Matt Willis – Busted

We all dream of success, but only a few of us are prepared for it when it actually happens.

Matt Willis, bass player from Busted and McBusted bands, experienced success very young, and was selling out big arenas while he was still a teenager.

He had to grow up in public, and it wasn’t always easy.

One of the things that will strike you about Matt is his emotional intelligence.

His journey from rock and roll burnout, to a healthy, mature father is an incredible story, and offers a glimpse of a very different, more wholesome kind of success.

Matt goes right to the beginning of his journey in this conversation.

From starting out as a teenager with big dreams of success, to having a number one album and playing massive arenas like Wembley Stadium – it’s a rollercoaster.

The songs and touring, girls, drink and drugs all follow. For a long time, Matt’s success got him through his struggles with addiction.

After the breakup of Busted, Matt Willis wrestled with his demons, and his persona as the fun, hedonistic party guy soon got old. VIP invites died away and family members worried for his future.

But Matt is a smart guy, and he had enough awareness to say enough is enough when the right moment came.

Having a baby daughter and a loving wife finally woke him up to his self-destruction.

For anyone who has struggled with self-esteem issues or addiction, Matt’s story reveals the key to finally beating substance abuse.

We also talk about the industry, his future like one of the Busted band members and his dreams of being an actor.

Matt is now a balanced, charming and fascinating creative businessman, who does what he does for the love, not the money.

As he says himself, all the negatives in his journey as an artist and performer have now become a powerful positive, as he reflects his story in his creativity.

How old is Matt Willis. He is an inspiring young man to talk to, and I know you guys are going to love him.

I absolutely loved having Matt in studio, but let me know what YOU thought of our conversation in the comments below!

09:11 A long-time fan of London Real.
10:09 Un-British to open your mind to all different things.
11:01 Why is Britain so anti-success?
11:40 Self-loathing.
16:24 Brit Awards and next few years and why Busted ended.
18:46 A love of performing.
19:58 Being your worse critic – driver to never being completely happy.
22:09 Brian’s McBusted story. Watching them performing and Matt building a relationship with the audience.
27:49 Six guys becoming a cohesive act.
31:45 Why did the McBusted with McFly group stop?
41:28 Cutting a new album, what is it like?
43:54 Self-funding, does it change the music as opposed to having label backing?
47:03 What does a good producer bring to the making of a brilliant recording?
50:58 What does this year look like?
51:56 Tour announced and sold out in one hour.
53:06 Matt’s thoughts on big labels. Will they still be around in five years?
57:22 Addiction to Rehab. What did Matt learn about himself that got him through all that?
1:19:28 Fitness training.
1:28:46 Relationship with food.
1:30:28 What is it like being married to someone else in the media?
1:34:27 The lure of Los Angeles.
1:36:49 Acting career.
1:37:06 Going to Theatre School.
1:40:49 Amy Winehouse – a beautiful tragic person.
1:45:50 Kurt Cobain documentary. Does the music industry breed these addiction problems?
1:57:25 Podcasts – why are they such a powerful medium?
2:03:02 Success secrets.
2:03:50 Phone call to the 20 year old Matt Willis.
2:05:15 Best advice ever received.
2:06:38 To the 20 year old who wants to be a rock star, what do you tell him?

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dannyDominic JonesSammy CarpenterTony ThompsonJohn Robinson Recent comment authors
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This is brilliant, very insightful and honest

Dominic Jones

Wow! Amazing interview 🙂 Thank you.

Sammy Carpenter
Sammy Carpenter

“Find the truth because people can relate” this whole interview was so relatable, inspiring and eye-opening ! Thank you both! Xx

Tony Thompson
Tony Thompson

What a fantastic interview. New to these shows I will be sure to check more of them out !!

John Robinson

A lot of honesty in there. Times are changing. Lots of genies are out of the bottles nowadays and are not going back in. Internet, drugs and mobile phones just make so many things accessible to younger and younger audiences -> guidance notions and even the law haven’t caught up with these needs. I’ve lost friends to depression and drugs. There are so many “reasons”. Some just seem to see life as a kind of sick joke and see the “happy” façade and the “American Dream” as the remote-fantasies they are. Others live the dream and don’t see the desperate… Read more »

Thiago Jota

Matt’s story is awesome. And Matt, if you can read this: you shouldn’t be too worried about what Mrs and counselors think, if something you plan to do is ultimately beneficial. If you see the Dan Pena material, it’s the “I wish”, “I should have”, etc that we want to avoid, but you know that. Best wishes

Arwa Stone
Arwa Stone

I fucking love it!!! I loved when he said that everyone has their own rock bottom. So True! I wouldn’t be here on the LRA website writing this or written two books and working on my third if I hadn’t reached my own rock bottom and listened to my gut!
Also loved when he said Just Fucking Do IT! Yes! I get asked how do you write a book, etc, JUST FUCKING DO IT instead of thinking about it or taking a writing class. That’s the only way you’ll get there.
Few! Thanks for having Matt on the show, it was EPIC!!!

James Trudgill
James Trudgill

I really enjoyed the interview. Matt seemed to become more comfortable as the interview went on and i think thats a credit to Brian.
Matt comes across honest and love his views on what him the person he is today. He should be proud that he seems to have gone from a guy who needed a bit of guidance in his younger days to someone who i believe would be a great person to gain advice and speak to.

Steve Milton
Steve Milton

Thoroughly moved by this interview. I haven’t watched a LondonReal interview for quite a while and it has struck me how unique it is to watch an interview of this length and to see how both Brian’s and Matt’s minds meet after the session has been in progress for quite some time… that’s when I really felt I saw Matt. I think Brian’s gentle handling of Matt talking about getting into into recovery was outstanding; it allowed Matt to really express his experience. As someone who has been in recovery for 6 years I totally identified with Matt and I… Read more »

Lisa May
Lisa May

“Listening to 4 days of drums is shit~” Being the daughter of a drummer and spending time with dad in the studio for parental visitation… That makes me laugh~

Lisa May
Lisa May

Ooo~ I appreciate Matt noting the concept of being apart of the experience versus performing while thinking of the mechanics of performing.

Lisa May
Lisa May

I totally identify with the concept of not aspiring past “your station”. My mom always reminds me of this, “Get a little job, find a man who will take care of you and keep you head down.” She thinks that she’s doing me a favor. Also the “waiting to be found out.” That’s has been a big one for me my whole life. Everyone was going to find out one day that I’m nothing & nobody. I’ve now come to realize, that I’m nothing to sneeze at either 😉 Takes work, focus and serenity.

Lauren Reed
Lauren Reed

Matt is incredible, talented music player but also an inspiration to me for how hard he works. I hope he keeps channeling that quality into making the most of himself. Thanks for Being so open Matt!

Brian Rose

Loved my time with Matt, he really opened up and was so honest! Such incredible energy, I can’t wait to hear Busted perform.