Born Frank Edwin Wright III in Frankfurt, Germany, Tré Cool is now a punk-rock drumming legend. His father, a combat helicopter pilot who served in the Vietnam War, brought the family back with him to the U.S. and settled in Willits, California. Twelve-year-old Cool got his start in punk rock from his friend and neighbor, Larry Livermore, who asked him to join his band, The Lookouts. He played for The Lookouts for a number of years until his big break came when he was asked to fill in for the Oakland, California band Green Day. When original drummer John Kiffmeyer left the band in 1990 to pursue a college education, Cool became a permanent member.
With Cool on drums, Green Day released Kerplunk (1992), the album that introduced them to mainstream attention. The band toured all throughout 1992 and ’93 in a used bookmobile Cool's father had found. With the recognition gained from the release of Kerplunk, Green Day received a record deal from Reprise Records. Now on a major label, the band recorded their hit album, Dookie, in 1994. Near instant fame followed, with the band playing both the Lollapalooza festival and Woodstock that same year. In addition, Green Day also won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for nine MTV Video Music Awards. In 1995 they released Insomniac, which brought praise, but not quite as much success as their previous album.
After some extensive touring, Green Day took a break in 1996 and began working on Nimrod. The album was released in 1997 and showed the band in a progressive stage. With songs like “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”, Nimrod proved to be a slower and more experimental album. Four years went by before their next release, Warning which proved they hadn't yet exhausted the slower, toned-down aesthetic they'd introduced with Nimrod. While Warning did not receive as much acclaim as their previous albums, their status as pop-punk pioneers was revived with the release of 2004's American Idiot. This album not only brought in a multitude of new fans, but also received a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, and the single “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” received its own host of awards and acknowledgments. Green Day just released their eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown.
On Green Day’s first albums with Cool, the drumming has a classic punk-rock sound. While in later albums his drumming slowed down a bit to accommodate the band's softer new direction, the first releases show Cool blasting away with ultra-fast drum rolls and hyperactive beats. In Green Day’s newer albums, such as Warning and American Idiot, Cool still has that punk edge and quickness, but with a much bigger and more open sound.