Benji & Joel Madden
The American popstar personalities who, from the comfort of a couple of spinning chairs, have taken Australian prime-time TV by storm.
Pop-punk is a contradiction. Brotherly love is not. And both ride shotgun in the success of these US twins – music a platform that created the chance to move beyond a fractured upbringing, reliant on each other to cut through and realise dreams. Recognition first came with Good Charlotte, success tailing them into life as a musical duo. Here, it’s spinning-chair TV outing The Voice that’s led to the 36-year-olds’ Australian adoption – on-screen tussles and sniping little more than small-screen posturing. Because unwavering fraternal love is what Benji and Joel Madden are about. Joel Madden: Being twins and then leaving home together, we’ve been partners from a young age. Benji Madden: We’ve always stuck together. JM: We have an interesting partnership, we share the same principles and values – it’s about brotherhood and… BM: Look we made a deal at a young age that we’d never let money come between us, we shook hands on this when we were 16. JM: Yeah, and we’ve always been 50/50 partners on everything. BM: No one sits you down and says this is how you become a team – as brothers, we stuck together to survive and we became a team as we went though our experiences in life and work.
BM: It’s really just in our thirties that we’ve learnt how to talk shit out – in our twenties it was talking and then something else. But we always had a line that you never crossed. JM: Yeah, never punch each other in the face. BM: And we never crossed it. As brothers you don’t go there – get rough, and do it to another man but never to your brother. It’s a sacred bond you don’t break.
BM: Joel frustrates the hell out of me sometimes, but he knows how to pull me back – he’s kept me on course in life. He always has good intentions for everyone, you see it at work and at home. And I’m lucky to have this guy to count on, he’s the reason we’ve had such big dreams, he has the bigger vision and the dream and wants to go for it all. JM: Why thank you. This guy next to me is chatty, grounded, honest in his approach to work and business, a hard worker, dedicated, loyal and protective. I only think about aiming for the moon and then he figures out how we’re going to get there. We both know our strengths and we play well together – it’s a nice team. And the last 18 years have been absolutely incredible.