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Interview with Charlie Simpson, March 2012!

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Interview with Charlie Simpson, March 2012!

Ex-Busted heartthrob and Fightstar frontman, Charlie Simpson has gone it alone and is back in his home town of Ipswich to promote his first solo album, Young Pilgrim. IP1’s Hayley caught up with the man (and the eyebrows) himself to discuss his return to Suffolk…

Hello Charlie! How is it being back in Ipswich?
It’s really nice to be back man! I was born in Ipswich so I’ve always wanted to play a show here.

So this is your first time playing Ipswich then?
Yeah, most of the time we tend to go to Norwich and Cambridge but I wanted to come here. I was originally gonna do the gig in a place called Snape Maltings, it’s actually meant for orchestras , but I thought it would be so tough for people to get to cause it’s out in the sticks.

Was it intentional coming back and reppin’ your home town for this first show?
Yeah definitely, and it’s good to push Suffolk cause it’s a beautiful place and there’s a lot of things going on around here.

So the new tour is promoting your first solo album, Young Pilgrim?
It’s basically the second leg I guess, cause a lot of the venues we’re going to on this tour are ones we didn’t go to last time.

Are you focusing more on intimate gigs this time round?
Yeah I think so, we’re doing a mix of the two so the more regional shows will be more intimate and in the cities we’ll be playing bigger venues, it’s nice to mix it up. But I mean as I said it’s really, really nice that I get to start in my home town and my parents are coming down too.

You put together the Suffolk Explosions, when was that?
That was 2004 and basically the idea came from growing up in Woodbridge, around that area of Suffolk a lot of my friends were in bands playing music and I just wanted to promote that in some way. I thought the best way to do that would be to put a compilation of these bands together and call it the Suffolk Explosions. I’m actually planning to do another one.

Are you?! That’s right up our street, promoting local bands and artists and I think it’s awesome to have someone that is recognised in the music industry from Suffolk, promoting the local talent…
Yeah definitely! I’ve just got to figure out who’s gonna be on it as a lot of the artists from the original CD aren’t playing music anymore. I’ve kind of lost touch a bit with the scene that’s going on, so maybe you can show me a couple of bands and that!

Of course!
Awesome, so what types of venues are local bands playing at now?

There’s a lot of stuff going on in Bury St Edmunds at the moment…
Oh yeah, they’ve got a new venue haven’t they?

Yeah that would be the Apex.
Yeah they tried to get me to play there, it was between there and here I think.

It’s a really nice venue, Funeral for a Friend played there last year…
Did they?!

Yeah, they were the first rock band to come down to Suffolk so of course all the old school emo ‘Funeral for a Frienders’ were like “OMG Funeral in Bury what is this?!”
That is mental!!

We went there and there was such an age divide, you had the 15yr old newbies and then the old school crowd who were down at Give it a Name 2005.
Ah yeah, we played there!! That’s cool, it will be good to get a grasp of what’s going on because it’s just great to promote where you came from really.

You should check out our site because we are constantly promoting new talent…
Wicked yeah, I’ll keep the mag and have read later – is it free?

Yeah, it’s a free publication out quarterly; our whole philosophy is about getting everyone involved.
That’s great man, I like that a lot.

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So you would be interested in coming back and doing more in Suffolk, maybe some festivals like Latitude?
Yeah I definitely want to do more here; I’m playing a couple of festivals this summer but a lot of my time is going to be taken up in the studio and writing.

What festivals are you doing this summer then?
There are a couple in the pipeline at the moment. I’m not playing Latitude but I quite want to go to Latitude as I love Bon Iver. I mean that’s an awesome festival that just came out of nowhere, and now it’s turned into one of the most popular festivals of summer.

I have to ask, what’s happening with Fightstar?
Basically Fightstar is absolutely going to do music again. I’ve still got a lot of stuff I want to do with this first and then after that I’ll go back and write with Fightstar.

Are you playing any Fightstar songs in this set?
No I’m not, I was thinking about it but I didn’t feel that comfortable doing so. It’s better to keep it separate I think.

Well that’s great news; Mono is one of my favourite songs ever!
Awh nice! Thank you very much! I see those guys all the time, so we don’t feel any pressure or rush you know, we’re just having this time to do our own thing and when we come back it’ll be even better.

So, your second solo album is go then?
Yes it is! There will be a natural progression from the first, but it will definitely be built around harmony again. I’m excited because I haven’t actually written a song for about 12 months. After I made this record I was so creatively spent I didn’t even want to pick up a guitar and now I’ve had a year off with touring, I’m feeling the creativity again and I can’t wait to get back into it!

Well thanks so much Charlie! It’s been lovely to meet you and good luck with the rest of the tour!
Nice one, lovely to meet you too! I’ll check out the website!

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