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The five member band resembles other rock bands such as Blink -182 and Third Eye Blind, nevertheless, Good Charlotte found their niche in the rock and pop culture, and gained acceptance and popularity. The fresh five faces composing this quintet from Maryland first started off in 1996, practically shy of strumming a chord. Vocalist Joel Madden and his twin brother guitarist Benji, who never sang or played an instrument in their lives, were instantly inspired to form a band after seeing the Beastie Boys on their 1995 Ill Communication tour. They soon formed Good Charlotte with high school chums Paul (bass) and Aaron (drums), and Billy (guitar) was added later. They all had a passion for the energetic elements spawned from '70s punk rock, but also sentimental enough for killer ballads found in mainstream corporate rock. Quickly, the band made a name for themselves in and around the D.C. area, playing the WHFS annual rock show HFSFestival in 1998 and 1999. A year later, Good Charlotte issued their self-titled debut on Epic. The Madden brothers scored a gig as MTV VJ's and soon were all over the network's late night rock show All Things Rock. This promotion helped the band greatly, as they spent time behind the scenes writing songs for the new album. By the fall of 2002, Good Charlotte was ready to release The Young & the Hopeless. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "Anthem" catapulted the band into the mainstream in 2003 and shared dates with New Found Glory for the third annual Civic Tour were equally successful.
Joel's ''Good Charlotte'' story
the stuff your about to read is our bio. I hate bios. i don't know, i just do. thats me being honest. the history of our band is pretty easy. we started the band in april of 1995. we recorded a bunch of stuff from 95-2000, which you can find somewhere on the internet, only couple real copies of each record really exsist, but if you find one, could you make me a copy. in 2000 we put out good charlotte. and in 2002 we put out the young and the hopeless. we've down a hundred tours. written hundreds of songs, and played hundreds of shows in alot of diffrent places. i can honestly say though, we are just getting to know our fans, and ourselves. we are happier than we've ever been, with chris now in the band, if feels like things have always been just like this. we are having a great time , meeting kids all over the world who feel the same way about music as us. our goals right now as a band are to make the music we want to make, and give our fans what they have given us. positivity, dedication, loyalty, hope,truth, and a place to belong. we really just feel like the luckiest guys in the world, cause after all we just fans too. so thanx to all of you guys checkin out this site, and our music, and thanx for giving us a chance to make music. enjoy the bio.............thanx, Joel.
The Story So Far
Twin brothers Benji and Joel (born 3/11/79) grew up in a lower middle-class family in the town of Waldorf, Maryland—“the middle-of-nowhere suburbs," says Benji.
"Ours was definitely a dysfunctional family situation,” he admits, “but luckily me and Joel always had each other. When things started to fall apart, we just got into music." The twins' older brother Josh turned them on to influential albums by Rancid, Minor Threat, the Cure, the Smiths, and many more.
Benji began teaching himself guitar at 16; Joel gravitated towards lead vocals. "Right away, Joel and I started thinking up songs," Benji recalls. "We'd go straight to our room after school, singing and playing for hours every day."
After Paul (bass) and Billy (guitar) joined, Good Charlotte took their name from a children's book and played their first gig in a neighbor's basement for an audience of 20. "We only played our own songs—we weren't good enough to learn anyone else's songs!"
The brothers dedicated themselves to their music, although they had almost no money for equipment and no connections in the industry. They cut their first demo, wrote their own bio, and began mailing packages off to a list of record companies obtained from a magazine.
"I wrote this letter saying, we're Good Charlotte and if you sign us now it will be a lot cheaper than if you wait!" recalls Benji. "Our ignorance was kind of a blessing. We couldn't be discouraged by knowing too much about how the business really works."
Benji and Joel graduated high school in June 1997, and for a graduation present the twins’ mother presented them with a pair of open airline tickets to California. "Some of our favorite bands like Green Day had started out at this East Bay club called 924 Gilman Street. So when we graduated, that summer we made a pilgrimage to visit the club. We'd never even been on a plane before, but we have an aunt in Berkeley who let us crash with her."
The brothers returned to Maryland, newly inspired and more determined than ever. They left home and moved to Annapolis, played many more shows both electric and acoustic, and worked "all kinds of shitty jobs—I've had over 30 of them," says Benji. "It was a struggling time in our lives, but it was also a great time. It's good to be hungry sometimes."
