Joel and Benji Madden want to rescue ‘beaten’ artists

Benji Madden blasts music managers who make artists feel “worthless”, something he and brother Joel don’t do with their managed acts.

The Good Charlotte rockers are the duo behind management business MDDN, which signed Jessie J in 2015 after the British pop star grew close to the twins on the Australian version of The Voice. Starting the company has given Benji and Joel, 37, a fresh outlook on the music industry and they’re keen to make their acts feel as comfortable as possible.

“You realise that they (the managers and executives) were lucky to be working with us – it wasn’t us lucky to be working with them,” Benji told Kerrang! magazine, stressing how important great managers and great labels are to the success of a musician. “But (it should) not (be) in the way that a lot of the industry seems (to operate), like a pimp trying to keep a prostitute. They beat (artists) down into feeling like they’re worthless.”

Joel agrees with his brother, explaining they understand the situation because they’ve been in a similar position themselves. While he doesn’t feel like a figurehead, Joel does think of himself as a champion with his efforts in helping their acts break boundaries.

Since Good Charlotte was formed in 1996 the group has spawned an array of hits. The catchy guitar riffs have cemented the band firmly in the ‘pop punk’ category, and Joel wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“We love pop punk. We always did,” he smiled. “But it’s largely dismissed. There’s no Grammy for pop punk, and you have musicians like (Green Day’s) Billie Joe (Armstrong) saying he wants to destroy the term. But I don’t.”

Joel puts this passion down to his upbringing in a “broken home” in Washington D.C., and during his adolescence the genre of music was the only thing that allowed him and Benji to fit in. The brothers have experimented a little with their sound though as their duo act The Madden Brothers touched on a more alternative sound.