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good charlotte (interview from 2000)

They weren't the coolest guys in high school, but they've since graduated to rock star level.

Lindzi.com: How'd the group form?

Joel of Good Charlotte: Benji and I were in high school and wanted to start a band. We started looking for people. Paul, our bass player, I knew his sister and I knew that he played bass so I asked him to come jam. We got together and it worked really well. Benji was in a class with Erin. We never really knew them before. We weren't close friends or anything. We knew them from around. We really clicked!

Lindzi.com: How long did it take to get to the next level?

Joel of Good Charlotte: It was definitely a long process. It was kinda like a snowball thing. We got interest from one label and it kinda built and built. So, we got a manager and he really got in there and stirred the labels' attention. We were playing in NY with Lit and some labels came to see us. We wound up signing with Epic, which has been really amazing.

Lindzi.com: And I understand you've already been on tour with Lit?

Joel of Good Charlotte: Our manager started talking to booking agencies and Lit's booking agency hooked it up. We went up the East Coast for a week with them. It worked out really well. We were really lucky. We love their music. We had a great time. They were awesome. We got so bummed out when we had to get off the tour because we were getting along so well. It was a really good time. We still see them every once in a while.

Lindzi.com: Did you get a chance to chill with the group at all?

Joel of Good Charlotte: We traded moves and stuff. Being a new band on the road, we watched them a lot. They are really professional. They have it together. It was good for us to be with them because we saw how a band like that handled themselves. Lit is really hot. They were really nice guys and they treat people well. It was good to be around that. It taught us a lot.

Lindzi.com: We think your sound is similar to Blink 182. Maybe it's because you have the same crazy attitudes?

Joel of Good Charlotte: They're really cool guys. We played a show with Blink 182. I met Tom, but didn't really get a chance to hang out with the rest of the group. They seem like the nicest guys. I've never heard one bad word about Blink.

Lindzi.com: Where did the name "Good Charlotte" come from?

Joel of Good Charlotte: It's the name of a children's book I had. It's really old. It was one of my favorites when I was younger. We were looking for a name and it was sitting there. Good Charlotte -- it just fit.

Lindzi.com: Does it have any other significance?

Joel of Good Charlotte: It kinda does, but when we were going over names, we weren't thinking of that. It's about a little girl. Everyone thinks she's bad. She's always getting in trouble and has bad luck. At the end of the book, everyone finds out she's really good.

Lindzi.com: A lot of your album relates to your high school years. What were they like?

Joel of Good Charlotte: My high school years were kind of chaotic. It was a whirlwind. I think all kids go through stuff in high school. There was stuff going on in my family and school life. Just growing up, there was definitely a tornado of things. I really started identifying with things once I started the band. I started taking control and having a good time. I always got along with everyone for the most part, but there was that group of cool kids that I didn't even want to be a part of. I didn't want to identify with them. I wasn't in any group. Once we started the band, we had that. Me and Benji always had our own thing going. When you have a twin, you're never alone. I think we've been apart maybe two days.

Lindzi.com: Tell me a little about the upcoming album.

Joel of Good Charlotte: Oh, man. It's all over the place. It's a rock record, but you'll hear all of our influences in there. You might hear some Weezer in there or some hip hop. I love hip hop. I'm a big fan of TuPac, Cash Money, Eminem. I have a couple tracks that I really love. For the more upbeat song, I love Warworld Worldwide. We do have a slower side, as well. I love Change, it's a love song. Benji and I are really close with our mom so we wrote a song for her. We wanted to do something for her so we put it on as a hidden track. When she gets the record, she'll hear the song and be surprised.

Lindzi.com: What's your take on all of the Eminem controversies?

Joel of Good Charlotte: I think people love controversy. I think that everybody makes a big deal about things. Everyone should have the freedom to say what they like and what they don't like. He definitely took it to the extreme. I think people don't give kids enough credit. Kids are smart. They know what's right and what's wrong. I'm an Eminem fan. When I heard the record, I wasn't offended. He said some things that people are going to want to be offended by so they're going to raise a ruckus about it. There's always going to be someone shocking people. That's just the way it is.

Lindzi.com: And the boy band hysteria?

Joel of Good Charlotte: All the boy bands? I don't hate it. They're out there working hard. They're just regular people who have a career in music. It'll probably end, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't listen to it, but I don't hate it.

Lindzi.com: Meanwhile, pop icon Mandy Moore appears within your debut video for Little Things. How'd that come about?

Joel of Good Charlotte: Yeah, Mandy's cool. She's on our label. We had thought about having someone come and someone mentioned Mandy. I had never met her before and I hadn't listened to her music, but when I met her she was so cool. I was impressed with what kind of person she is. She went through a lot to come and be in the video. We were happy she could be part of it.

Lindzi.com: So, what's the touring situation like?

Joel of Good Charlotte: Me and Mandy might get together and do a joint! {laughs} Ya never know, ya know what I'm saying? I would love to tour with Green Day or Blink. My dream tour would be Weezer. I love Weezer. I just saw them a month ago in NY. We're currently on tour with Fenix TX.

Lindzi.com: Any embarrassing moments?

Joel of Good Charlotte: I embarrass myself all the time. {laughs} I fell off stage once. Everyone thought I jumped off stage so it worked out well. I was singing and jumping around and I got lost in the music or whatever. I tripped and dove off stage. Everyone was like, "Woah, that was cool dude. Did you plan that?" I was like, "No."

Lindzi.com: What drives you insane?

Joel of Good Charlotte: Chicks with tattoos!

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