Pinhead Gunpowder

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Pinhead Gunpowder
Origin East Bay, California
Genres Punk rock, garage rock
Years active 1990–present
Labels Lookout!, Adeline, Recess
Associated acts Green Day, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Network, The Influents, Crimpshrine, Monsula
Members Billie Joe Armstrong
Aaron Cometbus
Bill Schneider
Jason White
Past members Sarah Kirsch

Pinhead Gunpowder is an American punk rock band that formed in East Bay, California, in 1990. The band has consisted of Aaron Cometbus (drums, lyrics), Bill Schneider (bass), Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar, vocals) and Jason White (guitar, vocals) for the majority of its existence. Sarah Kirsch (guitar, vocals), formerly known as Mike Kirsch, was the original guitarist, in place of White, but left the band citing personal differences with Green Day (the band for which Billie Joe Armstrong is most famous) and their major label debut album Dookie (1994). The band's name comes from a brand of "high octane" green tea served at the Arcata co-op and discovered by Aaron Cometbus during one of his many dumpster diving adventures.

Cometbus, who releases the Cometbus fanzine, has played in many East Bay area bands such as Crimpshrine, Sweet Baby, The Thorns of Life and many more; Schneider is Green Day's former guitar tech and tour manager. Jason White plays additional guitar for Green Day; along with founding the seminal punk rock band Chino Horde. White has played in The Influents as well as The Big Cats. Sarah Kirsch has also been an active member in several East Bay bands such as Fuel, Torches to Rome, Bread and Circuits and many others.

The vast majority of Pinhead Gunpowder's songs were written by Cometbus, although a few songs such as "27", "Anniversary Song" and "New Blood" were written by Billie Joe Armstrong under the pseudonym "Wilhelm Fink".

Pinhead Gunpowder is a very elusive band. Over their 24+ year existence they have only released a few albums and only played 18 shows in total (that are known of). All of these shows have been on the west coast of the USA, mostly in the Bay Area. Their two lead singers are both members of Green Day and because of that the majority of their time is spent recording and touring for Green Day. Founder, drummer, and lyricist Aaron Cometbus is also busy writing his Cometbus zine, several novels, and in 2014 his first volume of poetry as well as producing artwork and playing in numerous bands. As a result of their busy lives Cometbus wrote that they knew upon forming Pinhead Gunpowder that it would have to be a part-time band that they could all come back to when they had free time.


Pinhead Gunpowder performed for the first time in many years during February 2008, debuting three new songs, "Anniversary Song", "West Side Highway", and "On the Ave" .

The band released their latest EP, West Side Highway through Recess Records on August 19, 2008. This marked the band's first new release in 5 years.

Pinhead Gunpowder released a greatest hits album called Kick Over the Traces on June 19, 2009. Also, Pinhead Gunpowder mentioned that in August or September Recess would re-release on vinyl and CD the albums Jump Salty, Carry the Banner, Goodbye Ellston Avenue, Shoot the Moon and Compulsive Disclosure,.[1] All of the albums were re-released in assorted colors in early February 2010 through Recess Records. The band performed a benefit show at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California on February 12, 2010.[2][3]


Studio albums

Year Title Label
1995 Carry the Banner 2 Too Many/Lookout!/Recess1
1997 Goodbye Ellston Avenue Lookout!/Recess1

Extended plays

Year Title Label
1991 Tründle and Spring Take a Day
1992 Fahizah Lookout!
1999 Shoot the Moon Adeline/Recess1
2000 Dillinger Four / Pinhead Gunpowder Adeline
2000 Pinhead Gunpowder THD
2000 8 Chords, 328 Words Lookout!
2008 West Side Highway Recess

Compilation albums

Year Title Label
1994 Jump Salty Lookout!/Recess1
2003 Compulsive Disclosure Lookout!/Recess1
2009 Kick Over the Traces Recess

12010 Re-release label version
2Originally released on vinyl by Too Many Records and later released on CD by Lookout! Records

Compilation appearances (incomplete)

Year Title Label Contributing track
1991 Very Small World 2xLP Very Small "Losers of the Year"
1992 Can of Pork 2xLP/CD Lookout! "Benicia by the Bay"
1993 Benicia Cass Take A Day "Benicia by the Bay"
1993 Vinyl Retentive 2xLP Very Small "Beastly Bit"
1994 Misfit Heartbeat 2x7" Take A Day "I Wanna"
1996 Lookout Records CD Lookout! "I Am the Stranger"
1997 Humans As Sewage Cass BBT Tapes "Swan Song (Live)" "Reach for the Bottle (Live)" "Nigel Sings"
1997 The Last Great Thing You Did CD Lookout! "Life During Wartime"
2000 Faux Pas Potpourri - Very Small Records '93-'99 2xCD Very Small "Reach for the Bottle (Live)"
2000 Might as Well... Can't Dance CD Adeline "Porch"
2001 Down In Front Vinyl/CD No Idea Records "Beastly Bit (Acoustic)", "Reach For The Bottle (Live)", "Swan Song (Live)"
2005 Then Is The New Now CD Lookout! "At Your Funeral" "Life During Wartime"
2006 Second-Hand Suit Jacket Racket CD Lookout! "Letter From an Old Friend"

Band members

Current members
Former members


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External links