It took a full decade for 90’s alternative icons Bush to release their fifth studio album, The Sea of Memories, and now, with some new members, and a new lease on creativity, Gavin Rossdale and co. find themselves heading to our shores for Soundwave 2012, and he could not be more excited.
The Sea of Memories, the band’s first since 2001, was “an uphill battle” to a point; Rossdale is just thankful that it’s out. “Just to release it, no matter what it was going to do, was already a success. To get the band back together, to get the support to have the band, to find the right songs, all those things came together in the right way, and at the right time. I look forward to playing music with those guys; there’s no songs I don’t want to do, it’s all going in the right direction. I’m just grateful for that, and for the reception of course.”
After such a long time apart from Bush, Rossdale was happy to cast aside his solo endeavors, and admits he was happier once the first sessions got underway. “It was liberating in a way, each tune I wrote after being in a band, after we went on hiatus, was sort of detuned and had a certain being, then when I did a solo record I kept on being careful to not sound too much like that guy from Bush. When I do Bush it’s weird, there’s sort of no restrictions. I can just be whoever I want to be.”
It wasn’t just the music itself that gave the iconic frontman joy when they started working on their latest effort. “I thought the artwork was really exciting. I’ve been making music forever and I love it, and I was excited, but when you start seeing the cover and it says ‘Bush’, and stickers and t-shirts that say ‘Bush’, for me it feels like a coat of armour.”
In these pop-heavy times, the band found it a complex thing to appease the major record labels and decided to go it alone on Rossdale’s own label, Zuma Rock Records. “Well it became painfully apparent that with major labels that their interests lay in pop acts. It’s a different time now.”
“It’s as though the connection between rock and major labels is pretty shot through. Because they can’t figure out a way to sanitise it, they don’t have much interest in it. With our own label, our fantastic management team gave us all that we need. They do the same function that the record companies used to, it’s just changing climate. It’s weird because no one knows quite where it’s going…”
One of the things that seems to be the ‘it’ move in the rock and roll business is the reunion. Often, and unfortunately, they are short lived. However, Rossdale sounds optimistic that Bush won’t be disappearing again anytime soon. “I feel really good about it. From my own perspective I wanted to do the band again…I’d have to be an idiot to go back to a solo career. There’s no reason for it to really end. Everyone I’m surrounded by, I really care about.”
Despite Bush’s “reunion” seeing two new members replacing Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons respectively, Rossdale seems to have no issue with the notion that it’s not the ‘original’ Bush. “As soon as I did the Institute record and went on tour with that, I thought that was cool and I’m happy about it, and it was inspiring. But as soon as I was done with that I was like ‘Okay, can I do Bush again please?’… and it was like, ‘No you can’t.’ I was trying to wait for the others and I was like, ‘You can either join it or not join it’.”