The tattooed rocker and his twin brother Joel are back with new music alongside their bandmates Billy Martin, Paul Thomas and Dean Butterworth, after the group went on hiatus in 2011. Despite having so much success with singles including Girls & Boys, Hold On and Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, the guys had little rest and their high-octane lifestyles eventually wore them down.
“We were breaking down after doing five albums in 10 years,” Benji told Rock Sound. “It was like being thrown out of a plane without any warning, and suddenly we realised that there was no parachute. We hung in there and toughed it out, but eventually I couldn’t help thinking, ‘This thing’s going to kill us if we don’t take a second for ourselves.’ All of us needed to figure out who we were outside of Good Charlotte, what we wanted to do with our lives, and there was no point doing this if it wasn’t exciting anymore.”
Part of figuring out who they were away from the band was giving more attention to their family life, including Joel’s marriage to Nicole Richie. With so much travelling required to promote their tunes after releasing 2010 record Cardiology, the musician was wary of how it would impact the lives of his kids Harlow and Sparrow.
“We made a record at the end that almost felt like an exercise,” he recalled. “My son (Sparrow) had just been born, and my daughter spent the first two years of her life on a tour bus. I was missing a lot at home, and we all had our families to think of. It had become more about what other people wanted: the fans, the label, not wanting to let anyone down.”
Although Joel and Benji branched out with their own musical venture, The Madden Bros, all five men are back in action now and have released new single Makeshift Love to tease fans with what’s to come.