In a new interview with The New Yorker, Joel, who last released an album in 1993, said that's not likely to happen.
“Some people think it’s because I’m lazy or I’m just being contrary," he said. "But, no, I think it’s just -- I’ve had my say. If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that’s no reason to do it. I’d want it to be good."
"I’ve seen artists on that treadmill, putting out albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and it’s, like, 'Maybe you should stop,'" he continued.
In addition, Joel added that actually recording a new album would just be too much of a hassle.
"I’m not crazy about going into a recording studio and doing that kind of life again, or taking on another project where there’s other people involved -- arrangers and orchestrators and conductors and producers. I don’t want to deal with it. ... You have to have a certain amount of ambition to want to do all that," he said. "And I look back at the guy who was the recording artist, this Billy Joel guy, and I think, Who the f*** was that guy? He was very ambitious, very driven, and I don’t feel like that anymore.”
And then there's the personal aspect of it.
Joel said he doesn't want to write songs, only to have people pick them apart for clues to his personal life.
“I had gone through this celebrity craziness with Christie [Brinkley], and the divorce," he said, talking about the time of his album, River of Dreams, and its aftermath. "I felt like there was a proctoscope up my butt. Everybody interrogating, analyzing -- everything I wrote was fraught with meanings -- and I said, 'Wait a minute, I don’t want to rip myself open and let everyone see everything.' It was no longer comfortable. 'Enough! I gave you enough!'”