The final video of Good Charlotte’s conversation at the Musician’s Institute kicks off with the topic of the music press. Joel Madden describes press being hostile by nature. “I wonder if this person is going to take this back and harm me with it,” he says. “These words, I wonder how they’re gonna use them. You can use them for good and you can also use them for bad.”
Benji interjects by advising journalists to keep press positive by nature, do your homework and genuinely care about what you’re doing.
“When actually someone just listens to the record that you put everything into, and they actually give a shit, that feels better than anything else in this whole thing,” he explained. “Just care and you’ll have a lot of success.”
Jessie J adds in that aspiring journalists should be relaxed and conversational. “We’re no different from anyone else, and more often than not, it’s just a conversation.”
One student asks about being a solo artist and how to break into the scene while staying true to herself.
“Write great songs,” Benji Madden said. “Those songs that you love, they’re what bring people out to see you. It’s those songs that really connect with you, my advice to anyone is don’t forget about the songs.”
The conversation takes a wide turn to Good Charlotte reuniting after a long time and how the time that has passed will affect the band and their music.
“Yes, we’ve all changed. We’ve all grown up; we’re all grown ass men. The music has changed. The record is changed. Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of old stuff on the record, but then there’s a lot of stuff that’s heavier than anything we’ve ever done, that’s faster than anything we’ve ever done,” Joel explains. “There’s something subtly different about the record that I’d say all of our experience, our age came together and made this record, and it’s different.”
Joel added that he thinks this will be their fans’ favorite record.
Watch Good Charlotte talk to a student’s father about working with The Smith’s, separating yourself from competition and how Greetings From California brought them to where they are today. —Sarah Force