Alanis Morissette took to the stage this week to show her support for Green Day’s frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong and his recent struggles with substance abuse.

Eleven minutes before performing her second song on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Alanis decided she would dedicate her late night performance to Billie Joe and not perform another song from her latest album, Havoc and Bright Lights. Instead she took a stab at the punk band’s song “Basket Case,” choosing to slow it down and turn it into a touching ballad.

The singer later revealed to Billboard why she decided to speak out on behalf of the Green Day frontman, who is seeking treatment for substance abuse problems after a recent on-stage meltdown.

“I’ve always been an advocate and supporter of artists and Billie Joe to me — he deserves to be bowed down to,” she said. “He’s been in this industry for a long time and so for him to experience the consequence of a system that kind of set it up for him to fail is a travesty to me.”

She continued, “We’re all figuring it out. So let’s just support the fragile artist.”

Alanis and the band both rose to fame in the mid-90s with their third albums—her for 1995’s Jagged Little Pill and Green Day for Dookie in 1994.

But people didn’t really started pay attention to Green Day until they released the video for “Basket Case,” which is a song that talks about Billie Joe’s struggles with anxiety. He actually believed he was going crazy until a doctor diagnosed him with a panic disorder.

“The lyrics kept changing,” he told NPR. “It started out as a relationship song, and I got the idea for it to be more neurotic and a panic-attack song, and it seemed to hit home. And I didn’t even expect the song to even be a single. It seemed like it was a difficult song to play. Then it got released, and I guess I was wrong about that.”

The video was later filmed in an abandoned mental institution in Palo Alto in California, which helped play up the lyrics. Billie Joe even talked about the weird experience of being inside the asylum. 

“There was a real old dentistry, really awful looking,” he told MTV. “We went inside it and there was moldings of people’s teeth. So we brought them home and used them as ashtrays and stuff like that.”

Watch the video below.


Shannon Carlin, CBS Local