When Billy joined on second guitar, Good Charlotte was complete. The band won a local contest, and their song "Can't Go On" was included on a sampler of area talent. They attracted the interest of a manager, and Lit offered a support slot on a series of sold-out East Coast dates.
"We had no money, no transportation, and no way to do the gigs. Our mom was living in like a shed on a neighbor's property, and the only thing she really owned was a mini-van. She said, you guys take the mini-van to play the shows and I'll catch rides or walk to work. That just shows you how she's been there for us the whole time."
"By the time we played New York with Lit, in December 1999, all the labels turned out. We signed our deal in May 2000, in the studio where we were recording, and the album Good Charlotte (Epic) came out in September."
By then, the quintet was on the road non-stop. Three months of dates with MXPX segued into the 2001 W.A.R.P. tour, then into more gigs up until Christmas Day (off), followed by still more gigs including a trip to Australia and New Zealand (where their debut went platinum). Through this intensive roadwork, Good Charlotte built an avid fan base—and MTV took notice, giving extensive airplay to the band’s videos for "Little Things," "Motivation Proclamation," and "Festival Song." At this writing (August 2002), Benji and Joel are hosting MTV’s "All Things Rock," which airs Monday through Thursday after 11 PM (ET).
Honesty is the thread that runs through every song on The Young and The Hopeless and binds Good Charlotte to their devoted fans. "I don't think we're better than any other band," says Benji, "although I do think we're more sincere, more real, than some of them. We want to be judged for what we're really doing, not put in a genre with a bunch of other bands with which we have nothing in common."
"We have a lot more to say than some of the bands we're compared with, and I hope people will hear it on this album. The kids that we were, five years ago—I just want to give those kids something to help them through the day."
Good Charlotte's one minute wonder
Q: OK, you've got exactly one minute to answer as many questions as you can. Here we go! You're here to record your new singles 'Girls And Boys' and 'The Anthem'. Can you tell us a little bit about each one?
Joel: Well 'Girls And Boys' is coming out before 'The Anthem'. It's about superficial people and the kind of people they date. 'The Anthem' is about who we
are, the way we live and the things that we believe in.
Q: How did all of you get together?
Benji: We were dancers [cue sarcasm]
Joel: He was a dancer. Er, we started out in high school. We started playing with Paul then Billy came a couple of years later. Then finally Chris.
Chris is fast to sleep behind them]
Q: How would you describe your music?
Benji: Triumphant, buoyant, flamboyant. And finally flaming hot.
Q: Is it true that the Beastie Boys kicked it off for you when you were kids?
Benji: Actually we never got into the show! Joel left the tickets at home so we stood outside and sang along to the music through the building!
Billy: [still laughing] Yeah! Then we got one of those crappy T-shirts outside. The ones where you wash it once and the writing comes off.
Q: Now, rumour has it that you used to play baseball. Do you still play it now?
Benji: Nah! We used to play cricket. It's a big sport
in America. [If Benji's not careful, he's gonna dry up]
Q: What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you at a gig?
Benji: Paul threw up on me once! Paul throws up a lot.
Billy: It's cool!
Benji: [Brace yourselves] Last month I met this girl at the show. I woke up after the show the next day to discover it was a guy! It was weird... Now we're
going out together!
All: [Humongous laughs]
Q: What's the most outrageous thing that you've ever done. It can be on or off the stage?
Joel: Why don't you answer this one Benji. You're the joker. [tension is mounting]
Benji: I haven't done anything outrageous. We're actually a very tame band. We're quite boring really! Come on boys, is there anything outrageous that we've done?
Joel: Benj put poo on a $20 bill and stuck it in an
ATM machine. This guy then went to pick it up and he got poo all over his hand! [laughs]
Q: Is it true that you were shampoo boys once upon a time?
Benji: In a way.
Joel: I once worked at a hair salon where I shampooed ladies hair. Somebody read it and made us out as shampoo boys. I actually enjoyed it. It
was one of my favourite jobs.
Benji: I was a whipping boy for a rich family. [little sniggers]
Q: What other types of music do you like?
Benji: I bought three CD's yesterday. Sinead O'Connor, Evan Dando's new album and Cave In. I like 'em all!
