Safe Journey Home marks James Bourne’s debut solo album having been released in October 2020, and last month, he also released the first music video from the album for his track Drive. Since starting his music career with Busted, the band have gone on to sell millions of records over the years, with their most recent album Half Way There peaking at number two in the UK album charts and he’s also been a member of McBusted and Son of Dork. Alongside his music career, James co-wrote Loserville, a musical based on Son of Dork’s album, which had a West End run in 2012 and has also been involved with shows Out There and Murder at the Gates. We caught up with James this week to talk about his debut solo album Safe Journey Home, releasing the music video for Drive and some of his highlights from his career so far.
How has it been releasing your debut solo album Safe Journey Home and seeing the listeners’ response?
It’s been very enjoyable! The whole process from start to finish. The response has been so good. I’m also enjoying making videos for the songs as well. I finally have a good reason to upload to my YouTube channel. 🤣
How long were you working on the release and how have you found working on music during the pandemic?
I recorded the album about a year ago before the lockdown hit. With live shows not being an option, it was clear that I needed to focus on releasing music. I’ve also written a second album!
What song on the album did you find most challenging to write and how do you think your songwriting has changed over the years?
All the songs were easy to write. It’s never a battle. Over the years I’ve improved a lot.
Was there anything that inspired you to have Safe Journey Home as the title of the album?
I just felt like this song captured the spirit of the album as a whole. The outro of the song is literally the soundtrack to the album cover! The TWA airport terminal. You can cross-fade the end of the song into Air Hostess which was an intentional creative decision. In a way, Busted will always be my home.
You released the first music video from the album at the end of last year for Drive, can you tell us more about it?
Sure! The video is very symbolic and correlates directly with the lyric. If you watch the video with the volume turned down it still tells a story. The beaten-up car is the relationship being left behind, and the shadow dancing by the automotive repair wall is the healing process. Endings are beginnings and our former selves are a shadow of who we become and part of moving on is embracing and facing that.
Who do you think Safe Journey Home will appeal to and how would you describe your new music?
All my songs are rooted in an acoustic performance. It’s very real, pure storytelling. Perfect for a solo drive or road trip, each song tells a story within a bigger one. Anyone who gives it a real chance should struggle not to love it 🤣.
Is there anything you enjoy most about writing and releasing music?
It’s a rewarding feeling to create and share so every step of the way is enjoyable. I also really like the life that comes with it.
How different have you found releasing a solo album opposed to working in a group?
I do a lot of things outside of the band but this is the first time I’m releasing music as a solo artist under my own name, it’s been really easy so far. This is going to be a long and very enjoyable journey.
Having started your music career in Busted, what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in a band?
Seeing places and making friends I wouldn’t have made otherwise. The life the band has given me is kind of unbelievable! There’s no way I’d be in the position to do my own music on the level I’m doing it without the band.
What are some of your favourite highlights from your career so far in bands such as Busted, McBusted and Son of Dork?
Busted – selling one million albums in a month.
McBusted – headlining Hyde Park.
Son of Dork – making an album with Gil Norton and just being in the van with the rest of the band on the way to play shows. Such good times!
Do you have any favourite music artists to listen to?
Right now… it’s J.S Ondara.
Can you tell us about writing Loserville and what it was like seeing the musical have its premiere and later opening in the West End?
Kind of an amazing experience! Seeing it go all the way to the West End so quickly was quite extraordinary. What’s even crazier is the amount of schools and amateur theatre groups who have licensed the rights since! Musicals are a great thing to do. They offer so much to everybody involved.
Having already worked on Loserville, Out There and Murder at the Gates, what plans do you have for future theatre work?
I really want to focus on my solo stuff but there’s always something exciting happening in the background with at least one of the musicals, having Steven Sater as a creative partner certainly doesn’t suck!
What are you hoping 2021 brings for your music?
Plenty more of it!
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