Gavin Rossdale Rocks On
By Lesley McKenzie
Photographs by Davis Factor/DR Photo Management
If you thought you’d seen the end of the Bush era, think again. Chart-topping Brit alt-rockers Bush may have disbanded in 2002, but thanks to the efforts of front man Gavin Rossdale, the band reunited last year with a slightly tweaked lineup, welcoming aboard guitarist Chris Traynor and bassist Corey Britz. The band releases its fifth album, Everything Always Now, this spring. We caught up with the LA-based Rossdale to talk about the City of Angels, the new album and his musically inclined kids with wife Gwen Stefani.
What was the impetus for getting Bush back together?
GAVIN ROSSDALE: I’ve been trying to reunite the band ever since [we broke up], to be honest. When I began writing songs after I came off tour for my solo record, I kept thinking how perfect they would be for a Bush record, so I threw it out there again and just willed it; that’s how it came about.
Where did the title Everything Always Now come from?
GR: It’s really about the essence of living in the moment. Panic, disease and depression, for instance, are often motivated by either the past or the future. Weirdly enough, if you can sequester yourself in the moment, it’s usually better than you think.
How did you decide on the new lineup for the band?
GR: I asked everybody who was in Bush if they wanted to do it. The bass player, Dave [Parsons], decided he couldn’t commit. I kept the bass player I’ve used for the past few years, Corey [Britz], and Chris [Traynor], a guitar player who played for the last few months of Bush and was the last person on tour with the band. So there’s nobody new in the lineup to me. It feels really natural, and they play so well together. The combination is good and slightly different than what the [first] version of Bush was, but not that different.
Did you decide to take the music in a new direction at all?
GR: It’s a dilemma. You want to be intrinsically who you are—which means you’ve got to be really present—and you have to be intrinsically who you were and who you want to be. The first song we came out with, “Afterlife,” was definitely a leap, a different style.
The musical landscape has changed a lot since you released the last Bush album, with the proliferation of social media. Has that changed the experience of making and promoting a record?
GR: I always work hard to have a very close connection to the fans. We’ll talk to people and see people after shows. In this new world order with social media, it just promotes that connection on a larger scale. And I think it’s strange, because you have to be so much more accountable now. When we began Bush, there wasn’t that much accountability with fans, whether or not you wanted to connect with them. I don’t mind this insight into people’s lives. People write to me on Twitter, Facebook and, to a certain extent, MySpace, and I reply. I always want to answer as many as I can. I’ve never refused to speak to someone, take a picture or say hello.
FASHION: Leather jacket ($725) and T-shirt ($69), Rogue. Available by special order at email@example.com.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.