Joel: I like older stuff than that. I'm into the Cure and the Smiths. I also just bought a Dean Martin record.
Billy: I just bought the new Linkin Park record. I think those guys are really, really good.
Sympathy for Good Charlotte
The Marlin Room in New York's Webster Hall looks like your uncle's rec room — if your uncle held an inauguration party for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, anyway. There's an ancient tiki bar in one corner, buried under a stack of empty liquor boxes. A beat-up piano is shoved against the far wall. Tattered paper streamers hang from the ceiling, and miniature American flags barely flap in the air-conditioner breeze, because they're covered with grayish cobwebs.
Being pulled into this room by their black shirtsleeves are Good Charlotte, for another in a seemingly endless series of "meet-and-greets" with people who can further their career. Lead singer Joel Madden and his guitarist brother Benji shake hands and make nice with an assembled mass of Epic Records executives and their assorted kids, nieces and nephews. Lanky guitarist Billy Martin and somewhat chunky bass player Paul Thomas slouch in a corner, trying to remain invisible amid the clamor. Standing side by side, they look like a slightly Gothic number 10.
Publicists round up the four bandmembers (the fifth, drummer Chris Wilson, is home getting physical therapy for his worn-out joints; Alkaline Trio's Derek Grant is filling in for tonight's gig) and shove them in front of an honest-to-goodness shooting gallery. About 50 cameramen from dozens of news agencies and newspapers begin snapping photos. The bandmembers smile nervously and make some half-hearted hand gestures as flashbulbs POP! POP! POP! all around them. The photographers assail them:
"Look over here!"
"One this way!"
"Benji! Joel! Show us your tattoos!"
"Come on! Gimme more!"
"One more this way!"
Within five minutes, the photographers are shoved aside and Good Charlotte are hustled to another corner of the Marlin Room for yet another meet-and-greet. All slightly dazed, they shake more hands and sign posters for radio-contest winners from Georgia, Maryland and Oregon. They pose for another round of photos; the percussive ratcheting of camera motors reaches eardrum-numbing levels.
And then it's time to meet the reporters. Middle-aged women in pantsuits and leggings — who, just minutes before, were asking the band's publicists "Which one is Joel?" — now shove microphones in the bandmembers' faces to obtain answers to pressing questions like "What's your favorite book?"
Then, just as quickly as everything began, it's all over. The crowd dissipates and the Marlin Room is left cold and empty. Good Charlotte retreat to the solitude of their dressing room to grab maybe an hour's rest before they take the Webster Hall stage and perform an "exclusive" Internet concert for the assembled music-business execs, throngs of screaming fans and millions of kids watching at home on their computers.
"The past two years have been exhausting, because we never say no," Joel says. "We're never home, and everyone in the band has suffered some personal losses. Relationships get ruined, and family stuff gets all messed up. But we never say 'no' to anything. We never turn down anything."
This rigmarole wouldn't be as much of a chore if Good Charlotte hadn't done essentially the same thing that afternoon before performing live on "TRL." Now, imagine doing it over and over again, just about every day, across four continents — for two years. Because that's what Good Charlotte have been up to: an endless, soul-numbing marathon of touring, in-store performances, autograph sessions and promotional events. (For a primer on the rigors of this process, see Radiohead's long-form video Meeting People Is Easy.)
All of which might explain why their new album, The Chronicles of Life and Death, which Joel describes as "a diary of the past two years," sounds so weary, so old-beyond-their-years and so serious. It's probably why Joel's lyrics have become obsessed with the death of the body and the soul.
"We spent the last two years out on the road," Benji says. "We'd never had any kind of success [before], and you definitely grow up a lot, because there's all these new responsibilities."
That's what happens when you're one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Good Charlotte have sold more than 5 million records worldwide, which makes their complaints, however earnest, seem a bit hollow. Their last album, The Young and the Hopeless, featured the anti-celebrity single "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" — a song that, ironically enough, made Good Charlotte both rich and famous. But with that comes a brutal workload. And, with sympathy for successful rock stars in short supply, they'll be seen as whiners if they complain.
On top of that, some people really, truly hate them.
"I get laughed at every day. I still eat sh-- every day," Joel says. "I get everybody's opinion of my band every day I go out in public. People are very, very adamant about telling me what they think of my band."
