Why Billie Joe Armstrong Made a Country Duets Album with Norah Jones

Billie Joe Armstrong made a country record, and no one is more surprised about this than the Green Day frontman himself.

Armstrong’s latest album, Foreverly (out Nov. 25), is a collaboration with Norah Jones that has the two remaking the Everly Brothers 1958 full-length, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.

In an interview with the duo, Armstrong says he got the idea for the album a few years ago when he picked up the Everly Brothers classic. He thought a woman’s voice would be the perfect fit for his updated version and immediately thought of Jones — something she questions. “Everyone else turned you down,” she jokes. (Watch the interview below.)

Jones said they thought they’d go into the rockabilly world for this one–or “NorahBilly,” as Armstrong calls it–but they ended up sticking with the original’s stripped-down country roots. It’s the thing Armstrong is most proud of when it comes to this album, that they were able to honor these timeless folk and country songs.

“The way that we’re getting hit over the head with just technology and just things being so in your face, I think having something that is sort of like…a hand-me down or a sort of a family heirloom or something like that, I think that’s important to have,” he said.

Jones is still impressed by how well their voices meshed on the joint venture.

“Musically, I had no idea he would sound so good singing these songs,” Jones said, before backtracking a little, “Not that I didn’t think he would, but just I had no idea how he would sound because I never heard him do something quite like this…He’s got kind of the perfect tone for these songs.”

Watch the lyric video for their song “Long Time Gone” below.

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