All grown up
Former boy band Busted are back together, have a new album out and are on a UK tour. Duncan Seaman reports.
Back at the turn of the Millennium Busted were Britain’s biggest boy band, notching up four Number One singles, two million-selling albums and a pair of Brit Awards before singer and guitarist Charlie Simpson left to concentrate on his alternative rock group Fightstar.
A decade later they’ve reunited with a radically different, 80s-influenced electronic sound that’s more reflective of their thirty-something tastes, and an image that’s a far cry from their pop punk past.
Having been steadfastly opposed to a reunion for many years, Simpson admits he took a little persuading by his former bandmates James Bourne and Matt Willis before deciding to restart Busted.
“We hadn’t really been in the same room for about eight years and they came round to my house a couple of years ago and told me that they wanted to do something againwiththebandandIsaidat the time it wasn’t right for me,” he says. “But we just hung out all that afternoon and it just sparked something.” While they waited for Simpson to come round to their idea Bourne and Willis went off and formed a short-lived supergroup with members of McFly, but eventually, by 2015, the three members of Busted had recommenced writing songs together.
“We went into the studio and just had a week writing and it felt very different to what I imagined it would feel like,” says Simpson. “I think that our creative visions were far more aligned than they were ten years ago.”
Quickly finding musical common ground certainly helped. “It was the strangest thing,” Simpson says. “I thought that would have taken longest but it was right there straight away, which was brilliant.”
By early 2016 the trio felt ready to record a new album and headed for a studio in Los Angeles to work with producer John Fields.
Simpson says they didn’t start
We knew we didn’t
want to make a record that would be reminiscent of
ten years ago.