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Good Charlotte Think "Rock Critic" Bands Don't Affect Pop Culture

Good Charlotte know they aren’t the world’s most critically acclaimed band. So instead of trying to appeal to an audience bent on hating them, they’ve fully embraced their pop leanings on their new album, Good Morning Revival. The record finds the band in a much more comfortable place than 2004’s The Chronicles Of Life And Death, and they even seem to accept why so many people hate them. “I remember one of the first reviews I ever read about our band when we first came out, they were like, ‘They’re a manufactured band and they’ll be gone tomorrow,'” guitarist Benji Madden recalls. “At the time, I was young, I didn’t really understand it and it really upset me. “I mean, we’re just kids from Maryland. We’re just having fun, and all of a sudden we get thrown out into the world, and they’re like, ‘You’re not good enough.’ Damn! What did we do wrong? “Now, I appreciate it so much, because if we had come out and people had been like, ‘This band is like the second coming,’ then our heads would have gotten a little big and we wouldn’t have the work ethic that we have. Now it’s like, ‘OK, I get it.’ If I was a teenager in the ’70s and I was listening to music then, and I was reviewing my band, I’d probably say some of the same things.” By learning to understand who they are as people and musicians, the guys in Good Charlotte were able to make some of their most unabashedly catchy music yet. “When you’re young, especially when you’re making music, everything turns into aggression,” the Madden twin explains. “When you get older, you take things a different way and look at things a different way, and we show that on this record. We’ve learned a lot over the years and this record’s, you know, us.” The band have undertaken a bit of a stylistic change since we last saw them, buying a few suits and getting a new look that’s usually reserved for bands such as Interpol rather than pop-punk heavyweights. This will invariably lead to more flack thrown their way, but Madden doesn’t seem to care. “I appreciate when someone takes the time to listen to our record and actually have an opinion that you can tell is educated, otherwise they just sound like they’re 15 and they’re going, ‘NSYNC sucks!’ Hey, I did it too. I get it. I read a lot of things here and there, and with some people it’s like they didn’t even listen to the record, they just want to hate it. “When I hear some of these bands that everybody love or the critics love, there’ll be bands where their music is more experimental. Maybe the time signatures or whatever are weird, and everyone makes a big deal. When I look at some records that have gotten good reviews, personally, I don’t really get it. I don’t think they’re talking about much.” The guitarist looks to his contemporaries as the real trailblazers in the current music scene, though he understands why the biggest names might receive the most heat from critics. “I think what My Chemical Romance did this year had more of an impact on pop culture than a lot of bands that people consider cool. I listen to what My Chemical Romance is singing about. To me, I feel like they’re making more of an impact on pop culture than one of these cool bands who might have a couple records. “When you look at rock music, there aren’t a lot of stars right now. There aren’t a lot of people you can associate a genre of music with, and my brother is one of them. We have a distinct look, or like, Gerard Way, you see him and you recognize him. So where is most of the negative stuff gonna be thrown? “I don’t know whether we’re the most pop band in rock or whether we’re the most rock band in pop. All we can do is, like, what we like, and people come and go. That dude that’s dissing you in the scene or whatever, in five years he’s gonna be driving a BMW and taking his dog for a walk. If you let that define where you go with your career, you’re gonna be disappointed.”

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