It's late afternoon as the members of Good Charlotte arrive at New York City's Irving Plaza for soundcheck.
Although the group isn't due to hit the stage for five more hours, a throng of 20-something fans (many of them female, clutching CDs, posters and various other merch items they hope to have signed) have been camped outside since morning. On their way inside, the band stop and greet their admirers, eliciting screams and "Oh my God!' cries. Yeah, being a rock star sucks alright.
"We're having a good time on this tour," says guitarist Billy Martin. "We're playing a bunch of songs off our new album, Cardiology, and we're doing all the old hits, of course. I've always liked playing New York City. It's a great crowd, and we still see a lot of our original fans from Maryland who make the trip up here. I'm looking forward to tonight."
With minutes to spare before soundcheck, Martin graciously provides MusicRadar an exclusive walkthrough of the guitars (including his own Paul Reed Smith SE signature model), effects and amps he's been using on tour.
"It's not the most crazy setup in the world," says Martin, "but it's very functional and dependable. After you do this for a while, you learn what works and what doesn't. A lot of trial and error goes into being a touring musician. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually you get things right."