Hard Core, Soft Heart

By | February 3, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Read the following passage and choose the correct answers.

A strong social conscience has inspired tattooed rockers Good Charlotte to join the tsunami relief effort.

Good Charlotte may look scary with their pierced lips and tattoos, but they are actually a socially-conscious group.

The American band was formed in 1996 by twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden, drummer Chris Wilson, guitarist/keyboardist Billy Martin and bassist Paul Thomas.

After releasing their self-titled debut album in 1999, Good Charlotte were ready to conquer the world. A non-stop tour schedule saw the band refine their music and develop a passionate fan base inspired by their powerful energy and direct lyrics.

In 2002 they released a second album, The Young and the Hopeless, which touched on a wide range of topics such as family, helplessness, celebrity influence and teen suicide. The album included four hit singles: The Anthem, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Boys and Girls and Hold On. The music video of The Anthem won the 2003 MTV Viewers Choice award.

Two years later, their self-assured and provocative collection, The Chronicles of Life and Death, was dubbed the Most Anticipated CD of 2004 by music magazine Alternative Press. Songs such as Predictable and The World is Black are fuelled by Joel’s desire to have a frank and thoughtful dialogue with his audience.

This thinking also inspired their latest single, I Just Wanna Live. “It is funny to hear famous people complaining of this and that. I mean, what are they complaining about?” said Joel, 25, from London last week.

“It’s [the latest single] supposed to be a funny song that makes people smile.”

To prove that they are aware of social issues, Good Charlotte will perform at the MTV Asia Aid concert tomorrow in Bangkok to help raise funds for tsunami victims.

Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, Namie Amuro from Japan, Canadian band Simple Plan, as well as Thai pop stars Bird Thongchai McIntyre and Tata Young will also be joining the cause.

“Watching the tragedy on TV was devastating. It was hard to watch people suffer,” Joel said.

“But it’s encouraging to see so many people working together and helping those in need. We do whatever we can to help.”

Joel promised the Bangkok gig would not be their last.

“We are planning a trip back to Asia in April, perhaps to do a concert in Jakarta to raise some more funds. Our next video may also be something based around the tsunami and the suffering of people,” he said.

“We are also doing something for Africa. Me and my brother suffered a lot when we were young. We know how it feels. If we can improve one person’s life, we do it.”

Joel added they were working hard to shed their pop/punk image.

“We want to be a socially conscious band. We don’t want to be successful only in sales, but to use our name and music to help others.”

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