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.”
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.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN