This interview with Matt was done just before the McBusted gigs in Birmingham.
They want to make their concert “the most amazing” their fans have ever seen and, with the world’s biggest working arcade machine on stage, McBusted certainly look set to achieve their aim.
“This year we’ve really gone for it,” admits Matt Willis, as he takes time out from the supergroup’s tour to chat to Seven Days.
“We always set ourselves quite an ambitious task, we try and get as much as we possibly can in our show. Our stage is a working arcade machine. There are two controls with three buttons each that you can jump on, and we control it with a joystick.
“It’s incredible. It took a bit of jiggery pokery to make it work. We want our fans going away knowing we put everything into it. I think we’ve managed that.”
McBusted, composed of McFly’s Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Harry Judd and Busted’s James Bourne and Matt, are, quite literally, the biggest band around at the moment.
They joined forces to become a six-piece supergroup after Busted appeared as special guests during McFly’s tenth anniversary concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013.
McFly had previously supported Busted on tour, and James wrote a number of songs with Tom for McFly, so it was an obvious choice for the two groups to merge.
“We went on stage together at the Royal Albert Hall to test the water and see how it felt,” explains Matt.
“It felt awesome, but weird. Then I got a phone call from my old manager after James had played a show supporting McFly, saying he thought there was something in this.
“My wife is really good friends with Tom’s wife, Dougie is one of my best mates in the world, it was just a really obvious thing to do.”
Despite it feeling natural, Matt admits it took time to get to grips with the new formation. “It’s a very different feel on stage, it’s a very different vibe.
“It wasn’t until the first gig of the tour that we really got to grips with what this band was. That took a few days to get how we were as a band.
“We are at the point where we all know our place in this band.”
Matt is clearly loving being back on stage, but his success makes home life a juggling act as he tries to make time for his TV presenter wife Emma, and their two young children, Isabelle and Ace.
In fact, he’s enjoying some father-son time on the day of our interview, with the little boy bringing him “cups of tea” while we chat.
“My daughter is in school, so I can’t pull her out,” he says when I ask him about family life on the road.
“My wife is busier than we are, she’s everywhere. But her job is still kind of a workable job for a parent. My job is different because we have to go away so much.
“But Emma and the kids are coming to our Birmingham concerts. We just make it work.”
Once the UK leg of the tour comes to an end, the band is off overseas.
“We’ve done Japan and Australia and parts of Europe – we’re going to places where neither band has been before.
“We’ve got a massive international plan in place – McBusted is bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s epic, it’s amazing.”
Matt admits the band’s success is greater than they ever imagined. But he’s under no illusions about how long it could last.
“There’s no five-year plan, there’s not even a two-year plan,” he says.
“As long as it makes sense and everyone is happy and wants to keep going, we’ll keep doing it.
“It’s just a really cool thing that happened to us. We were all getting on with our lives and suddenly there was this amazing idea that someone had.
“If it ended tomorrow we would just be stoked and pleased that it ever happened.”