Benji Madden: ‘The fact that I’m an upright guy won’t get clicks on websites’

Joel Madden

Joel and Benji Madden did a 4-page interview in the October issue of Details. They’re promoting their 1st album since putting Good Charlotte on ice in 2011. Their new band name is simply the Madden Brothers, which is easy enough to remember. Is it alright for me to admit how I wouldn’t recognize a Good Charlotte song if I heard one? I have always heard good things about Joel and Benji though. Benji went through a rough period where he was dating Paris Hilton and such, but he woke up. Everyone always says he’s a nice guy. Benji and Cameron Diaz are still enjoying their wtf romance. Cami’s done fewer judgy interviews since she hooked up with the Benj. That’s good and bad from a gossip perspective.

This interview is kind of a mess. Joel is usually the more animated twin while Benji prefers to sit in a corner and nod. This time is different. Joel starts the ball rolling, and Benji goes on a mini-rant about gossip. He does it in the nicest way possible. You can tell he’s sort of fed up with the tabs covering his love life:

Joel on the new band: “When we told industry people what we were doing, they were like ‘Good luck.’ You know how it is to start over at your age.'” [The twins are 35.]

Joel on judging The Voice in Australia: “People down there don’t care about celebrity stuff. I get kids and old ladies telling me they like me. Having that happen has made me less concerned about ‘hip’ people’s opinions.” To a degree: “I mean, I’m wearing a leather vest. I still want to look cool.”

Joel on criticism of their musical rebirth: “I totally get it. Cynical people might believe what we’re doing isn’t sincere. But those are the same people who think we want to be in tabloids, like we’re asking someone to surprise us with a camera. If I was only interested in people seeing me, I’d be on Nicole’s show, and as a family we made a firm decision not to do that. The show is totally Nicole’s thing. The family is our thing, and we protect it.”

On their twin connection: “We’re best friends,” Joel says. “Benji even meets my son when he goes off to camp for the day.” For Joel, married since 2010, his wife and children are a “guiding light.” For Benji, they’re “what every man wants, whether they admit it or not.” When I ask Benji if he is eager to settle down himself, he ponders the question for a good, long while. “I did relationship damage to myself in my twenties,” he answers quietly. “That’s what your twenties are for. You learn, and then you apply it in your thirties.”

Benji on whether gossip hurts or helps: “I couldn’t tell you what people think. So much of the media is geared towards women. Men don’t approach other men and gossip about who they’re dating. It isn’t normal. The tabloids blow everything out of proportion. I liked to do things that lots of guys do–go out, have fun. If you read anything that’s written about me and Joel, you never see that we hurt anyone. But the fact that I’m an upright guy isn’t going to get clicks on websites. It’s frustrating when people want to talk about stuff other than the music. That makes me defensive. It’s nuts that the world can keep track of who I’m dating. Should I not date people you’ve heard of? That’s who I meet!””

Benji on breakthroughs: “Somewhere around 30 or 31, you go, Wow, I don’t want to f—ing smoke and drink all the time. Life is about evolution. Maybe I’ll just do it on the weekends or once a month. The whole thing with Joel and me is recognizing what we’ve done, and what we’ve done wrong, and then doing it better.”

[From Details]

Oh, Benji. He’s a little frustrated. The twins want to be “all about the music,” but they usually date (and in Joel’s case, marry) famous women. Rockers who date civilians usually find that the tabloids pay far less attention. Two celebrities usually translate to a couple whose gossip power is greater than the sum of its parts. If Benji’s gonna be with Cameron in the long term, the public’s interest won’t die down anytime soon. That’s part of fame.

Benji Madden

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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25 Responses to “Benji Madden: ‘The fact that I’m an upright guy won’t get clicks on websites’”

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  1. Erinn says:

    I was listening to them on the Jason Ellis show a few weeks back, and I genuinely enjoyed them. They seemed like really cool, and pretty normal guys. Joel was just raving about Nicole, and said that Lionel likes to take a listen to his songs, and even surprised him by singing his favorite song at their wedding. And Benji was talking about how much he loved being an uncle. The whole thing was just really sweet and didn’t feel contrived at all.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      They seem nice. And I admire anyone who tries to grow from their mistakes.

    • TheOPriginalKitten says:

      They come across as genuinely decent guys and try as I might, I cannot hate on that.

