By Chuck Arnold Gillian Telling
December 02, 2013 12:00 PM

>BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG & NORAH JONES

How did covering an entire Everly Brothers album together happen?

BILLIE JOE: A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the record [1958’s Songs Our Daddy Taught Us] and just loved it. The idea came to record it but with a woman singing too. My wife suggested Norah, so I gave her a call, and she said yes.

NORAH: Things clicked right away and just got better and better. We decided to find our own versions and not just copy it. These aren’t pop hits. They’re very dark. But we had a lot of fun.

Did anything surprise you about one another?

BILLIE JOE: I was surprised by how good a guitar player she is. She does some solos on the record—she’s just so tasteful in everything she touches. As we were recording, I was like, “This is actually happening!” I had butterflies in my stomach. There’s an intimacy in singing these intense songs, and it all came easily.

Billie Joe, did you ever think you’d sing with a twang?

BILLIE JOE: Actually, a lot of songs I write, if you strip them down, are very traditional in a lot of ways. One thing we bonded over is that both of our mothers are from Oklahoma, and my mother is very into country.

The album only took nine days to record. Was there any time for some in-studio goofing off?

NORAH: He had this Snoopify app he used on everything!

BILLIE JOE: She recommended some mac-and-cheese place, and the aftermath got a lot of laughs.

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