It took some time but the members of Good Charlotte have finally grown up.
The band graduated from high school in Maryland to the pop-punk cauldron in 1998. Multiple albums, marriages and kids later, the group has since created some earnest, thoughtful pop-rock with “Generation Rx,” their seventh album that was released Sept. 14.
Before they perform Oct. 19, at the Ritz, guitarist-keyboardist Billy Martin talked to us about the inspiration behind the band’s latest album and what it’s like working with twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden.
Q: Is “Generation RX” a reference to all of the self-medicating millennials?
A: Absolutely. We did a cover of Lil Peep’s “Awful Things” after he passed away last year. You look at the way he died and you see so many others are dying the same way. Lil Peep had that misfit fan base that Good Charlotte had early on. It made us think. (Lil Peep, a 21-year-old rapper, died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl and Xanax, Rolling Stone reported in December.)
Q: And you made an uncharacteristically dark album.
A: Yes we did. It works for us. This album is somber and edgier than anything we’ve made in the past.
Q: Any fear of alienating fans who were weaned on your emo-pop?
A: No, you can’t write for the fans. You write for yourself. We write what we’re inspired by and when you’re married and have kids like we do, you worry about this generation coming up.
Q: Why are you the only member of the band that doesn’t live in California?
A: We came back to Maryland when the band went on hiatus (in 2011). We thought it would be good to be around family and it is good. But I miss California. We’ll be moving back. I miss being around people who do the same thing I do. You’re in the grocery store and you’ll see somebody from a band and you’ll ask them how the tour is going. I love that kind of stuff.
Q: Who are you a fan of that would surprise your fans?
A: Daniel Johns of Silverchair. The guy is a genius, and not enough people know that. That band was made up of 14-year-olds when they were making grunge hits, but just a few short years later, the band made an orchestral album (2002’s “Diorama”) with Van Dyke Parks, which is exceptional. Silverchair was an impressive band. Bands you wouldn’t be surprised that I love are the Deftones and Korn. Deftones’ “White Pony” is an album you can listen to back to front.
Q: The Madden brothers are a charismatic pair who have made headlines for their music and partying. What are they like?
A: They’re both very smart and talented. They have good business minds. They like to know how things work. Their brains are connected. They tend to finish each other’s thoughts. The cool thing is that each of us brings something to this band. It’s collaborative and the roots are deep. I was a senior in high school when this band was starting to take off. It’s been an amazing ride.
Good Charlotte with Sleeping With Sirens
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 19
Where: The Ritz, 2820 Industrial Drive, Raleigh
Info: 919-424-1400 or ritzraleigh.com