BALTIMORE — Last week Good Charlotte shocked fans by announcing they'd parted ways with drummer Chris Wilson due to undisclosed "personal health issues." And ever since then, they've kept quiet and kept playing, refusing requests for interviews and hiring former Morrissey drummer Dean Butterworth to play the remaining dates on their Noise to the World Tour with Simple Plan.
But when MTV News spoke with them this past weekend at the HFStival, they didn't seem like a band harboring any secrets. Rather, they sounded like a group of concerned friends.
"Right now, Chris needs to be at home with a support system and people who love him. It's a very sensitive, personal problem he's having, and we're all behind him and we hope he gets better," Joel Madden said. "Obviously everyone knows something's going on — Chris hasn't been with us — and we had to give our fans some kind of answer. But assume what you want to assume, he's having problems and he's dealing with them at home."
The band broke the news Tuesday via a posting on GoodCharlotte.com (see "Good Charlotte Drummer Leaves Band Over 'Health Problems' "), and since then rumors have been circulating about just what is wrong with Wilson. And if fans are looking for an answer, well, Madden isn't about to give them one.
"Out of respect for our friend, we want to give him all the privacy he needs until he's ready to talk about it," he said. "We're all behind him and we just hope he'll get better."
Joel's brother, Benji, didn't have much to say on the matter, either, but he did hint that Good Charlotte's grueling tour schedule might have contributed to whatever is currently ailing their former drummer.
"The road is a hard place to find solid ground to stand on," he said. "We have each other, but waking up in different cities every day, it's not a place for rehabilitation. That's why he's home now."
Good Charlotte would not say whether Wilson would be back in the band when he's fully recovered, but in the meantime they're content to have longtime friend Butterworth behind the kit.
"Dean's been with Morrissey for a long time, and I became friends with him about two years ago. I think he's amazing," Joel said. "We needed a confident drummer who could fill really hard shoes, because Chris is an amazing drummer, and Dean's been able to step up and play really well."