Busted talk ahead of appearance at Solihull Summer Fest
They’ve been conspicuous by their absence during a busy summer in which every weekend seems to bring a new festival.
Rather than appearing in fields and parks across the UK, Busted have been holed up in a studio creating their fourth album.
Singer-guitarist-drummer Charlie Simpson couldn’t be more excited. He still finds it remarkable that the chart-topping band, who formed in 2000, still have only three records to their name.
And yet perhaps that’s not so surprising. Busted enjoyed two million-selling records during their first incarnation; the self-titled debut, which was four times platinum, and the 2003 follow-up, A Present for Everyone, which was three-times platinum. There followed a 10-year hiatus following their decision to split in 2005 and since then there’s been just one more record, the well-received 2016 hit Night Driver.
Understandably, Charlie’s excited about the band’s plans. “We’ve been in the studio for the past few months doing the fourth record.
“But we’ve got a headline show at Solihull Summer Fest on August 26 and we’re looking forward to that. Considering the weather we’ve had, if it carries on, it should be a lovely afternoon. We really look forward to these shows.”
Solihull Summer Fest will give Busted the chance to dust the cobwebs and do their thing. They’ll be lining up witih Razorlight, Lightning Seeds, The Beat, Sugarhill Ganga and more at Tudor Grange Park on August 26. The previous day will see a line-up of 10CC, Sister Sledge, Blue, Rak-Su, Alesha Dixon and Roland Gift.
Charlie has been preoccupied with the band’s forthcoming record, which he hopes will propel Busted back to the top of the charts.
“We started writing in February and we went into the studio in April. We’ve been holed up there since then.”
He’s pleased with the way it sounds and considers it their best work to date. “The album sounds amazing. We’ve just got the finished mixes back. I think the fans will love it, we wrote it with them in mind.”
The experience of Night Driver was key. Lest we forget, Busted had been out of the game for more than a decade, until Matt and James made a surprise brief reunion when they joined McFly as special guests at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2015, Charlie returned having previously said he’d never, ever come back. His decision to reunite was a surprise, even to himself. At the time, he said: “I reckon I said it [so many times], privately and publicly, and I meant it every single time. But as I say I have changed my mind and that has been down to the circumstances changing. I never thought we would get to a point where we were in a studio writing music we all got behind creatively and that was a huge shock to me.”
The success of Night Driver was thrilling. “We loved it. It was the first music in 10 years. It was great to be back out on the road. It was a record that blew us away. It was amazing to see how loyal our fan base was considering we’d been away for so long. It’s been busy since we’ve been back and things have gone well.
“We did a lot of touring last year and played Glastonbury, which was great. But it’s been nice to get back in the studio and record new music. The studio is one of my favourite times.
“Mind you, Glastonbury was a real highlight. I’d never been to Glastonbury either as a punter or in a band. It was a bucketlist moment because it’s such a special festival. We didn’t really know what to expect. They had to shut down our entire stage because there were too many people coming to see us. It was magic in the air. It feels different to other festivals. It’s almost like you’re entering into a makeshift town. We saw a bit of Ed Sheeran which was pretty good. It was great to hang out with a lot of friends. We did the whole weekend.”
Busted are still riding the crest of a wave. When they returned, they were afforded the warmest of welcomes. And when they put their comeback shows on sale, they sold 100,000 tickets in the first hour. All three band members were staggered by the response.
“I don’t think you expect anything – certainly you don’t expect to sell 100,000 tickets in an hour. You are always a bit apprehensive. Whenever you put a new album out or shows go on sale, there’s always that moment a day before when you’re not sure what is going to happen.”