This year is shaping up to be a big one for Bush. The band will embark on a co-headlining tour with Live this summer, during which frontman Gavin Rossdale and company will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their multiplatinum 1994 debut album, Sixteen Stone. On top of that, Bush plan to release a new studio LP later this year.
The summer tour will also feature Live celebrating their landmark album, Throwing Copper, which also was released in 1994, and features support from Our Lady Peace. The trek kicks off at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut on June 6th, and runs through a September 8th show in Rochester, Minnesota. Through tomorrow (May 7th), Live Nation is offering $20 tickets as part of its National Concert Week campaign.
Rossdale checked in with Heavy Consequence to chat about the tour, the 25th anniversary of Sixteen Stone, progress on a new Bush album, and the advice he got from the late David Bowie. Read the interview below:
On Bush’s co-headlining summer tour with the band Live
I’ve known Live since back in the day and they’re great people. I know [singer] Ed [Kowalczyk] the most, and he wasn’t with the band for a bit and then they re-formed. We saw them at some shows summer at some festivals, and then this tour came up. For me, it’s never about being revisionist. I can’t really stand that concept. We both did start around the same time, and we’ve both had this incredible run. So it’s a nice symmetry for that, and I look forward to playing. As far as what people can, expect, same as always. Anyone that knows us, a thousand percent and lots of energy, a couple of new songs and just a celebration of the summer. It’s good fun.
On the tour marking the 25th anniversary of Sixteen Stone
What an incredible ride! You can’t even write that in a movie. It’s too far-fetched. The combination of the triumvirate of radio, MTV and playing live, it was incredible. For me, I was coming from London and the kind of expectation I had for a band was so limited. I didn’t even know that you could be that successful. I was continually blown away with the whole process — the travel, the success. I had been in the shadows for so long, like everyone before they’re successful, and I really had paid my dues, like everyone does. And it may have seemed like it was a sudden uprising of the band but I’d been through the ringer in England, and like everyone else, I was just a good street fighter. I still am a good street fighter. That’s why I’m still here. I can fight really good.
On the staying power of Sixteen Stone hits like “Comedown”, “Everything Zen”, “Glycerine”, and more
I’m blown away! I’m actually blown away by that. I have nothing to say but I have gratitude for it. It’s an incredible position to be in. It’s just incredible. I think there’s something to be said about the truth of those songs — the way they resonate with people, what they do for people. That’s the beauty of it. And I think power of it. The whole originality thing is really, really quite impossible, and actually elusive, but I think authenticity is the key. And what we’ve been able to enjoy is the fact that those songs and those emotions and those performances, every single one, they’re emotional and they’re full of truths for people, and what’s beautiful is that they’re all separate truths for people.
Everyone has a different recollection, everyone has a different connection to the songs. For a songwriter, there’s no higher accolade than a song’s ability to live on — that’s why it’s really not a good idea to not put the name of the year in the song (laughs). Of course, there’s a celebration of 25 years but for me the tour is more of a reflection of being able to tour in 2019.
On the initial criticism that Bush were capitalizing on the popular grunge sound of the time
I think that it was pretty unfair, but so many great things have happened that it feels disingenuous to complain about a couple of writers in 1994 and their perspective. It’s just their perspective. You have to be a fully grown adult if you’re gonna put your head on the chopping block. You have to be able to take a few shots to survive. I took a lot of shots.
I was on tour with David Bowie, and I don’t like name dropping, but he’s a good one. I’ll suspend that for him. And I got another sh*tty review somewhere, and I was like, “F*ck this guy, f*ck him.” And I said [to Bowie], “How do you cope with it?” and he said, “Outlive your critic.”
On Bush’s upcoming album
The whole record is really heavy. I decided to make a really heavy record. The last record I made was a bit more commercially minded because for whatever reason, I wanted to do that. But this time I was [inspired by] playing so many live shows and all these heavy metal festivals … I worked with Tyler Bates (Marilyn Manson) and I’ve written four songs with him, and he co-produced the rest of the album. Tyler is a fantastic musician and songwriter and it’s just great. The band is sounding great and I think the songs came together great.
I’ve finished everything on my end. The band’s finished on the album. Tyler has few things to do and we have to mix it and master it. In the fall, when we do our own headline shows, that’s when we’ll release the record. It’s going to devastate people!