AOL: How familiar were you with the album, and did you expect it to translate so well to the stage?
Christina: Being a New Yorker, I was able to communicate with the album really well because I was able to witness the whole 9/11 situation. When this album came out, it really spoke to the younger generation of my time -- I was a junior in high school when that happened -- and I remember how that changed the entire nation. People started to be a little bit more outspoken and had important things to say, and this album was definitely a reflection of that.
AOL: Could you relate to the youthful aggression that permeates the show?
Tony: Only after a lot of therapy.
John: That's what makes the record such a success, that when you have the personal and the political. It's what makes both sides of it so poignant, that you can't have one without the other. When I really listened to the record in its entirety for the first time, you hear what a personal journey it really is. That was, for me, the first inkling that I had that it could work really well onstage. Even then, I had no idea that Michael Mayer was going to allow us to pull such emotion out of it. I knew it was there in the music, but I was surprised by the cathartic story between the three main characters and everything that happens within their lives and everybody else's lives on stage. I was unprepared for how kind of overwhelming and emotional that was going to be.
Rebecca: There's this young American thing that we've all developed, which is a dormant rage. I feel like, along with what Christina was saying, 9/11 and the politics of our country in the last couple of years have started to wake some of that up in people.
Michael:Something else that happened after 9/11 was that it actually became dangerous to express certain things. In fact, it was like a new censorship that happened in which you were opening yourself up to a lot of personal attacks if you were to express anything that could be interpreted as unpatriotic. Any kind of criticism towards our government or our nation's actions could be interpreted as unpatriotic and devaluing the lives of people who died in 9/11. And so, it just made Green Day's statement with 'American Idiot' that much stronger, braver and more important.