It's not hard to imagine what those people will say about the group's new album, The Chronicles of Life and Death: an ambitious, grandiose rumination that opens with a two-and-a-half-minute instrumental, complete with a full orchestra and vocals in Japanese.
"Our album has a piano and strings all over it. That was us growing musically, because you can't just write the same stuff over and over," Joel says. "I've read reviews of the album, and a lot of people say it's really overwrought and silly. But I don't care. I think kids will get it, and if we open up kids' minds to some new music, then I'm happy."
"On our records, we always have a couple of moments where our faces get red — and those are always the best," Benji adds. "On the new album, it sounds like we've done a whole lot of growing up."
That growth has manifested itself in many ways, from the bandmembers getting more involved in their careers (Martin designed all of Chronicles' artwork) to their outfits. Onstage and in promotional photos, the band no longer wears MADE sweatshirts and ripped jeans; now it's dark suits and ties all the way — except for bassist Thomas. He wears a Joy Division T-shirt.
"I've grown and become more confident of myself. I'll speak my mind now; I don't care what people think," Joel says. "And you can hear that growth, all of our growth, throughout the new record. It's not songs like 'Lifestyles' or 'Girls & Boys.' It's a very human record. These songs are very personal."
The following morning, Joel and Benji perform an acoustic version of "Lifestyles" in the intimate setting of "The Howard Stern Show." Everything is a bit more intense today, because it's the release date of The Chronicles of Life and Death. Aside from chatting up the new album, Benji spends the majority of the on-air time goofing around. Joel constantly deflects Stern's indelicately worded questions about his relationship with Hilary Duff. (He claims that they've just hung out a few times and he's never even kissed her.) It's quite a start to the big day, and it's not like Joel is playing at full strength.
"After the [Webster Hall] show last night, I was so wired I couldn't sleep. It's always hard to sleep after a show," he says. "So I didn't sleep. We were all talking about it the other day, and we realized we've been doing this constantly for, like, 32 days now."
And he won't have time to sleep, because after their appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," Good Charlotte are off to tape a performance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." And after that, there's just a short break before the band heads to Tower Records in New York's East Village for another in-store signing and a performance that will shut down an entire city block, the second time they've managed to do that in as many days (the line for the Webster Hall performance curled around the block, bringing traffic outside the venue to a halt).
Outside Tower Records, Good Charlotte fans have been camped out since 3 a.m. to catch the performance, which will take place on a stage set up in the middle of East 4th Street. Girls in black fishnets have driven in from Connecticut. A group of kids from Long Island sit on the curb, their eyes made-up to mimic Benji's punk-raccoon getup. Scenesters in Other Music — a fiercely independent CD store directly across the street from Tower — stare at the kids with a mixture of disdain, pity and curiosity. And as the day wears on, the number of Good Charlotte fans begins to swell. Masses in black, holding scrapbooks, posters and hand-drawn portraits of Joel and Benji, snap up copies of Chronicles so they can have them signed after the show.
Across town, Joel is feeling under the weather, doubtless the result of the band's breakneck schedule. Later in the night, his illness will keep him from doing still more interviews, but right now, he's determined to play.
"I'm a little sick," he says. "But you gotta play the show."
Outside Tower Records, it's beginning to get dark, and it's the coldest day New York has seen in months. Kids begin to crowd the small stage, and the NYPD sets up roadblocks. There is screaming and chants of "Good Char-lotte! Good Char-lotte!" Now, a roadie is tuning the band's acoustic guitars and there is more screaming and more chanting and just when it seems like Good Charlotte are about to take the stage ... there is more waiting.
But the fans don't care. They'd wait all night if they had to. And when Joel, Benji, Billy and Paul finally take the stage, Joel apologizes for being late and repeatedly tells the crowd, "We love you guys." Soon kids are singing along to his lyrics, and a few retro-ists even break out lighters for the slower numbers.
And as you look around, it all starts to make sense — because all of the miles and dollars and waiting and aggravation ultimately lead here. To the ones in the fishnets and the makeup. The ones sneaking drags off of cigarettes. The 9-year-old girl in black Chuck Taylors, a plaid skirt and a MADE hoodie, who's singing along with tears in her eyes, her dad seemingly not really knowing how to react, trying to comfort her with one hand on her shoulder, the other dialing his cell phone.
