Hidden away in a South London rehearsal studio, McBusted have been gearing up for their 2015 UK arena tour. That, and a small case of supporting One Direction in Australia.
Before they disappeared down under, we caught up with all six members of the pop supergroup, to talk about their self-titled record, working with the likes of Mark Hoppus and hitting the road in March.
They had so much to say for themselves, we’ve gone and split the chat into two parts. Check out the first lot of loveliness from Tom, Dougie, Danny, Harry, Matt and James below…
You’re rehearsing the new songs today, are you nervous to play them on tour?
Matt: I think it’s always a bit sketchy playing new material because a lot of the people there don’t know it. Well, a percentage of people there don’t know it. Whereas with the last tour, pretty much everyone that came knew what songs we were playing.
James: They’d all been singles, so every song was a single!
Matt: Even if you weren’t a massive McBusted of McFly fan, you’d probably heard all the songs we played.
Harry: It’s kind of relaxed for us as well. We had so much fun on the tour last year and we will this time, but it’s not like our lives depend on it. We’re just going out and playing the songs we want to play, and have some fun. We don’t feel like a new band trying to break.
James: There was definitely more pressure on the last tour, I think. It’s nice now, because I think that people have accepted it for what it is.
Harry: It’s nice to be in a band where we don’t depend on the album’s success.
James: It’s nice because there is an album and we’ve toured already. Now we can just have a lot of fun, and I think that will come through in our performance, we’ll put on a good show and make it as cool as possible.
So, which new songs are you most excited to play live?
Matt: I want to play Before You Knew Me, I’ll be quite excited if we play that. We’ve only had two days of rehearsal. If we play Hate Your Guts, that’ll be interesting the first time we play it live. It’s the fastest song ever.
Tom: When your adrenaline is pumping on stage, every song feels so slow. That song’s really fast so it’ll be interesting to see.
James: The problem with that is, if we play Hate Your Guts and then What I Go To School For, that’s going to feel like the slowest song in the world!
Harry: Because a lot of the songs are played to a click track, sometimes I’m literally convinced that something’s gone wrong. ‘It’s gone wrong, it’s slow mo, it’s half-time!’ Your adrenaline is up and it can make you feel like it’s so awkward.
The production was huge on the last tour, are you just going to come out and play acoustic this time?
Harry: Yeah, we’re going to try. [laughs] No! We’re going to try and keep it up there. The idea of the last show was for people to feel like they’ve been at an epic party when they leave. They just go away smiling, like ‘that was so much fun’. We definitely just want to achieve that again.
Harry, you’re outnumbered by guitarists and bassists, who would you choose to play guest drums on tour?
Harry: Although I loved him growing up, I wouldn’t particularly want someone like Travis Barker drumming next to me because I’ll probably just walk off the stage, in a depressed strop! But maybe for one song that’d be good. Tom and Doug have written a song with Mark Hoppus so maybe Travis could do a song and I’d step aside.
James: What I like about Travis is, because he’s so good, it doesn’t really matter who he performs with, nothing can take it away from him. I was actually thinking the other day, if Mark did come and do an appearance, what would we do because there’d be three bass players?!
Matt: Two is a struggle!
Tom: Three would make it better, maybe that’s the problem. Two is bad and maybe three is what we need.
Dougie: Matt, me and you will rock, paper, scissors for who just starts skanking instead.
Matt: We’ll make Mark play keys standing up. If he wants to play with us, he’s just going to have to play the keytar. It’s up to him, the ball’s in his court.
If you could become a tribute band, who would you cover?
Tom: I know there’s a McBusted tribute band! I haven’t seen them live but I’ve watched videos. They came to see us on tour, too.
Harry: I’d like to cover Charles and Eddie!
James: I think it would be really fun to cover Oingo Boingo songs, because they’re the most fun songs ever. Weird Science! And Bruce Hornsby songs.
Matt, Or ‘90s RnB, like Blackstreet, Sisqo and TQ!
There was a McFly album in the works when McBusted came together, were any of those tracks used for the new self-titled record?
Tom: We were working on it but we hadn’t finished it. One of the tracks was used, Getting It Out, which we wrote with Rivers [Cuomo].
Please, tell us more (everything) about working with Rivers…
Tom: He’s such a cool guy. We went over to America and we had two days writing with him.
James: Didn’t you eat cold burritos with him?!
Tom: Oh yeah, he brought his own sandwich. It was something unusual but he didn’t eat it on the first day, and he left it in the fridge for the second day.
Danny: He’s one of those guys that you look at, and it doesn’t quite look like him.
Tom: He wasn’t wearing his glasses when we got there and for the first few hours, we were like ‘is that him?’ He’s a really, really awesome guy, and he found Danny really funny.
You’ve worked with some incredible names on this record, who stands out for you?
Tom: Mark and Rivers were definitely the best two.
Matt: Mark and McFly…
Harry: The guys did some stuff with Lower Than Atlantis and Alex from All Time Low. It’s really good experience for the future too, whether it’s McBusted or something else, to have writing partnerships. In the past, when some of the guys have co-written, in 10 years it’s never been that good. But this time it’s actually been with people who are on the same wave length. That’s been a really positive experience for the future. Everyone’s capable of doing it on their own, but I think it’s nice to share that songwriting process if it’s harmonious.
Tom: Especially when it’s people that you really look up to, you idolise and you really respect.
Danny: The weirdest experience I had was with John Mayer in a hotel room, we sort of collaborated for 10 seconds.
Harry: That was hilarious, it was like Danny had got with a girl that he’d been trying to get with for 20 years. He was like, ‘I just had the best night of my life, I jammed with John Mayer!’
Are you seeing McBusted on tour in March? Get your McBusted tickets and full tour details at Ticketmaster.co.uk/McBusted.
Look out for the Part 2 of our McBusted interview coming soon!