Busted show no sign of slowing down as they launch into their 20th anniversary celebrations.
The group formed in 2000 and scored massive success two years later when they broke into the UK Top 3 with What I Go To School For. Follow-ups Year 3000 and You Said No peaked at No. 2 and 1, respectively, with their parent album also reaching the upper echelons of the charts.
Marking their latest milestone, the band will embark on a huge arena tour, kicking off in September and playing across the UK and Ireland through October – with Matt Willis promising it will be their “best ever”.
“We have so many ideas,” he tells RETROPOP’s May 2023 issue in an exclusive cover feature interview. “We’re in the stage where we’re throwing everything at people and they’re saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.’ Then they come back and say, ‘No, no, no, no, no – that’s gonna cost you all of your money. You can’t do that!’
“But at the moment, we’re just coming up with the coolest shit we can think of and if 30 per cent of what we’ve come up with happens, it will be the best show ever.”
Alongside the live shows, Busted will release their first-ever Greatest Hits LP, featuring re-worked classics from their career and guest stars including All Time Low, McFly and Simple Plan.
Charlie Simpson teases: “There’s a couple of songs we’ve completely reworked. Meet You There is now a full band song and it sounds really great.”
Also on the LP is McFly, whose frontman Tom Fletcher originally auditioned for a spot in the band. Historically, it’s been reported he was selected to join Busted but later ousted, however James Bourne is keen to set the record straight.
Confirming he auditioned and came down to the final two alongside Charlie, he says: “I actually never remember signing up to Tom being in the band. It’s funny when I read people saying that, because to me he came down to the studio and did some stuff, but I always felt Charlie was the right fit.”
Tom co-wrote a number of tracks for Busted and the musician – who returned the favour on McFly’s debut – adds: “When I had downtime, I was the one that said, ‘I’d like to write songs with that Tom guy who sang the Backstreet Boys song at the audition,’ and that was the beginning of me writing songs for McFly. So I always thought he was talented, I just knew Busted would be the three of us.”
Beyond their big plans for this year, the trio is already looking to the future and, according to Matt, their fifth studio album – the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Half Way There’ – is “in the pipeline”.
“We’re always thinking about the music,” he smiles. “Normally it takes that for us to press the button and the reason that this works is that we can re-record the songs with new people and it’s exciting. But moving forward, it will all be about new songs and that’s in the pipeline.
“The best thing about Busted now is that everything is us. Not that it wasn’t in the beginning, but we had a lot of other voices. Now, we listen to people because they know what they’re doing and they’re good at their jobs, but the buck stops with us.”
Read the full interview in the May 2023 edition of RETROPOP, out now. Order yours or subscribe via our Online Store, use our Store Finder to locate your nearest stockist, or get Digital Copies delivered direct to your devices.