"I'm not worried about this album being over our fans' heads," Joel says. "I know our fans — no matter how old they are — will understand what I'm singing is from my heart and my life.
"And I don't care what other people think. For me, the last two years have been really hard. But they've also really been worth it. For us all.
Good Charlotte: The Chronicles of Life and Death
On their 2002 breakout, The Young And The Hopeless, Good Charlotte felt like another by-the-numbers punk-pop outfit, barely distinguishable from the parade of Sum 41 and blink-182 imitators. With The Chronicles of Life and Death, it's clear that the band is intent on fixing their identity problem. The opening track, for example, shows how open they've become -- it's an expansive orchestral piece called "Once Upon A Time" that features female voices cooing over the rumble of timpani. What isn't clear is how successful they are at flexing their creative muscles. The slippery rhythm, hip-hop influence and self-referential mythology on "I Just Wanna Live" work to a point, and keyboards and strings abound throughout the album. But as Good Charlotte wanders away from their familiar aggrieved, melodic crunch, they drift into soppy piano balladry ("The Truth") and poor impersonations of bands like the Cure ("The World Is Black") and U2 (the pompous "We Believe"). By the time they return to the relatively straightforward, punk-pop of "It Wasn't Enough," it's a relief to hear them on surer footing. Good Charlotte's ambitious efforts are commendable, but on Chronicles their execution doesn't match their inspiration.
Getting serious leads to nice things for Good Charlotte
Two years ago Good Charlotte was singing about Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and other experiences of The Young and the Hopeless (2002).
This year, however, the quintet of rockers from Waldorf, Md., has titled its third album The Chronicles of Life and Death.
Clearly their ambitions have broadened a bit.
"We definitely wanted to make a record that would challenge ourselves and maybe challenge our fans a little bit, too," guitarist Benji Madden says. "We looked at all the songs and were like, 'Wow, it's a little more serious.'
"In the past we've always written about the past, like where we came from, what brought us to where we are today," he says. "And this record deals with more like the now, what's going on inside of our hearts, inside of our heads, what we want for the future.
"It's all the many things we feel about life and even death and mortality."
The album also explores a deeper emotional terrain and blazes a broader musical path than the energetic pop/punk hybrid of the group's two previous albums. There's a risk there, of course. After all, The Young and the Hopeless was a triple-platinum smash that turned Good Charlotte into arena headliners and cover boys for Rolling Stone magazine.
But The Chronicles of Life and Death got off to a strong start after its October release, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. And Madden says that trying to repeat The Young and the Hopeless would have been artistically dishonest.
"We started this band when we were 15 and 16, and now we're in our 20s," the 25-year-old guitarist says. "Needless to say, we've grown up a little bit, not only as people but also as musicians. Our influences have really expanded and grown.
"And really we're just a band of guys from Waldorf, Md.," he adds. "To do what we did on the last record, we weren't expecting that. That's as good as it gets. That's not to say that we're getting complacent or losing perspective — we want to be successful — but we also feel like we have more freedom to make a record that we love, and not a record that we have to worry will do well on the radio."
Being rock stars in any form was little more than a dream to Madden and his twin brother, Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, in their youth. They grew up poor even before their father abandoned the family on Christmas Eve, 1995, when the boys were 16. The twins, who both had been avid baseball players, took after-school jobs to help the family pay its bills.
They caught the rock bug in 1996, however, after attending a Beastie Boys concert. They started writing songs and recruited Paul Thomas, a high-school friend who had been expelled from school for threatening to punch the principal, to play bass.
After the Maddens graduated from high school, Good Charlotte relocated to Annapolis to take advantage of the naval town's burgeoning underground-rock circuit. Through constant gigging, the group became a presence on the Washington/Maryland circuit, opening for the likes of Blink-182 and Bad Religion and touring with Lit, even before landing a recording contract.
The influential Washington radio station WHFS-FM gave the fledgling band spots on its annual HFStival. Philadelphia's WPLY-FM played a demo of the song The Little Things, and it became a listener's choice for 15 consecutive nights, catching the attention of major record labels. Epic ultimately sealed a deal, and Good Charlotte's self-titled debut album, a 13-song blast of melodic, punk-flavored rock, came out in 2000 and went gold thanks to The Little Things and Festival Song.
