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Billy Martin of Good Charlotte talks family, tattoos, and gifts from fans

Good Charlotte continued their tour in support of their latest album Cardiology this week in Albuquerque, and I had a chance to sit down with lead guitarist Billy Martin before the show. The transcript of our interview is below, and you can see a video of the interview here at or on YouTube.

Good Charlotte performs at Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM on 6/14/11.
Good Charlotte performs at Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM on 6/14/11.
Photos Copyright Donna Kent
Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte perform in Albuquerque on June 14, 2011
Photo Copyright Donna Kent

Donna: Hello. Donna Kent here with and I am catching up with Good Charlotte at the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque and I have Billy here with me today. How are you doing today?
Billy: Good thanks. How are you doing?

: Good. I'm awesome. So, I guess you guys got to Albuquerque yesterday?
B: Yeah, yeah, we had the day off yesterday and just kinda sat around.

: Cool. So you just kinda sat around. I know a couple of the guys were spotted at the mall doing some shopping. Did you get to have any part of that?

: Yeah, I think we all went to the mall, it's kind of an easy thing to do on tour. You can find food, whatever you want to do at the mall.

: Cool deal. So I know this tour just got started recently. I think this is the third tour stop?
B: Uh, yeah, third or fourth maybe.

: And you guys started in California?
B: Yup, yup.

: So, I mean, have you had a chance to get to a point where you have a favorite song that you're performing live yet?
B: We've kind of been playing the same set since the new album came out. We kinda put together something that works
and you get comfortable playing the same thing. In certain countries you might pull a song out or add a different song in, but for the most part it's kind of the same. You know, there's some older songs that are always fun to play like I think we've started with The Anthem ever since that album came out and that's still just like a good song to play. Off the new record, we play a song called Silver Screen Romance which is kind of like a good up tempo song so that one's fun to play but, yeah, I just like to play.

: Cool. I was wondering, have you guys ever done any sort know these music cruises are getting really popular. Have you ever done one of those?
B: No, but I've got some friends who work for the band who've gone out and done it with some other bands. Yeah, I think it could be alright. Never done anything like that, though.

: Yeah, we've done a couple. We've actually been on a couple and they're pretty fun. And we just thought you guys might be a good band to see on a cruise, so...
B: Yeah, maybe so, if the offer comes around we'd sure think about it.

: Awesome. I have these weird like Benji and Joel questions, which obviously don't work for you...Actually it might work for you. Can you juggle and speak in Japanese?
B: No, no, neither.

: Because we read that...was it Benji that could juggle and speak in Japanese? So we actually were gonna request that he juggle and speak in Japanese at the same time. We thought that would be kinda funny.
B: Yeah, I've seen him...He knows a handful of Japanese words and I have seen him juggle a few times. But at the same time? That would have been something to see, right?

: Yeah, I was hoping it was going to be like kind of one of the weirder things that he had been asked to do in an interview, so...
B: Yeah, well, sorry. I can't do that one.

: You want to try? No...
B: No.

: So do you guys know, I've been hearing a lot about bands, like I heard that Ke$ha, her fans sent her teeth now that she has her Cannibal album out. They're sending her like actual teeth.
B: Wow.

: Do you guys ever get any weird stuff from fans like that?
B: I mean, nothing that weird. But I mean, we do have, I mean, yeah we do have pretty intense fans and we've certainly got lots of gifts all over the place. Sometimes they're cool gifts, you know, sometimes kids will sit and like make little dolls, or like, you know, take apart action figures and like make something that looks like us. Stuff that they've put a lot of time into. So, I mean, we've gotten a lot of cool stuff, but never teeth or anything too crazy.

: That's probably better that way.
B: Yeah, I would think so.

: And another thing. You guys have a lot of tattoos. Do you have like a favorite tattoo or anything like that?
B: Um, I don't know. I mean, they all...everything I have is there for a reason, you know, so it's hard to pick a favorite one. I got my son's name tattooed on me recently and that's the first tattoo I've gotten in a couple of years probably so, you know, that's kind of special.

: Cool, so how old is he?
B: Uh, he's two and a half, almost.

: So how do you balance being on tour and having a family?
B: It's hard. It's definitely something new that we've all had to sort of adapt to. You know, four out of the five of us are either married with kids or one or the other, you know, so you just...this is kinda what we do. We've been doing this for ten years. This is how we make a living. It's how we take care of our families, and it just sort of gives you a new sense of, I don't know what the word is, like you used to go out and do it for yourself, now you go out and you do it for your family, you know, so it's...if we were to decide we don't want to do it anymore because we want to be home with our families, it would be like starting over from square one, I mean, we didn't go to college. We all came out of high school and just started playing music and this is how we made our lives, so it's kind of just adapting, and you know like my wife's actually gonna fly out tonight and spend a couple days with me and our mom's gonna watch the baby so we get some time to hang and stuff, so just things like that. You know you just make it work and you try to just, you know, spend time with your family every chance you get.

: That's cool. Yeah, I was kinda wondering. That was one of my follow-up questions. You know, do you guys get to have your families fly in, things like that, so do you have a few days in an exciting place for that to happen, or where are you going next?
B: Yeah, you know, it...America's really the only place to do that. It's hard to fly overseas and stuff like that, but we do it whenever it works. That's the other thing is you just gotta find those couple days where it works with everybody's schedule, so sometimes you're in like a cool place in Europe or somewhere warm and sometimes you're like in a really boring city in the middle of nowhere, it just kind of happens how it happens. But, you know, you make the best of it. You're just happy to be together wherever you are.

: Cool, well we're really happy to have you here in Albuquerque, and I hope you enjoyed your time here. And, good luck with your show tonight.
B: Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

: Thanks.

Good Charlotte is currently on tour with Yellowcard and Runner Runner through June 24, and then heads overseas to Switzerland, Germand and Amsterdam in August. For more information about the band visit their website.