Charlie Simpson has blasted his former group Busted's record label UNIVERSAL for turning "three songwriters" into a boyband "machine".

The hunky singer - who quit Busted last month (JAN05) to focus on his hard rock project FIGHTSTAR - never intended to become a sex symbol for millions of teenage girls when he answered an advert in British music weekly NME calling for a musician to join the two original members, Matt Willis and James Bourne.

And after three years of performing with the chart-topping trio, Simpson finally ran out of passion for the Universal-controlled band.

He says, "I was in London and an opportunity came up. At the time, when BLINK 182 and Green Day broke and the whole pop-punk thing went really big and I just thought, 'It's better than being at school,' so I gave it a go.

"And it ended up being this massive thing and I was like, 'Oh s**t!' When I joined it was three songwriters writing music for a laugh. And then it got put into this machine that was UNIVERSAL and came out as a big-branded thing.

"It was a fun three years and it just came to the point where I wanted something that my heart was in."

10/02/2005 09:20