The Maddens also brought some attention to their group by hosting MTV's late-night show All Things Rock.
"We loved doing that," says Joel Madden, who in early 2004 was rumored — mistakenly, he says — to be dating actress/singer Hilary Duff. "Basically we got our list of videos and got in front of the camera and just kind of presented them and made fun of each other. It's like we're in our basement watching MTV.
"But we were on MTV, so it was pretty cool."
The television exposure certainly helped build anticipation for The Young and the Hopeless, which launched five hit singles. One was Anthem, whose promotional clip won the Viewer's Choice prize at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, as well as the People's Choice Video Award from Canada's Much Music network.
So while VMA host Chris Rock referred to the group as "a mediocre Green Day," Good Charlotte had the last laugh — and plenty of peers say that the success couldn't have happened to a more deserving group.
"It's really cool to see good people become successful," says Josh Partington of Something Corporate, which has toured with Good Charlotte in past years. "You see so many people that get really big and become total jerks, but they're just as nice as when we first met them."
Benji Madden says that it's likely to stay that way. The band is "closer than we've ever been," he says, and the members' long-term relationships — especially between the Maddens, Thomas and guitarist Billy Martin — help to keep things grounded.
"We try not to pay attention to the hype," the guitarist says. "It's only going to hurt you to buy into your own hype and get on your own trip. You see artists all the time who are like, 'Everything I do is cool.' I never want to be at that point. I want my friends to always be able to say, 'Hey, that's stupid, that's ridiculous,' and we'll listen to them."
That also will help the group keep a measured perspective, he says, whether The Chronicles of Life and Death lives or dies on the charts.
"You know, we do want to be the biggest band in the world," he says. "I love it when my manager calls me and says, 'Hey, your song just made it into the Top 10.' That's a great thing and always will be.
"But we definitely didn't make this album for that," Madden says. "We definitely had a No. 1 priority of making the best record we've ever made, and if all that other stuff comes with it, great. Hopefully the fans will enjoy it. I know I love to see a band grow, and I think most people do.
"I think it would be more risky to make the same record over and over, really."
Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden Makes 8-Year-Old Cry
Joel Madden: ChartAttack understands. Hilary Duff is, after all, your girlfriend and, yes, you should stand up for her. But did you really have to bring small children to tears?
According to a report on MTV.com, Madden — Good Charlotte lead singer and Duff’s current partner in love — was at a radio station’s Christmas show in New York last Friday when he was approached by two young autograph seekers. Duff quickly pointed out the problem — one of these boys was Cody, the kid brother of her arch-nemesis Lindsay Lohan! To sign an autograph for this completely uninvolved 8-year-old child would be like admitting defeat!
Or something like that. Anyway, the end result of all this was a self-righteous Madden telling Cody Lohan to go get his mother, then telling mom Dina that it would take a public apology from her daughter to get his autograph for the now-crying child. Of course Cody soon wisened up and didn’t want the autograph anymore, instead throwing out the 8-year-old equivalent of a clever one-liner: asking if Simple Plan were around, because they’re probably nicer. Points for effort, kid.
The two boys then took off down the hall, screaming "Simple Plan! Simple Plan!" Simple Plan, by the way, were not at the show, or, as far as we know, even in the country.
So this whole teenage debacle is the latest battle in the ongoing Lohan-Duff war. The two pop tartlets started feuding when Lohan’s ex, yet another pop singer Aaron Carter, started going out for burgers and shakes with Duff (seriously, what else could a Hilary Duff date entail?) last year.
Following some not-so-sweet comments from Lohan in the press, Duff recorded the song "Haters," which was largely assumed to be about her rival. She sang about Lohan "spreading her dirt," being "the queen of superficiality" and wanting Carter back — which are heavy-duty digs for the Disney-sweet Duff.
Lohan, meanwhile, may or may not have left nasty messages on Duff’s answering machine. She also probably has some kind of retaliatory song on her new album, but I’m not about to listen to it to find out.
Good Charlotte announces Dublin concert
Good Charlotte have announced that they will play an intimate gig at the Olympia Theatre on 30 March 2005.
The post-grunge quintet from the US have enjoyed chart success with such tracks as 'The Young & the Hopeless', 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' and 'Anthem'.
