Mike Dirnt is Green Day’s bassist and co-founder. Although his real name is Michael Ryan Pritchard, Dirnt got his stage moniker from a childhood nickname that’s stuck with him throughout his entire life. As a kid, the future famous rock musician would play air bass at school and make “dirnt, dirnt, dirnt” sounds in class. Born in 1972, Dirnt was by all accounts a great student despite growing up with a mother who abused drugs and a father who wasn’t around much. His parents divorced when he was young, something the musician said attributed to him feeling sullen and withdrawn as a child.
Dirnt met Billie Joe Armstrong in the middle school cafeteria the two students shared at age ten. The two became inseparable, bonding over bands like the Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, Hüsker Dü, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Replacements, The Who and Van Halen. At 14, Dirnt and Armstrong formed a band called Sweet Children with Dirnt on bass and Armstrong on vocals and guitar. Though Dirnt would later become one of popular music’s most successful musicians, he didn’t have it easy growing up. To help his family make ends meet, he became a chef at a local seafood restaurant. Dirnt later moved into Armstrong’s garage to keep working on Sweet Children after his family moved out of the area due to financial hardship.
Dirnt’s remarkable sacrifices and determination would soon pay off. Dookie brought money and widespread fame to Green Day, and the band has been in the international spotlight ever since. Dirnt wrote lyrics for Green Day songs like “Emenius Sleepus,” “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)”, “Scumbag”, “Ha Ha You’re Dead,” the sub-track “Nobody Likes You” and others. He composes his own bass parts and sometimes sings background vocals on Green Day’s records.