Last month, rocker Jesse Malin announced that Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong would join him on his new single, “Strangers & Thieves.” The song is out now, and following Jesse’s recent single “Room 13,” both will appear on his upcoming album, Sunset Kids.
“Strangers & Thieves” has a traditional rock sound, almost blending into country-rock territory, reminiscent of the late Tom Petty. It storms ahead with a strong drum, jangling guitars, and Jesse’s nasally voice. Billie Joe only serves backing vocals here, his high harmonies giving the choruses and bridge a richer, fuller sound.
Jesse spoke to Rolling Stone to talk about “Strangers & Thieves” and working with Billie Joe:
“Strangers & Thieves” started as a song I had for a fun side project with the guys in Green Day called Rodeo Queens. Lucinda [Williams, producer] heard the song and felt it really fit in with Sunset Kids. I had the music and lines for a chorus. One day, Billie Joe Armstrong was in town, and it was one of those nostalgic Sundays, where we walked around looking at all the old sites, like the A7 club, which is now Niagara, and CBGB’s, now the Varvatos store, and the old Rat Cage Records spot.
A couple days later, Billie Joe sent me a text with the finished song. He kept a couple of the lines I had for the choruses, and wrote lyrics about the Bay Area scene through his eyes, a scene that was very parallel to my experiences in New York. Somehow, we all found each other, just being outcasts looking for real music and like-minded trouble.
Listen to “Strangers & Thieves” below:
You can stream or download “Strangers & Thieves” from all the main music providers here. It will also appear on Jesse Malin’s upcoming album, Sunset Kids, due out on August 30th. You can pre-order the album now.
This isn’t the first time Billie Joe and Jesse have teamed up. Back in 2010, Jesse Malin and Green Day united to form the band Rodeo Queens. They released only one song that December called “Depression Times,” which you can hear below:
Green Day’s last studio album was 2016’s Revolution Radio. That record included the singles “Bang Bang,” “Still Breathing,” and the title track. More recently, Green Day released their second greatest hits compilation, God’s Favorite Band, late in 2017. Last spring, Billie Joe also released the album Love Is For Losers with his new side band, The Longshot.
In December 2018, Billie Joe Armstrong revealed that he is “writing new songs” for Green Day. Although he didn’t reveal any other information, the band will likely begin recording in the coming months. With any luck, we could get a new album late this year; otherwise, 2020 sounds promising.
Enjoy “Strangers & Thieves,” and if you like the song, be sure to check out Sunset Kids, coming on August 30th. As always, keep checking back here for all the latest music news.