Chris Bourne is the Essex born pop-star who found ‘fame’ with band Hollywood Ending. After embarking on a solo career without label backing, Chris is about to go on the road again with his second headline tour in six months. Danny Simm is a Wigan born radio DJ, a song writer and now one of Chris’ best friends.
The twosome joined forces whilst Chris’ older brother James’ band Busted were touring the country. Chris and Danny vlogged the whole thing, from Danny doing health shots with Matt Willis, to a frighting shark dive. After the UK leg of the Busted tour finished, Chris and Danny parted ways for five days. Fast forward to today, their vlogs are going from strength to strength. Danny has temporarily moved in with Chris and his family down in Essex, and they’re about to film the whole journey of Chris’ Identity tour.
Chris and Danny found time in their busy rehearsal and filming scheduled to sit down and have a long chat with us about everything from their friendship to the gossip on Chris’ tour and new EP ‘In Your Arms’.
CM- Hi Chris. Hi Danny. Lets start this interview off with finding out how did you become friends and start the vlogs?
C- We started speaking a while ago, we’re both musicians and we started writing and working on songs together over Skype.
D- It was for around 2 years we’d Skype and write music together. We didn’t actually meet face to face until Mcfly’s Anthology tour. I saw Chris was going to be in Manchester and I decided to go on down and hang out with him. He sorted me tickets out for that show too, it was great.
CM- So for anyone who hasn’t seen your vlogs guys, can you explain what they’re all about?
C- Me and Danny basically are on a mission to make every day count and have fun. We vlog it all along the way. We have just been up and down the country with Busted hyping people up for the shows, meeting fans and having a good time. There were people at the shows who were there with just a friend or two, and instead of being on their own, we wanted to make everybody feel welcome.
CM-Has anything surprised you along the way with making the vlogs?
C- The overall reaction has been surprising. It’s been incredible seeing how everyone reacts to them.
D- Chris literally called me twelve hours before he left for the Busted Night Driver tour and asked me if I wanted to come along and help with the merch. We had a bit of an idea we wanted to make some videos together.
C- Me and my dad have a merch company and we go on the road for bands like McFly and Busted. We deal with the logistics and all that. I needed someone last minute to come and help me with it for the Busted tour as I needed to promote my own music as well. It’s turned into something really awesome from there having Danny around.
CM- So what are the future plans for the vlogs?
D- Well, the thing is with our vlogs is we never plan anything. It just happens. We don’t do any fancy trickery or editing. If we make a mistake, we keep it in and laugh about it. Sometimes we’ll just turn the camera on and talk. Yesterday we started filming and somehow got talking about penguins and true love. We want to keep it as natural as possible and show our subscribers it’s just us.
C-We genuinely enjoy doing it. Me and Danny don’t have the typical lifestyle. We don’t have 9-5 jobs. We are fortunate to have the time to have fun. And we wanted to take our fans along for this ride.
CM- So where do you want the vlogs to be within the next few years?
C- Um. As long as people keep watching our vlogs and they keep enjoying them, we’ll keep making them. We don’t make any money off this. We have a kind of social media presence even before the vlogs. Everyone see’s tweets and everyone see’s Instagram posts. We wanted to do more.
CM- So Chris, lets talk about your latest EP ‘In Your Arms’. CelebMix reviewed it. We couldn’t help but notice not one song sounds the same. It’s a very different vibe, is that what you were going for?
C- Yeah, I mean first and foremost I am a song writer. I play bass, keyboard, guitar, you can even programme drums now. There is no live drumming on this EP at all. Ultimately if I am putting something out there as an independent artist, I wanted to put out a broad spectrum of music.
CM- Each track tells a completely different story, did you draw from your own experiences as inspiration?
C- As a songwriter, you can write about things that can be very personal to you, or like Max Martin, who’s a phenomenal song writer, you write about concepts. On this EP I wanted to do a bit of both. I tend to take whatever is going on in my life or whatever I may be going through and draw inspiration through that. I’m not saying every situation I write about is exactly what I’ve gone through, but it’s up to the listeners to take from my music what they will.
CM- So Chris, when will you start working on the next EP?
C- I already have started working on it. I guess I never have taken time off from writing. That’s the beautiful thing about being a song writer. I’m always thinking of ideas or concepts, playing around with them and seeing what I can come out with.
CM- So what’s the reaction been like to this EP? Has it changed from the reaction you got in former band Hollywood Ending?
C- In Hollywood Ending we toured so much. We were constantly on tour. It was great because we were able to meet fans from all over every day. But I didn’t really get to sing the songs I wrote on. With my own solo stuff it took me a while to work out my own vibe. In the time after Hollywood Ending I wrote with a lot of artists, but I really missed performing. The transition from fans has been incredible. On the Funfair tour the majority of fans were new fans. I met a lot of them along the way through promoting on the McFly and Busted tours.
CM- Onto tour now, can we expect Danny to make a musical appearance?
D- I’m probably not going to get up on stage and sing. I’m not an artist the way Chris for example is. I mean I’ve been in bands. My first band I played the ukulele. My second I played bass guitar. But I’m not the artist. We are going to be do some great things on tour. I’m probably going to crash onto the stage whenever I feel like it and just throw out some of our ‘Life Lovers’ merch into the crowd each night.
CM- So Chris, you have some incredible support acts for the Identity tour. Both Next Stop Mars and Ella Knox are currently unsigned artists too. Was that important to you to showcase unsigned talent?