The band's latest album 'Chronicles of Life and Death' has secured chart-topping success as far afield as Australia. Tickets for the concert, priced at €27.50, go on sale today, 21 December, from the Olympia Box Office and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
Good Charlotte hit No 1 at Radio with new single 'I Just Wanna Live'
It doesn't even hit stores till January and already Good Charlotte's forthcoming new single 'I Just Wanna Live' is going through the roof, becoming the No 1 most added song to Australian radio this week! Yee-haw! Watch the wicked new video here...
Good Charlotte's awesome forthcoming single 'I Just Wanna Live' is picking up the reigns from its predecessor 'Predictable' and continuing down the same trail blazing path - the track has become the No 1 most added song to Australian radio this week and is shaping up for a pretty good crack at the top spot on the charts when it finally hits stores on January 17!!
Huge, huge, HUGE is the only way to describe Good Charlotte, which makes it all the more refreshing with 'I Just Wanna Live' to know that that they've still got a sense of humour and a good grip on reality. Yes, the band that sang 'Lifestyles Of The Rich And The Famous', have gotten sarcastic on their unbelievably catchy as all hell new track, critiquing their mega-stardom with tongue firmly planted in cheek, while they rip through everything from strings to hip-hop to new wave.
The hilarious clip directed by Brett Simon (Hoobastank, the Killers), features Good Charlotte as a band called The Food Group (bassist Paul is a hamburger, drummer Chris is a carrot, singer Joel is a slice of pizza and guitartist Benji is a corn cob), trying to break the bigtime, when they get spotted by an industry bigwig and signed for a lucrative deal that makes rich and famous - so famous they get busted in a celebrity sex video scandal and a live-to-air lip synching blunder (sound familiar??)
"It's a song that you kinda have to make a silly video for," guitarist Billy Martin said. "It's almost like making fun of ourselves, because everyone says, 'Oh, now that you've had a song about "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous," now you can never complain about anything.' So we're sort of on purpose complaining about stuff in a funny way. [The song] even references 'Lifestyles.' "
Meanwhile, Good Charlotte's third and latest album 'Chronicles Of Life And Death' continues to be a phenomenal worldwide success by anyones standards. The album flew straight into the No 1 spot in Australia and No 5 in the US and Japan, earnt them a string of accolades including a nomination for Best Rock Act at the recent MTV European Music Awards, and of course, expanded their already staggering international fanbase. A lot.
At an instore signing in downtown New York, so many fans turned up to meet the band that the entirity of 4th Avenue had to be closed off.
'Chronicles Of Life And Death' out now!
Good Charlotte's guitarist Billy Martin
The pop-punk band Good Charlotte (bio | CDs - DVDs - books) may have named its sophomore album "The Young and the Hopeless," but that far from describes its career. The Maryland-based quartet not only calls the shots when it comes to creating its music, but its videos, album artwork and stage sets as well.
Guitarist Billy Martin--who is joined in the band by twins Joel (vocals) and Benji Madden (guitars), Paul Thomas (bass) and Chris Wilson (drums)--designed the artwork for his band's latest album, "The Chronicles of Life and Death," as well as the set for the group's tour. He said it's all in a day's work.
"It's good in the end, because you feel really proud," Martin said. "You know if it got messed up, it's no one's fault but your own because you got to do it all yourself. When I was deciding to do the artwork for the record, I thought it would be cool. I'll do a couple drawings, play around on the computer for a little bit and it will be done."
Instead, it took Martin two-and-a-half months of sleepless nights.
"I was drawing all day long, staying up until 5 in the morning and having to change it because the record label said it's too expensive to print on this kind of paper. There's all these other factors I never really thought of. It's a lot of work but it's still fun."
Martin talked with liveDaily.com about Good Charlotte's artistic endeavors, "The Chronicles of Life and Death" and touring.
liveDaily.com: I recently saw the premiere of your new video "I Just Wanna Live." It is a clever way of poking fun of your own lives and the microscope you live under.
Billy Martin: Our parents keep telling us they see it and they say, "We don't get it." Man, I hope everyone gets it. It's supposed to be funny.
Who came up with the concept for the video?
