Thieves thanked for Green Day Grammy inspiration

Rockers Green Day owe the success of their Grammy-winning album American Idiot to thieves who stole the masters they were working on as their new project.

Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong admits the theft made him so angry he was inspired to write some of his best material, which led to the group being nominated for seven Grammys and picking up Best Rock Album on Sunday night.

He says: "It ended up being good because we were readying ourselves to go where we hadn't gone before."

The punk star was so annoyed he left his wife and kids for a month and went on a hate-filled bender to find fresh inspiration.

He adds: "I drank a lot of red wine, and vodka tonics. I was searching for something. I'm not sure it was the most successful trip."

On returning home, Armstrong caught TV news footage of the war in Iraq and decided to write an album full of songs about his feelings for modern America.

Bassist Mike Dirnt isn't fretting about the stolen tapes. In a message posted on the group's website, he wrote: "My only request is whoever's got those songs, if you put it out, put a decent cover on it."

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