It’s no secret that Benji Madden loves Australia.
Whether it’s appearing on our reality TV shows (The Voice), hunting around for local properties to buy, previously dating our women (Sophie Monk) or listing Australian bands as his biggest influences (Silverchair), the man always holds us close to his heart.
So much so that he and his band Good Charlotte are breaking their two-year hiatus (imposed after finishing touring for their 2010 album Cardiology) to come to our shores in October for their first shows together in years.
The band are promising a “classic Good Charlotte show”, filled with greatest hits, at Newcastle’s Fat As Butter Festival, along with two big sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
As the only non-father in the group, Benji is glad to be dragging his bandmates away from their baby-daddy duties.
“It’s a different game in the Good Charlotte world right now. I’m the only one in the band who doesn’t have kids,” he said.
“Once you have kids, everything changes, believe me. Every dad I know, the second they sit down on the couch, they fall asleep.”
“Now we’ve got shows to do, it’s lots of fun, and we can have a couple of days being guys again, have some drinks and play some music just like the old times.
“So we’re all really excited to get down to do the festival and the shows and just be together again.”
But be warned Good Charlotte fans – despite re-uniting for the local dates, Benji said the band will be resuming their hiatus once the shows are done as each band member continues to pursue their own interests.
And in Benji’s case – it’s creating a “solo” album with his bandmate and brother Joel, which has been billed as “the Madden Brothers record”.
Madden said the upcoming project with his brother would be far removed from Good Charlotte – and they would be hoping to get a single out by the end of the year, followed by the album in early 2013.
“Creatively it’s much different than Good Charlotte, it’s very stripped-down, it kinda sounds like where our songs are at before they become Good Charlotte songs.”
“After this (the October shows) the band is going back on hiatus and we’re going back to finish off this Madden Brothers record, which we’re gonna tour all next year.”
However, it’s not all doom and gloom – despite currently being in a different creative mindset, Madden says he and his brother will re-group with Good Charlotte sometime in the future, and make at least one more record.
“For us right now it’s all about being fun and creative… We definitely plan on doing another record together one day, but you know, it’s gotta be a day when we can’t stand not doing a record and not working together.”
Up until then, local fans might see much more of Benji and his brother than will other parts of the world. He says he will be house hunting while he’s down here in October for a local place to stay, and is planning to launch his clothing line DCMA in Australia next year as well.
There’s also a good possibility he and Joel will resume their mentoring roles on next year’s edition of Channel Nine’s ratings smash The Voice.
“I was proud to do it man… For me it was kinda being an uncle, I kinda nurtured the guys and then went home,” he said.
“And Joel, he just kept it real man, he’s just himself and I love that. I hope we get to do it again. I haven’t even asked (about next year), but I imagine they’re gonna start talking about that soon.”
Good Charlotte play at Festival Hall, Melbourne on September 20, The Big Top at Luna Park, Sydney on September 21 and the Fat As Butter Festival in Newcastle on September 22. For details on the shows click here.