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Good Charlotte: “Going back to Reading & Leeds is very important for us”

On Good Charlotte’s new album ‘Youth Authority’, you’ll find guest appearances from both Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil: it’s fitting, then, that they’re all playing the same day of this year’s Reading & Leeds.

SWS and Biffy are set for the main stage, while Good Charlotte find themselves headlining the small but mighty Lock-Up. “What we really wanted to try and accomplish with all our shows was ‘special’,” explains Joel Madden, “It’s kind of cool going to Reading and doing a small stage ‘cause we like what it says, we like that it’s different.

“Our band is in a different place in our lives now, we’re just trying to do the opposite of what everyone thinks we’re gonna do, and that’s been our whole mission. To keep it special and to go against people’s ideas of us, and to make it special for the fans and do shit that’s special.

“When we talked about Reading & Leeds, we haven’t been back for many years and I remember the last time we played we were in between System of a Down and Metallica, and we got bottled. I wouldn’t change it ‘cause it’s a fond memory, and I understand why Metallica fans in 2003 don’t want to watch us, it was all metal. It was a funny joke they played on us, and I said I can’t wait to go back there one day. We didn’t walk off stage, we fucking played our songs and we accepted it, and that’s who we are as a band. We aren’t like “fuck you”, we’re like we’re here we’re still gonna play.

“Going back to Reading & Leeds is a very important thing for us because we have good memories [of it], and it was my dream to play that festival when I was 16 years old. To go back and play on this little stage, for me it says everything about what we’re doing right now.”