I recently had the opportunity to talk with Good Charlotte's guitar player, Billy Martin over the phone about the band's upcoming album Cardiology. We talked about the recording process, how the band switched producers and record labels, and keeping up with their devoted fans.
First off, I just wanted to thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.
Yeah, no problem.
How does it feel to be releasing your fifth album?
It’s amazing. Honestly, we think about that more than a lot of the other things that we get to do. Nowadays, longevity seems to be the hardest thing to maintain. I think really we just owe it to having good fans. They keep supporting us, it feels good.
Was the recording process for this album different than it had been for previous albums?
A little bit. When you’re five people, everybody has different ideas that everybody wants to do that has a different sort of end result. It’s hard finding that middle ground, and we definitely struggled a lot with that on our previous records, trying to all find a way to be happy and feel like you’ve gotten input. We’re just older now, like you said, it’s the fifth record and we’ve done it so many times that you realize that the bigger picture is more important that the pieces. We went in with no egos, no expectations, and said lets make a record that we know how to do and hope that we can make one that’s better than the previous record.
How many songs did you initially record for Cardiology before narrowing it down to what was going to be on the album?
This record was quite a roller coaster ride. There were a lot of demos. We originally started out doing this album with Howard Benson producing. He came in and picked a few demos out that he thought was strong and told us that we needed to keep working. We started tracking the record with him. We finished all the drums, all the bass. We got about halfway through the guitar and then we started doing vocals on some of the songs, and realized it just didn’t sound like we wanted it to. It was missing a lot of the heart and the soul that the demos had.
We kind of just pulled the plug and started over later with Don Gilmore, who had done our last record (Good Morning Revival) and our first record (Good Charlotte). We wanted to try something new with Howard, and it seemed like a good fit, but in the end it just wasn’t. We kept probably six or seven of those songs. We ended up throwing everything away and re-recording with Don and then a handful of new songs came out during the process.