Tré Cool performing with Green Day in 2013
|Birth name||Frank Edwin Wright III|
|Also known as|
December 9, 1972|
Frankfurt, West Germany
|Origin||Willits, California, U.S.|
Frank Edwin Wright III (born December 9, 1972), known professionally as Tré Cool, is a German born American musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the drummer for the punk rock band Green Day. He replaced the band's former drummer, John Kiffmeyer, in 1990 as Kiffmeyer felt that he should focus on college. Cool has also played in The Lookouts, Samiam, Dead Mermaids and the Green Day side-projects The Network and the Foxboro Hot Tubs.
Life and career
Frank Edwin Wright III was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, to American parents Frank Edwin Wright, Jr. and Linda Wright. He lived in Willits, California, with his father and elder sister Lori. He has German heritage, and his father was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Wright's closest neighbor was Larry Livermore, who at the time was the singer of the punk band The Lookouts. When Wright was 12, Livermore recruited him as the drummer of The Lookouts and Tre took on the name of "Tré Cool," using both the French word "très" (meaning "very") and the English word "cool" as a way of saying he was "very cool." Trey, a play on Wright's family's generational titles, had already been Wright's nickname prior to the addition of "Cool."
When Green Day's drummer, John Kiffmeyer, left the band, the group recruited Tré Cool to be their drummer. In his second year, Tré Cool dropped out of high school and opted to earn a GED. He began taking classes at a local community college but would again drop out as the band became a more time consuming priority. During this time the band considered breaking up because it took a long time to adjust to playing with Tré Cool.
Tré Cool's father was supportive and overhauled a bookmobile to transport the band. He would later say: "I watched them go from a bunch of kids to a group of musicians with work ethic," also adding: "On their first tour or two, it was more of a party than anything else. I still scratch my head and say, 'How in the hell did they make it?' They used to practice in my living room here – a lot of the songs they did on Dookie. You hear it coming together, and you don't expect people are going to go out and buy it. But when it does, you just say, 'Wow that's so cool.'"
In 1998, after Green Day won a "Moon Man" Trophy at the MTV Music Awards, Tré Cool famously climbed on the Universal Globe at Universal Studios. He and Jai Brooks are the only two people to ever do this.
Tré Cool won "Best Punk Drummer" in DRUM! Magazine's 2011 Drummies, which recognizes some of the best drummers across music genres. He was also featured in the Nitpick Six: The Six Best Drum Fills and ranked in at number 6 for the intro to "Basket Case". In 2014, LA Weekly named Tré Cool #2 of the "Top 5 Punk Drummers of All Time."
Before joining Green Day, Tré Cool employed a more intricate drumming style. He explained that "When I started, I had too many drums. I was a little reggae-happy and into fancier beats than was needed. It took me a while to get it: play the song, don't play the instrument. I started figuring out how to make the band a stronger unit, to make it jump." After playing with Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt, Tré Cool adopted a more rhythmic style with fewer drum fills to match Dirnt's bass lines.
Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune referred to Tré Cool as "Green Day's most potent weapon", adding that "His monstrous kick-drum wallop evokes John Bonham, while his manic fills make him punk's answer to Keith Moon." His stage persona has also been compared to Moon. Sound engineer Neill King, who worked with Green Day on Dookie, noted that Tré Cool shares Moon's "wild animal approach" to playing drums, and explained that the band encountered difficulties while recording "Basket Case" due to his unpredictable style: "It's not that Tré wasn’t a good drummer, but in terms of his performances we wanted the best of the best...So, although we wanted him to do all of his wild fills and crazy drumming, we couldn’t just let him go. He’d drift in and out of time, which is terrific live, but which was unacceptable on radio at that time."
Singing and songwriting
Before joining Green Day, Tré Cool played guitar for local East Bay band The Cuntz. He also sang on "That Girl's from Outer Space" and "Sonny Boy" from Lookouts album Spy Rock Road. He then sang and played the guitar on "Dominated Love Slave" from Kerplunk and the hidden track "All by Myself" from Dookie, both of which he wrote and composed (on "Dominated Love Slave", guitarist and vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong played drums). He wrote and sang the subtrack "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" from the medley "Homecoming" featured on the album American Idiot. He also sang and composed the track "DUI" ("Driving Under the Influence"), which was recorded for Green Day's fifth studio album Nimrod (1997) and was due to be released on the compilation album Shenanigans in 2002, but was omitted and can only be found on promotional unmastered copies of the album and online.
During a radio interview at Washington DC's alternative station DC 101, Tré Cool sang and played acoustic guitar on a short song entitled "Like a Rat Does Cheese," a song about the pleasure of fellatio.
