Born less than an hour from Baltimore in Waldorf, Md., identical twins Joel and Benji Madden grew up as pretty intense baseball fans, rooting solely for the Baltimore Orioles. Now 34, the brothers' fandom for their hometown team is as strong as ever and takes precedent over that more geographically-convenient other team that they've grown to have an affinity for, as well: the Los Angeles Dodgers.
During their recent foray into the MLB.com suite to chat with MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel and partake in the Klondike-sponsored "Express Written Consent," the Madden Brothers displayed no outward favoritism -- Joel wore a Dodgers jersey, Benji an Orioles -- but after, it was obvious where their deep-down loyalties started.
"I'm so happy with everything the team's done," Joel said of the Orioles. "Having Buck [Showalter] there has been so great for the team. For die-hard Orioles fans, we've been with that team for the last 15 years. The last 10 years were tough. There wasn't a lot to celebrate."
Adding that he and Benji flew to Arlington for the American League Wild Card Game against the Rangers last October, Joel called it a "glorious moment."
"That made our season last year," he said. "This year, we want to go even farther."
For now, however, they're happy to take in ballgames at Dodger Stadium, a venue they appreciate for its tradition, beauty and enticing baseball team. They are undoubtedly enjoying what has been a nearly unprecedented Dodgers run that has catapulted Los Angeles -- preseason favorites who struggled mightily until early June -- to the top of the National League West standings.
As they celebrate their first album under the name the Madden Brothers (they're taking a brief hiatus from identifying themselves with their original band, Good Charlotte), Benji and Joel also offered insight as to what life is like away from the stage for two brothers who are clearly close friends and baseball nuts.
Benji, for example, recalled when Joel brought his son, Sparrow, home from the hospital after he was born three years ago.
"We put a baseball in his crib," Uncle Benji said. "He's always been around baseball, and he loves to watch the Orioles. He can already hit a ball. We're not going to force it on him, but we're forcing it on him."
Joel: "I've already committed him to play at [Indiana University]."
Then there are the tattoos. Benji has two Orioles logos permanently etched on his upper body, while Joel has one Orioles tat and one Dodgers.
Modern technology, of course, helps the Cali-bound Marylanders remain loyal to their roots. Joel has the MLB At Bat app that lets him watch Orioles games no matter where he is.
"That's basically how I discovered MLB.com," he said.
Benji gets his baseball fill with the help of MLB.TV: "I live in L.A. now, but every day when I'm at the studio, I have the game on. And it's the Baltimore broadcasters, so I feel like I'm home in Maryland. It's great."
The conversation later shifted to the topic of walkup music. If given the privilege of picking anyone they wanted to not only compose their walkup song, but to also sing it, who would they choose?
Joel: "My first initial reaction would be [German film composer and music producer] Hans Zimmer. Something epic."
Giving it a little more thought, Joel switched to something a little more mainstream.
"I would go with an all-American classic," he said. "I'd have Green Day do it. Rock, kind of powerful, Green Day-esque."
Benji went even more classic than that.
"I'm going with Bruce Springsteen," he said. "If you're telling me I can have anyone? I'm talking about The Boss. 'Born in the U.S.A.'"
As has been the case with nearly every "Express Written Consent" "webisode" this year, the conversation between the guests and the host took a goofy turn, with the host, typically, being the butt of the joke.
Sizing up Brisiel, Benji blurted out, "You know with the boy bands there's always the big brother type? That's you. You'll talk to all the moms out there."
"So I'm the Joey Fatone role," J.B. responded.
Pointing to his brother, Benji added with a laugh, "And he's the cute young one. I'll end up the one going to rehab."
No time for that. There's an Orioles game to watch.