C- It didn’t come down to whether their signed or not for this tour. It’s a great thing where they all are independent. But Next Stop Mars are an incredible band. I met Denis at a party in Soho and he mentioned he was in a band. He actually lives in an apartment in the same block as my brother. So I checked out their studio, and we just vibed. We wrote some incredible songs together. They haven’t released them yet. They’re just really great guys. With this tour I just reached out to some artists in the industry who I knew where insanely talented and I felt they’d bring a great vibe too. The same with Ella, I’ve written a lot with her and she’s also super talented. She actually features on my song Chemical.
CM- Can we expect any collaborations between you and your support acts this tour?
C- Me and Ella will perform Chemical together as we collaborated on it for my first EP. I actually spoke to Denis yesterday and we are working out a song we can perform all together. It’s a bit hard to work the details out at the moment, Next Stop Mars are super busy, and Ella is still in the States and doesn’t fly out here until the end of the month.
CM- What shows are going to be the most special to you this tour?
C- I mean after all these years of touring with other artists or with Hollywood Ending I have never played a hometown show. So Southend on 14th April is going to be an incredibly special show. I just had to do it. I jumped at that chance.
CM- Chris were you worried it was a bit of a bold move releasing two EPs and two headline tours within 6 months?
C- I mean yeah. The Funfair tour was something I wanted to do my way anyway. I did get dropped by my management three weeks before the Funfair tour began. I was left completely in the dust. They had been my management throughout Hollywood Ending and we were working together towards this solo tour. That was the goal. So to be dropped that close to the tour for no reason, it was hard man. You hear all these stories in the music industry about this kind of thing. I could have stopped and been upset about this, but I decided to carry on. I put the best show on I could thanks to some amazing friends who kind of saved the day.
CM- So for the future, Chris and Danny is living together something on the horizon?
C- We are kind of living together. I mean we’re not paying rent for an apartment or anything, we’re just crashing together in my parents garage.
D- I mean after the Night Driver tour, we knew we wanted to do more vlogs together. I went home to Wigan for five days, and we decided we needed to do more. I packed enough clothes for a week and we kind of discussed doing two or three more videos just to wrap things up until the Identity tour. The day I got here, we discovered a new energy, a new style a new format. It just works so well for us. I’m on day 16 now, and having to borrow clothes.
CM- Right guys, in the vlogs, you both seem to know each other pretty well. CelebMix wants to put this to the test with a little game. So Danny, your up first, we need you to answer these questions about Chris.
Question 1) What is Chris’ shoe size? – It’s the same as mine so between 8 and 9.
(Correct- One point to Danny)
Question 2) What is Chris’ favourite TV show? – Oh, I’d have to say Rick and Morty.
(Correct- Second point to Danny)
Question 3) What is Chris’ favourite film? – Oh wow. Urm, I’d say Back to the Future.
(Wrong- it’s Labyrinth, Danny stays on two points)
Question 4) What is Chris most scared of? Spiders.
(Correct- Third point to Danny)
Question 5) Who is Chris’ ultimate celebrity crush? – He has two, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
(Correct- Fourth point for Danny)
Question 6) Who is Chris’ man crush? I have no idea at all.
(No answer so no points added, Danny remains at four points- If Chris had to pick one male to ‘hang out’ with it would be Leonardo DiCaprio, however if Leo made a move, Chris would friend-zone him)
Question 7) What does Chris prefer, Twitter or Instagram? I’d have to say Twitter he uses that more
(Half a point, as Chris is indifferent about this taking Danny up to four and a half points)
Question 8) What band is Chris’ most favourite? I know this! Urm, its Third Eye Blind.
(Correct another point added)
Total – 5.5/8
Question 1) Chris, what is Danny’s shoe size? Again, the same as me, either 8 or 9.
(Correct- One point)
Question 2) What is Danny’s favourite TV show? That’s easy it’s got to be Doctor Who.
(Correct- Second point).
Question 3) What is Danny’s favourite film? I’ll have to go with Star Wars.
(Correct, but more specifically Return of the Jedi, it was the first of the series Danny saw. Three points)
Question 4) What is Danny most scared of? Again, like me spiders.
(Correct- four points)
Question 5) Who is Danny’s ultimate celebrity crush? Oh this is a hard one. I honestly don’t know
(No points, Chris stays on four points, Danny’s ultimate crush is Ashley Tisdale)
Question 6) Who is Danny’s man crush? Oh urm, one of the Doctor Who’s. I’d go with Matt Smith
(Wrong, again Chris stays on four points. It is actually Hugh Jackman)
Question 7) Which does Danny prefer. Twitter or Instagram? Instagram, he loves a filter.
(Correct, the 5th point is won)
Question 8) What is Danny’s favourite band? Busted. That’s how I knew he’d be up for coming along on tour 12 hours before we had to leave.
(Correct, another point to Chris)
Total 6/8. Chris Bourne wins the battle of friendship.
Chris and Danny would like to add they really love life. And they hope they can spread the love of life throughout the kingdom.
CelebMix had a fantastic time interviewing Chris and Danny.
You can catch Chris on his headline tour throughout April with Next Stop Mars and Ella Knox , tickets available here. Chris’s latest EP is available to download and stream. And of course you can catch up with all Chris and Danny’s adventures on their vlog channel.
Let us know if you enjoyed this interview by tweeting us @CelebMix