LOS ANGELES — As producers, Good Charlotte's Benji and Joel Madden use a different moniker and — apparently — a different creative palette.
Working again as the Dead Executives (the pseudonym they employed to produce three tracks for Hilary Duff last fall: see "Good Charlotte Bring '80s Vibe To New LP; Hope To Work With Justin, Nine Inch Nails"), the punk duo just finished a substantial producing session with "Tipsy" rapper J-Kwon.
"We went to do like one track and we ended up doing like seven tracks," Joel said at Saturday's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (see "Will Smith Issues A Warning, Timberlake Thanks His Butt At Kids' Choice Awards"). "And the record is really good."
The Maddens hooked up with J-Kwon through Nelly collaborator Jay E, a St. Louis-based producer who is part of their Dead Executives team.
"I definitely think we have a flavor that we bring that isn't out there right now in hip-hop, because we do have a different ear," Joel said. "We don't digest as much hip-hop as maybe they do, so it's kind of fresh. It's really a different world, but it's fun for us 'cause it's like we're just the little guys with the tattoos that come in and do the music, and all the rappers are cool to us."
The J-Kwon tracks come on the heels of Good Charlotte's collaboration with their neighbor the Game (see "Joel And Benji Madden Record 'Clash Meets N.W.A' Track With Game"). That track will likely surface on the group's next album, which the Maddens have also been busy writing.
"We're going back in the studio with Don Gilmore, who did our first record, and we're really excited," Benji said. (Gilmore's résumé also includes Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne and Pearl Jam.) "I think they're the best songs that we've ever written."
Perhaps it's the Gilmore involvement, but the Maddens said the new tunes remind them of their earliest work.
"[After] all the dramas we've been through over the last two years, we're finally at this clearing," Joel said. "People ask me what the record sounds like, and it just sounds like classic Good Charlotte. We're really happy to be going in [to the studio]."
The brothers have yet to title the new record, but they're clear on its motivation. "Every day I meet kids, and it's like, 'When's your next record?' and 'I love your band,' and it gets me pumped up. Because in my head I'm like, 'People have forgot about us,' " Joel said. "Our fans really, like, psyche us up, so it's easy when you feed off that. We're the happiest in music, I think, as we've ever been."