INTERVIEW: The Madden Brothers

Published in The Music WA and on theMusic.com.au, Sept 2014

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FAR FROM DONE

You wouldn’t expect a judge on a reality music TV show to be fighting against mainstream musical conventions, but Joel Madden tells Daniel Cribb he’s on a mission with the newly founded The Madden Brothers to revive the art.

“In modern music there is rarely uniqueness,” begins Joel Madden, one half of The Madden Brothers, down the line from LA. It’s an interesting comment coming from a judge on The Voice, with most finalists building a career and sound that revolves around a certain mould. “In a time when music is dying rapidly, disappearing, artists have a hard time making a living,” Madden tells. “It’s funny because it’s the only art that people don’t really respect… Record-making is kind of a lost art. A lot of our favourite bands still make great records but if you reference say the top 40 songs at any moment in the country, how many of those albums do you want to own?

“How can we make a record? That was the big question for us. We’ve made five albums with Good Charlotte that we’re proud of. We started at a young age and learned how to make records over 10 to 15 years, and with this album we wanted it to be better and to challenge ourselves.”n modern music there is rarely uniqueness,” begins Joel Madden, one half of The Madden Brothers, down the line from LA. It’s an interesting comment coming from a judge on The Voice, with most finalists building a career and sound that revolves around a certain mould. “In a time when music is dying rapidly, disappearing, artists have a hard time making a living,” Madden tells. “It’s funny because it’s the only art that people don’t really respect… Record-making is kind of a lost art. A lot of our favourite bands still make great records but if you reference say the top 40 songs at any moment in the country, how many of those albums do you want to own?

The singer-songwriter has been playing catch-ups since returning to California from a long stint in Australia, so press calls around the world resonate nicely with the title of The Madden Brothers’ (Madden and brother Benji) debut record, Greetings From California. “We’re not saying anything’s good or bad, we’re just saying we want to create something special and unique and different and take a chance and if it’s the death of us, great – so be it.

“It’s completely different, separate from Good Charlotte when we were 15, 16 in our bedroom. It isn’t really rocket science and it’s not like open heart surgery, we’re kind of just making music and we’re being honest about who we are. “

The brothers have come a long way, and while some Good Charlotte fans might not like the mainstream avenues they’ve ventured into, Madden explains why reality shows do more good than bad. “I think it’s good that, for an hour on TV, they’re playing music, people are singing, families are sitting around watching and discussing whether or not they like someone’s voice or if they like a certain song. Kids are learning songs they’ve never heard of or classic songs. That’s what it’s all about for me as a songwriter.”

They might have taken a step further away from Good Charlotte, but Madden enthuses the project is far from dead. “The Good Charlotte album is going to happen whenever it does. It’s got to be special and we have to have something to say. We’re going to go out and take this album to the world and see where it takes us. When the songs come, the songs come.

“We’re never going to break up. I don’t know when the next album will be but I couldn’t ever see us breaking up. We love each other too much.”

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