    • Dani says:

      I’ve loved them since I Was 10 and Good Charlotte was barely known. I met them at 3 concerts and they’re both (as well as Billy and Paul) SO nice and sincere. They really love their fans.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I actually like their new song. It sounds VERY retro, as in, I thought it was an old song that I hadn’t heard before. When I found out who did it, I was like “No? No!….” until I gradually accepted the fact that I liked their music.

      I would be interested in hearing the whole album, but I probably won’t tell my bf or friends about it! 😉

  2. Leftovers says:

    That may be true, but he still has a point.

  3. Artimis says:

    I actually don’t know an awful lot about the twins or Good Charlotte (apart from that ‘girls like cars and moneyyyyyyyyy’ song – that was them, yes?) but I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised by this interview, they do seem like good and mature guys (relatively speaking). Sadly, it’s rare thing thing to be pleasantly surprised by people in show business so I take my hat off to them 😀

  4. lower-case deb says:

    are they related to Steve Madden?

  5. OriginalTessa says:

    When they first started out I thought they were a straight edge Christian band. Am I hallucinating this, or is there some truth to this?

    Anyway, they were a pretty big deal back when I was a teenager. I can’t imagine the kids these days connecting with them. The sound has changed, and what’s hip now is so much different. Best of luck to them, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Erinn says:

      Well, I think that’s why they DID change. They’re doing stuff on their own. I think it IS different, and aimed more for the audience that is now in their 20s/30s that liked them as teens.

    • Hayley says:

      The brothers are fairly religious but have never been straight edge. Benji had quite a drinking problem when they first started out, and they’ve never made any purity promises. They just like God a lot.

  6. Ainsley says:

    @Artimis thanks a lot now I can’t stop singing that song! Lol I used to love all those pop/punk bands!

  7. iskra says:

    “Men don’t approach other men and gossip about who they’re dating. ”

    lol, i think is quite the opposite. Men do gossip a awful LOT, they just hide it better and are not so open about it.

    Besides that, I do really like them both, Joel is fun to watch in Voice Australia and I think they are pretty normal and grounded for rock stars.

    • Tulip says:

      +1000! Men are as bad as women. They’re not fooling anyone, lol!

    • RobN says:

      None of the guys I know gossip about anything and never ask the questions everybody wants answered. I find it very frustrating. Typical conversation:

      Husband: Ben said that he and Sue are breaking up.
      Me: What happened?
      Husband: I don’t know.
      Me: What did he say?
      Husband: He said they’re breaking up.

      • Mel M says:

        @ROBN- Totally! Mr. M will come home and say something like that about his cousin or someone and then not have any details at all! I start asking all these questions and then he’s all “Here why don’t you call up my cousin and ask him.” Ugh, I don’t get it, aren’t you curious?! Don’t you want to know details?! It’s been like that since we got together 17 years ago though and I’m not counting on it changing.

        I will say though I have worked with men that gossip worse then women sadly Mr. Me is not one of them.

      • ol cranky says:

        guys are like girls, some are the biggest gossips in the world and some aren’t

        that said, “Men don’t approach other men and gossip about who they’re dating. ” cracked me the hell up. Many men, and not just the gossipy ones, DO approach each other to talk about who they’ve screwed or want to screw (and some even rate the experiences).

  8. Chris says:

    Really going for that Sons of Anarchy look aren’t they?

  9. LeManda says:

    Wow! Their similarities have grown with age. I think I used to be able to tell them apart? In that header photo with the sunglasses, I have no idea which one is which.

    Also I kind of feel bad for Benji since he seems to be saying he really wants kids, I seem to remember Cameron saying in the past she’s not interested. Of course people can change their minds, etc. Best of luck on the new album.

  10. Size Does Matter says:

    Bedhead, love the Gestalt reference.

    The gossip factor is worse for reality TV stars – they need it to stay relevant since they don’t really have talent. I guess their talent is getting gossiped about.

  11. Dash says:

    Not only is Joel a coach on The Voice australia, they were a weird coach pair on the Voice Kids. They even had a special double chair. Anyway they are really popular in Australia, their single went to #1. Have a listen, I was surprised it was them. I think it sounds quite “now” as opposed to being another Good Charlotte song.

  12. Peachy says:

    Oops! Didn’t mean to click that!