Hurricane Katrina, and to bring awareness on the eve of the one year anniversary of the disaster.

In December 2006, Green Day and NRDC opened a web site in partnership to raise awareness on America's dependency on Oil.