Bush is Back and Rocking the Radio, Just like the Zeros Never Happened (exclusive Interview)
"No one prepares you for success, it's overwhelming. You're a jerk at first and all those things. But more interesting to me, and much more challenging, was the slide back down. It's like being dumped out of an airplane, you hit the ground. Hard."
Following the September release of Bush's first independently released album, "The Sea Of Memories," the alt rock quartet became the first band ever to hit number one at American Alternative Radio with a self-released single. The song, "The Sound Of Winter" is the first single from "Sea Of Memories," which was released via the band's own Zuma Rock Records. It also marked Bush's first number one single since their final hit of the last century, 1999's "The Chemicals Between Us."
But, then, Bush has been on hiatus for most of the 2000s. Fans are clearly pleased that the band hasn't ditched its post-grunge sound; a sold-out headlining tour of North America is to be followed by an international run that kicks off November 5 in Hamburg, Germany (see dates below). But Bush isn't the band it was a decade or so ago. Heartthrob frontman, vocalist and guitarist Gavin Rossdale, and drummer Robin Goodridge are the only two original members left. Joining them are bassist Corey Britz and guitarist Chris Traynor, who was in Bush briefly around 2002 before they disbanded. He also played in Rossdale's short-lived band Institute.
Rossdale, who is married to No Doubt's Gwen Stefani, chatted with KOvideo about the ups and downs of the last ten years, which saw him experiment with Institute and perform as a solo artist. There have been big shifts in the British artist's life, including fatherhood. But Bush is still a staple at rock radio. Some things never change.
After going solo a few years back, is it comforting having the blanket of being part of a band rather than just being Gavin Rossdale out there alone?
It's like a suit of armor, there's much more protection. When I was doing the solo stuff, I'd look at everyone in the audience and think they're all here for me. It was almost too much to carry. It was exhausting on that level.
It isn't the roaring rocking 1990s anymore, what was it like downsizing after Bush?
Doing lots of interviews, which is the strangest experience where you talk about yourself all the time, you begin to realize some things. Institute didn't do anywhere near as well as Bush. We weren't playing arenas or anything. The solo career did quite well really – 1.6 million downloads. My label wanted it to be so massive, though. But even with 1.6million downloads there was no recognition from them. I didn't even get a plate. I was like, fuck! Nothing, no reaction. They had really, really high standards for me. [Laughs.]
Yes, does it kind of reset the clock, so to speak?
Yeah, the thing is when I first did Institute it was intentionally to reset the clock. It was to intentionally revitalize what I was doing. What happened was that an indie label side-project idea became a main thrust, major label idea. They took my idea and they didn't know what to do with it other than try to make it massive. So, they tried to make it massive.
What was interesting after the huge success of Bush, you hear it a thousand times: No one prepares you for success, it's overwhelming. You're a jerk at first and all those things. But more interesting to me, and much more challenging, was the slide back down. It's like being dumped out of an airplane, you hit the ground. Hard. That's the really challenging thing. You used to be identified with something really massive and successful and now you're not. That's a very humbling human time where you go, 'Okay, this is okay. I'm back in civilian life. I can't kill indiscriminately'. [Laughs.]
And get away with it!
Yeah, I have to be accountable. That was a really challenging time and you find something out about yourself. It really becomes a measure of who you are.
You weren't bitter and angry?
I was very anxious and a bit forlorn internally. I wanted to do my band; I wanted to do Bush. I had all this other dialog going on. That was very challenging. I was trying to give myself to what I was doing, but before I did my solo record there was going to be a Bush record. It was a Bush record for three months and then it became a solo record. I just tried to think, what can you learn about this experience? I had a really brilliant time, but when push came to shove – when Bush came to shove [laughs] -- if there was a big show or tour, I just always wanted it to be as Bush and not just my name.
So, how did you handle it?
If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
Is this a timely moment to reconvene Bush, there seems to be many '90s bands getting back together.
The great thing about synchronicity is that this has been a long-term goal of mine since I was doing Institute. What I'm experiencing, it's never going to be like it was before. Those dizzying heights are very hard to achieve. But the timing is right and the incredible luxury of great timing is that it is usually by accident. These things aren't planned. It all just comes together.
Do you think that we are headed for a '90s musical revival? After all, Soundgarden is back and bellowing out grungy rock.
I don't know about that, but there does seem to be a pleasure in all these revivals. On a selfish level, we don't want people to stop. I got that the other day when I head REM was breaking up. I was like, 'Oh man don't stop. "Losing My Religion"? I want to hear those songs. Don't stop'.
I get that a lot from people. I'm grateful to them for coming and they're all, 'Thank you so much for putting the band together again'. I'm pretty grateful for it. Everyday I still get that huge sense of gratitude and responsibility. You have to be mindful of that.
DATE - CITY
- Nov. 05 - Docks, Hamburg, Germany
- Nov. 07 - Huxley's, Berlin, Germany
- Nov. 08 - Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
- Nov. 10 - Backstage Werk, Munich, Germany
- Nov. 11 - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
- Nov. 13 - Komplex, Zurich, Switzerland
- Nov. 14 - Den Atelier, Luxembourg
- Nov. 15 - Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL
- Nov. 18 - Trix Hall, Antwerp, Belgium
- Nov. 19 - Boule Noire, Paris, France
- Nov. 20 - Bush Hall, London, UK
- Nov. 21 - 100 Club, London, UK
- Nov. 22 - Cargo, London, UK
- Nov. 26 - Montbleu Resort, Lake Tahoe, NV, USA
For more info about Bush you can watch their latest video "Sound of Winter" right here on KOvideo or you can follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BushOfficial and their Official Website.
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