We've come up with every video idea so far. Most of the time we wait for treatments to come in from directors. We get a bunch of them, and no one ever seems to come up anything we like. At the last minute, say, we have to make a video next week and we've just got to come up with something. [The "I Just Wanna Live" video] was really spur of the moment. We had a whole lot of different ideas ready for the video. We'd have a meeting with a director. He left, went home and wrote the treatment. Two hours later, we were like, "You know what? That idea sucks. We have to do something funnier." Benji goes, "What about if we just dress up in stupid costumes? People can't not laugh at costumes." We were like, "OK." At first, we were just going to do animals, like a pink bunny, or a big teddy bear--then the idea of food came out. "Let's do food." We just wanted something that would be dumb funny. It couldn't be smart funny.
Good Charlotte seems to alternate between funny and serious videos.
I guess it's kind of important. I know, personally, I like really serious videos. At the same time, we don't like to take ourselves too seriously so it's kind of fun to do both things.
During your tour, your stage set was strikingly gothic.
We've been wanting to do something for a long time, but all we ever had before were backdrops. This time, we really wanted to go for it. Phoenix was missing half the pieces because the stage was too small. Phoenix was a real small version of it. Normally, we have 14-foot dragons and gargoyles on either side of the stage, but those couldn't fit. It happened a lot on this tour. We went really big with everything. When we were building it, they were like, "It might not fit." Of course, I was being stubborn (and saying), "Oh it's fine. They have to be big. Don't worry about it. Make it big."
It sounds like you guys have a creative hand in everything.
It's really important. Before I was ever a musician, I thought I would be an animator, or a comic book artist. I'm really into the visual aspects of the band--the album artwork, the merchandise, the stage set up, the videos. I just think it's cooler. If someone else does it, what's the point? They're not in the band. Obviously, we know better than everyone else because it's our band. It's fun. It's the only thing we got so we might as well be as involved as we can.
It must be really gratifying.
For the next record, I don't know. I just didn't expect it. It's very hard when you're an artist, if someone says, "No, no. Try it this way." It's like, "What are you talking about? It's my drawing. You didn't draw it." I have to learn to take constructive criticism more. It's kind of hard, because I'm outside of it as the artist and I'm inside of it because it's my band. I feel like with another band it would be different because I don't really care how it comes out as long as the band's happy. But when it's my band, then I have to play both sides of the fence ... that's hard.
What is the songwriting process with Good Charlotte?
Benji and Joel write all the lyrics. They're the ones who sing them. Most of the time, they write stuff on an acoustic guitar, and during band practice we see if we like the song, then we would work on it. With this record, I wrote some stuff for the first time. I've got a recording rig at my house, so I just demo a bunch of ideas. I like a lot darker stuff than everybody else. I was always a little timid to play my songs. There were a couple things that I really thought could be Good Charlotte songs. I brought my views in, and everybody was into it. It opened a lot of doors. I'm pretty excited to see what the next record will be like, after how comfortable everybody got in the studio this time.
What songs did you write?
Parts of "Ghost of You" and "Mountain."
This album is really a departure for you, especially with the rap- and funk-influenced "I Just Wanna Live."
I think it's kind of weird if you look at the music [the members of Good Charlotte] listen to, each one of us listens to something really different. There's a lot of bands that we all agree on. But it's definitely not the easiest thing to do when you're working together to make a record to really find a way to take five ideas and actually make it make sense. For this record, we just took each song one at a time. "This song has a hip-hop feel, so let's really give it a hip-hop feel." "This song has an '80s feel, so let's really push this one in an '80s direction." This record, it's really diverse. Everybody really tried to put in their influences. You wouldn't expect to put those influences together, but we did it anyway. Benji and Joel, as singers, are going to sing catchy, melodic stuff no matter what. If we put together some weird, artsy, dark song, it's probably going to be an artsy Good Charlotte song, just because of the kind of melodies that they write. It's pretty easy.
Who are some of the influences on this record?
For me, I was really into Depeche Mode and The Cure. I've always been into '80s music a lot, even though I was born in 1981. I was barely around for it. I kind of know the '80s well. A little before the record, I got bored with a lot of bands. There wasn't anything I was into, so I bought a lot of older records. I really got into Depeche Mode, so I started practicing keyboard and piano, and really wanted to try keyboard on the record. Another band is Muse. Everybody really likes Muse. We would listen to Muse on the way to the studio. I've really been into The Faint a lot lately.