Music / Busted
Left to Right: Charlie Simpson, Matt Willis, and James Bourne. Ms. Mackenzie was What they went to School For, they went to the Year 3000 (before the Jonas Brothers), and then they Crashed the Wedding. Now they wanna be On What You're On.

Busted are a British Pop Rock/PopPunk band that formed in 2001, comprising of band members James Bourne, Charlie Simpson, and Matt Willis. They'd initially split up in 2005, due to Charlie wanting to focus on other music projects and the other two didn't want to continue the group without him. Simpson had quit the band and started the Post-Hardcore band Fightstar, as well as releasing a few solo albums, Bourne went on to form the Pop Punk band Son of Dork, which lasted three years before going on hiatus, and started a solo career under the name Future Boy (he really loves Back to the Future) and as himself, and Willis continued by himself solo.

Despite being mainly supplanted by Mc Fly in the public consciousness, they were influential at the time in bringing back guitar-driven Pop bands and had a great many copy-cat acts at the time. They were also the number one selling band in the UK for two years, outselling Coldplay.

They were best known for their songs "What I Go To School For" and "Year 3000" (both were later covered by The Jonas Brothers for their first album, albeit with altered lyrics due to a demographic shift), for providing the theme song for the live-action Thunderbirds movie, and in America for their reality show America or Busted.

In 2013, Bourne and Willis reformed the band and teamed up with McFly to form a new supergroup with called McBusted, toured from 2013 to 2015, and released one studio album named after the group. They were good friends with Mc Fly for years, as Tom Fetcher was briefly in Busted and wrote with them on many of their songs on their first few albums, so the team up made sense. Since this was only a temporary situation, the bands went their separate ways at the end of their 2015 tour, as well as a surprise for Busted, although they wouldn't mind reforming the group in the future or at least touring together again at some point.

In 2015 they reformed in their classic line-up, with a new album in preparation. This was accomplished after Bourne invited Simpson to come with him and Willis to Philadelphia to try to write songs in 2015. When this was successful, they subsequently started recording the songs in California and decided to reform the band, announcing a short reunion tour in late 2015, then they embarked on the pigs Can Fly tour, referencing what Simpson had said years prior to the band reforming, released their third studio album as a band (in a different musical direction than what was probably expected), and toured around England, Scotland, and Ireland. They're currently writing and recording their fourth album in Los Angeles.

They've released 4 albums, 3 studio albums and 1 live album.

The group consists of:

  • James Bourne - vocals, guitar, keyboards (2000-5, 2015-present)
  • Charlie Simpson - vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums (2000-5, 2015-present)
  • Matt Willis - vocals, bass, (2000-5, 2015-present) drums (2000-2)


  • Busted (2002)
  • A Present for Everyone (2003)
  • A Ticket For Everyone: Busted Live (2004)
  • Night Driver (2016)


  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. This even carried on into other bands and projects he was involved with.
  • Break-Up Song: "Over Now".
  • Careful with That Axe: Charlie does a completely random scream just before one of the choruses of "Air Hostess". It's still his only recorded scream on a Busted album.
  • Cross Dresser: Matt appears as the bride in "Crashed The Wedding", seemingly channelling Sam Fox.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Meet You There" slowly fades into "Why" on the album "A Present for Everyone".
  • Hard Drinking Party Guy: Matt was nicknamed in British tabloids as "Beer Matt" for his many drunken incidents.
  • Hot for Student: The ending of "What I Go To School For", and its bookend-song "Loser Kid".
  • Hot for Teacher: The entire point of "What I Go To School For".
  • Mondegreen: In 'Air Hostess,' Matt slurs one of his lines; "Throwing peanuts down the aisle...", so more than a few people misheard him as saying "penis" instead.
    • In 'Crashed the Wedding,' Matt also pronounces the "J" in the in "Because I never got a J-O-B" in a way that makes it sound like he's pronouncing it like "G" instead for some reason.
  • Multicolored Hair: One of Matt's defining characteristics was to never have the same hair colour for any singles campaign.
  • New Sound Album: Their comeback album Night Driver. The album seems to have mostly abandoned the Pop Punk elements of their sound in favour of something more influenced by Funk and Electronica.
    • Technically, A Present For Everyone could count as well, since their first album, while having some Pop Punk elements, was more in the vein of Boy Band Pop than Pop Punk. Their second dives fully into Pop Punk, while retaining their previous sound enough so they're still recognizable as the same band.
  • Performance Video: "3am" and "She Wants To Be Me" both had montage videos from their live DVD.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: 'What Happened to Your Band' from Mc Busted's album was written after years of Matt and James being asked that same question by various fans of Busted.
  • Reality Show: "America or Busted".
    • Post-Busted, Matt appeared on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and won after eating a kangaroo's anus. Considered by Matt to be his personal Old Shame.
  • Screw Yourself: Matt makes out with himself during the video for "Crashed The Wedding", much to James and Charlie's suggested chagrin. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Shout-Out: "Year 3000" contained references to Back to the Future, as shown in the page quote.
  • Slash Fic: They were a boyband, of course there was slash-fic. (When questioned on it, Matt and James decided to Ship Tease by declaring mutual love on their arms.)
  • Spiritual Successor: McFly were considered to be Busted's successors (and were even nicknamed in the British Press as "Baby Busted" when they first hit the big time). Considering that Tom Fletcher was briefly in Busted, it makes sense.
    • Also, Son Of Dork, a short-lived band founded by Bourne, whose music was very similar to Busted.
    • All Time Low can be seen as this crossed with (albeit delayed) Transatlantic Equivalent, though they're more influenced by blink-182 and probably never heard a Busted song outside of maybe the Jonas Brothers' covers of a few of their songs like most Americans, though Alex Gaskarth is British-American, since he was born in the UK, but moved to America when he was 7. It's safe to assume that if Busted's third album came out a few years after their second, they'd likely have evolved their sound in a similar way to All Time Low, since they produced high-energy Pop Punk music and All Time Low could cover any pre-2016 Busted song without crediting them and most people probably wouldn't bat an eye because of how similarly both bands wrote their lyrics and produced their music up until that point.
  • Stalker With a Crush: "She Wants to be Me" was about this.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: "Thunderbirds are Go".
  • Vocal Tag Team: Possibly one of the most well-known examples amongst British pop music.
  • Wedding Smashers: Their 2003 song "Crashed the Wedding" was about a guy who stormed into his ex-girlfriend's wedding to get back together with her.