Good Charlotte are a lot of things to a lot of people, and not all of those things are good. But despite the countless volumes of superlatives used to describe them, one that's probably never been used is "politically charged." Or at least not until the video for their new single, "We Believe," started making the rounds.
In the somber clip, the guys perform in an abandoned theater and — based largely on the abundance of images of combat and human suffering littered throughout — would seem to be making an anti-war statement (see "Good Charlotte Take Off The Hamburger Suits, Decry Human Suffering In New Clip"). But, according to frontman Joel Madden, that's just not the case.
"We as a band definitely aren't about politics, we're about people. But people in our country sometimes don't think outside the American box, and there are so many great people all around the world, and we want to open people's eyes to that," he said. "Even in the place where we're having the war, those people don't deserve that. And we're not getting political, we're not pointing fingers, we're just saying, 'Be conscious of other people.' "
And perhaps not wanting to offend any camouflaged goth-punk fans in the U.S. Army, Benji Madden was quick to add to his brother's declaration.
"Even the soldiers we have overseas, they're people our age and they're amazing people, and they're over there for a cause," he said. "We don't want people to forget how many kids are over there. There are good people everywhere."
Politically motivated or not, "We Believe" will be the final clip released from last year's The Chronicles of Life and Death. Instead of shooting another video, Good Charlotte will focus on touring and writing new material, which is perhaps a good thing since Chronicles has barely sold a million copies, in contrast to the 3 million-plus copies their 2002 album, Young and the Hopeless, rang up.
But the lukewarm reaction to their newer, more mature material isn't phasing the band. In fact, Joel said the new songs are even more grown-up than the last batch.
"A new song I love is called 'The Good News Is.' It's a little bit happier than our stuff as of late. It's a bit older," he said. "We've written a whole bunch of new songs, actually. We're talking about going into the studio in late fall to start a new record."
"That's why I would like for 'We Believe' to be the last single," Benji added. "I think we're all itching to make a new record."