If someone would have told us that Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day would team up with Norah Jones for an album, we would shook our heads in disbelief. In the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction department, Billie Joe and Norah have indeed have teamed up and made a collection of songs, Foreverly, a track-by-track cover of Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, an album of traditional Americana songs recorded by by The Everly Brothers in 1958.
In this interview in Stereogum, Jones and Armstrong recount the back story:
JONES: Well, we met 10 years ago at the Grammys, but other than that we didn’t really know each other that well. Then I got a call…
JONES: You tell him, actually, I don’t really know how it started.
ARMSTONG: It all started with Stevie Wonder. [laughter] We sang together with Stevie Wonder and his band and a whole bunch of people, that’s how Norah and I first met. Then … well, I got into the Everly Brothers’ record a couple years ago and I thought it was just beautiful. I was listening to it every morning for a while off and on. I thought it would be cool to remake the record because I thought it was sort of an obscure thing and more people should know about it, but I really wanted to do it with a woman singing because I thought it would take on a different meaning — maybe broaden the meaning a little bit — as compared to hearing the songs being sung by the two brothers. And so my wife said, “Why don’t you get Norah Jones to do it?” and I was like, “Well, I kinda know her.” Well, I mean, we had Stevie Wonder in common. And so I called her and she said yes. So it was kinda like a … well, I keep saying it was kinda like a blind date.
JONES: It was, yeah. It was kinda like jumping into something. You know, we’ve both done a lot of different things in our careers but jumping into making a whole record with somebody is definitely the bigger commitment. I think we agreed to go into the studio for a few days just to try it out, remember? And…
ARMSTONG: Yeah, yeah.
JONES: And we ended up pretty much doing the whole record in about five days. It was really fun. And then we went back a few months later to revisit it and do a few extra songs over again.
Reprise Records will release Foreverly on November 25th. Below, listen to “Long Time Gone.”