The Madden Brothers penned this song with their friend Pharrell Williams. "We went to see Pharrell because he's someone we really love and respect," Joel Madden told Billboard magazine. "Benji brought an acoustic guitar and Pharrell recognized that we wanted to make classic, California rock & roll and drew comparisons to the Eagles, which inspired us even more. We wrote 'California Rain' together that night."
The song is about Joel and Benji Madden's experiences since the twins formed Good Charlotte in 2006. Joel explained: "'California Rain' is about our personal journey through the whole thing. The last almost 20 years of making it, the music business, the trials and tribulations of what you go through in life and in trying to follow your dreams."
Ryan Adams lent his talents to the track. "He just did it in one take, came in and it ended up completing the song," said Benji. "He's such a badass."
The song tells the story of the Madden brothers' East Coast to West Coast journey and their dream of making it in the music industry. "California is a magical place, and we liken it to the dream," Benji said.
"We definitely wanted the song to be epic, because California is epic to us," Joel added. "The song sums up our experience - past, present, and future. We still believe in the dream. We still believe that some kid somewhere can leave home with an acoustic guitar like we did, a backpack, and 40 bucks, and hitchhike down the road and make it to California."