Green Day are not "heartless people," and they "most likely" would have called off their performance at a music festival in Spain Friday night if they had known that an acrobat had fallen to his death just before they came on, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong says. Armstrong issued a statement Sunday defending the band's playing of a full set soon after Pedro Aunion Monroy plunged 100 feet to his death in front of horrified fans at Madrid's Mad Cool Festival, Variety reports. The 42-year-old acrobat was performing a stunt that involved a box suspended from a crane.
The band was criticized as insensitive for going ahead with their show after the between-sets death, but Armstrong says the band not only didn't know about the death, they didn't know there were acrobats performing between sets, Rolling Stone reports. "All of us were in disbelief" after the show when they heard about the death, Armstrong said. "I don't know why the authorities chose not to tell us about the accident before our concert." "What happened to Pedro is unthinkable," he said, adding that the band is "heartbroken" for his friends and family, and for anybody who had to witness the tragedy.