TALKING TO BUSTED
Busted are back to their pop-punk-tastic best with a brand new album Half Way There. Having just finished up an arena tour of the UK, we caught up with Charlie Simpson as the band prepares for a very special date at Hampton Court Palace Music Festival this June.
THE BAND IS BACK WITH A NEW ALBUM, A HAPPY BALANCE OF POP PUNK CLASSICS AND SINGALONG ANTHEMS – IT’S GOT SOME BANGERS – WHAT’S YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS LIKE THESE DAYS?
We basically went back to the original formula on this record. With Night Driver, the album we released before this, we went over to L.A and worked with a guy called John Field. It was quite electronic and quite a departure from our sound. We pretty much just wrote and recorded the album in about 4 weeks, which is quite unusual.
This time we wanted to go back to the guitar sound, and make an album that was more representative of the band. James still owns the flat where we used to write in 2002, so we went back to the original place where we wrote the original songs. We basically just sat with acoustic guitars and wrote the album that way. It was very much going back to the way it used to be.
YOU RECENTLY FINISHED UP AN ARENA TOUR OF THE UK – HOW HAS THE RECEPTION? HOW WAS THE TOUR?
It was incredible man. I tell you what was amazing – it was the best reaction to new songs I’ve ever experienced. We played quite a few from the new record, and some of the news songs actually got better reactions than some of the old songs. You usually worry about fans not wanting to hear too much new stuff because they haven’t really got to know it so well, but the album’s only been out a month or so and the singalongs to the new songs were massive. They were a really great bunch of shows.
This album was really written for the fans. We weren’t writing it for radio, we weren’t writing it for anything other than the hardcore Busted fan-base to really enjoy. I think that’s really transpired in the reaction from the fans – it’s been great.
YOU AND THE LADS PERFORM AT HISTORIC HAMPTON COURT PALACE THIS SUMMER – A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT TO THE ARENAS YOU MIGHT BE USED TO – HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO PLAY AT SUCH A PRESTIGOUS SITE?
I can’t wait for that, man. That’s going to be one of my favourite shows this year I think. It’s an amazing venue. On the last tour we ended up at the Royal Albert Halland when you play venues with such prestige and history there’s a bit of magic that goes with it. I’m really looking forward to it.
HAVE EVER BEEN TO THE PALACE AS A VISITOR? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES?
Yeah – I took my eldest to The Magic Garden and he absolutely loved it. That’s the first time that I’ve walked around Hampton Court Palace properly and it’s just an amazing venue. I mean it’s like playing a castle – I can’t wait.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA AROUND HAMPTON COURT AT ALL? ANY STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
I’m not that far away as I’ve just moved to Surrey, and Matt grew up in Molesey which is right next door to Hampton Court Palace so he knows it well. I also lived in Southfields for a long time so I often went to Kingston to do bits and pieces. It’s just a really nice area. That particular area just by the Thames at Hampton Court, me and my wife always used to go and Air BnB down there at the weekends. It’s just a really lovely place.
YOU RECENTLY PLAYED NEW SLANG FOR BANQUET RECORDS IN KINGSTON DIDN’T YOU?
We played PRYZM, which we did on the last album too, but because we were in a chart battle with the album for Number 1 we added a couple of extra shows to push things forward. We ended up adding a couple of these tiny little pub gigs at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston. That was a really last-minute thing, and they were really fun to do. It was funny because Louis Tomlinson from One Direction came down to that show and I was like “mate, surely you just want to come to Wembley”, but he just crept in the back and watched it which was quite funny. I really enjoy those intimate shows – I think they’re really fun.
HOW ARE YOU ENJOYING SURREY SINCE THE MOVE?
Woking’s my local station! I’ve just moved to near Ascot – yeah man, I love it. We moved a few days before the tour, so it was all a bit hectic, but I’m enjoying my first week here now. I lived in London for 18 years and was just really ready to get out. We looked around a lot of places, and Surrey was just such a beautiful area – we found a house we loved and are really happy with it.
BUSTED / JUNE 8 / HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL
For more information and to book tickets, visit www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
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