Bush played The Ritz on August 2 and Kevin Tall caught up with lead singer Gavin Rossdale for a quick chat before the band headed to Europe to finish off their summer tour.
Kevin Tall: How was the American leg of your tour this summer?
Gavin Rossdale: Oh, it was fantastic. I make a habit of having low expectations so everything is a bonus, but this was really quite special. It was a great opportunity to connect with so many people and I had a blast. They tried to kill me on the schedule—I ended up with 21 shows in 19 days, so it’s really good [if you’re] 22 but jeez…
Your latest album, The Sea of Memories, has been out almost a year. It’s an ambitious sound, especially coming a full decade after Bush’s last release. How pleased are you with its reception?
Thrilled. For me the whole thing was to do the record to cure my insomnia and depression at not doing what I love the most and almost taking the turn that I felt I shouldn’t take and really come down to not doing my band. So to get the opportunity just to make a Bush record was an achievement in itself because I couldn’t let it die or lie, you know what I mean? Just to see the printed record… I already felt like the king of my own stupid hill, you know? The rest of it, the reception of the record, the shows and everything like that, it’s just been magical.
That touches a bit on my next question…
Oh, do I like magic?
LOL. With all your commercial success in the 90s and your foray into acting, with Constantine and the spot on “Burn Notice,” you clearly don’t have anything to prove. So, why the return to making music and touring? You’re not just dipping your toe in the water, it’s a solid four-month summer tour.
I continued to make records; I made the Institute record, I made the solo record—which, you know, I’m the first person to kind of roll my eyes when someone from a band has to make a solo record so we can hear the real them; I’m just like, “Oh jeez, who wants that?” you know? But it was actually by default because my band didn’t want to work at that point and me, being over-loyal, you know I just waited for them and what I should have done is just done what I’ve done now which is be who I work with now. So it’s unfortunate but life is not about looking backwards and I’m just thrilled to in this position and to have the chance to be a working musician. It’s just like a burning fire and that fire is the reason I began doing it. I love it.
You’ve got Robin [Goodridge] playing drums for you still… How vital was it to keep some of the original lineup around?
Essential. I love it; we’re all brothers and we all came through it together. It was really the other guys’ decision to not be in it. I wasn’t a hardass about it at all. I was very open. We had nearly reformed the band but then it just didn’t seem to happen because Nigel [Pulsford] didn’t want to travel. So that’s when I did the solo record. That’s why I did the solo record.
I understand The Beatles’ “Come Together” is a favorite of yours to play live. Did that make it an obvious choice to record as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time for the Jim Beam Live Music Series?
Yeah, there are a few different covers that we play. We had such a nice situation where we worked that song out; it came together so…well that’s a terrible pun but it was just really so exciting that we began playing it and got such a reaction that it was just a natural flow into recording that song for the Jim Beam Series.
You’ve been touring with Nickelback and Seether, both of whom, it could be argued, were influenced by your albums in the 90s. What’s it like touring with guys who grew up listening to your music?
They treated us with such great respect; they’re just great people. It went really smooth. You know, we’ve never opened for anybody and we were always interested in having great bands open for us as much as possible and treating everybody really well. It was sort of an ironic twist because normally good deeds don’t go unpunished but we actually had a positive return on that… All I’m saying is they treated us amazingly, the band, the crew, the people working for them. I’d often see them coming out to see the shows as well, which is a great compliment.
Playing Tampa is your last American tour date before heading to Europe for the rest of August… do you have any plans to tour again in the States in the near future?
Yeah, we’re going to go do a new record and I guess there’ll be some festivals. I think, probably when the record’s done, sort of March/April, April/May is when we’ll go on tour and just take it on again, because, really, that’s the only way to do it, to get out there and play for people, which is a relief, ‘cause I love doing it.
I was at the show and loved it. Great insightful review
As usual, great review, very well written.
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