Several live tracks also exist, usually from around 1993, such as "Food Around the Corner", a song from the 1943 Elmer Fudd cartoon An Itch in Time. Another live track, "Billie Joe's Mom" was also recorded.
- Kerplunk! (1991) – drums, guitar and lead vocals on "Dominated Love Slave"
- Dookie (1994) – drums, guitar and vocals on "All by Myself"
- Insomniac (1995) – drums
- Nimrod (1997) – drums, backing vocals
- Warning (2000) – drums, accordion
- American Idiot (2004) – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Rock and Roll Girlfriend"
- Bullet in a Bible (2005) – drums, backing vocals
- 21st Century Breakdown (2009) – drums
- Awesome as Fuck (2011) – drums, backing vocals
- ¡Uno! (2012) – drums
- ¡Dos! (2012) – drums
- ¡Tré! (2012) – drums
- Revolution Radio (2016) – drums
- Bullet in a Bible (film; 2005) – drums, himself, backing vocals
- Awesome as Fuck (film; 2011) – drums, himself, backing vocals
- One Planet One People (1987) – drums, vocals, lead vocals on "The Mushroom Is Exploding"
- Spy Rock Road (1989) – drums, lead vocals on "That Girl's from Outer Space" and "Sonny Boy"
Foxboro Hot Tubs
- Stop Drop and Roll!!! (2008) – drums
- Money Money 2020 (2003) – drums, lead vocals on "Hungry Hungry Models" (as The Snoo)
Other media appearances
- King of the Hill (TV series; 1997) – Cane Skretteberg
- Riding in Vans with Boys (film; 2003) – himself
- Live Freaky! Die Freaky! (film; 2006) – The Maid
- The Simpsons Movie (film; 2007) – himself
- Jackass: 24 Hour Takeover (TV special; 2008) – himself
- Heart Like a Hand Grenade (film; 2008) – himself
- Green Day: Rock Band (video game; 2010) – himself (voice, likeness, and archive footage)
- ¡Cuatro! (film; 2013) as himself
- Broadway Idiot (film; 2013) – himself
- Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers (Netflix Special; 2018) - himself
- The spelling Tré is used in the opening and closing credits of the Bullet in a Bible DVD.
- This article on the Bullet in a Bible DVD repeats the Tré spelling found in the credits.
- Owen, Chess. "Names -> Music Performer Pseudonyms -> S". Retrieved 2008-05-12.
The Snoo, Frank Edwin Wright LXI, Tré's cover name when he plays in the band The Network
- Montgomery, James (10 April 2008). "Green Day Exclusive: Yes, They Are Foxboro Hot Tubs, Just In Case There Was Any Doubt". MTV. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Cid, Martin (9 December 2015). "Famous Birthdays Today, December 9: Tre Cool, Kendall Vertes, McKayla Maroney, Alexi Blue, Simon Helberg". Yareah. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Foege, Alec (28 December 1995). "Green Day: From Punk to Platinum". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Raihala, Ross (10 November 2015). "Green Day struts the Great White Way". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Spitz, Marc (2006). Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day. Hachette Book Group.
- McCall, Tris (2 October 2012). "Court Tavern to reopen with show by Samiam". NJ.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "Band – Biography". GREEN DAY INC. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
- Myers, Ben (2006). Green Day: American Idiots & The New Punk Explosion. Disinformation Books.
- Webster, Melissa (17 May 2015). "Larry Livermore: Spy Rock Road Album Release, Featuring a Teenage Tre Cool". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Kimpel, Dan (2006). How They Made It: True Stories of How Music's Biggest Stars Went from Start to Stardom. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0634076428.
- Rolling Stone, January 26, 1995
- Billie Joe Armstrong (interviewee), Tre Cool (interviewee) (25 December 2010). Tre Cool Climbs The MTV Globe. VH1. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Wasoba, Ryan. (October 24, 2011) 2 The Six Best Drum Fills – St. Louis – Music – FTomusic – Page 2. Blogs.riverfronttimes.com Retrieved on 2013-03-19.
- Tavana, Art (16 July 2014). "Top 5 Punk Drummers of All Time". LA Weekly. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Fricke, David (May 15, 2009). "Tre Cool on Growing Up Punk and Finding Green Day's Groove". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- Kot, Greg (September 26, 2004). "Review: American Idiot – Green Day". The Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- Paulson, Dave (July 30, 2009). "Green Day surprises with age". The Tennessean. Gannett Company. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- Buskin, Richard (February 2, 2011). "Green Day: 'Basket Case' – Classic Tracks". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- Kaufman, Gil (13 August 2007). "Chocolate Rain Creator Talks of Life Beyond His 15 Minutes of Fame". MTV. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
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