Bush discovers 'The Science of Things'
November 24, 1999
By Donna Freydkin
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Gavin Rossdale is ablaze.
By his own figurative estimation, the singer is smokin'. Sporting fiery red hair that would give Carrot Top a run for his mousse, Rossdale is on the stage at Sony Music Studios with his band Bush.
The foursome is rehearsing for a "Hard Rock Live" broadcast on VH1, and Rossdale, earnestly gripping a guitar and leaning into the microphone, is ordered to be a little more gregarious. Perhaps rock's resident hunk could regale the audience with an anecdote or two, or a little chitchat.
But post-rehearsal, the genetically blessed Bush frontman, who knows when to flash his female fans a toothy grin, says he has no intention of using stage time to spin any yarns.
"I always take it from what I want to see at a show," he says, "and I don't like it when they ramble on between songs. A little bit is OK, so you learn just a bit about them, but that's enough. A couple of poignant things is better than verbal rantings and ravings."
Rossdale, of course, has something to rave about these days. His band's third album, "The Science of Things," finally hit stores in late October. That was after Bush -- which includes Rossdale, drummer Robin Goodridge, guitarist Nigel Pulsford, and bassist Dave Parsons -- finally resolved its messy and protracted breach of contract dispute with its label, Trauma Records. The group then delivered its long-awaited album and signed a new contract with the company.
"Everything is fine now," says Rossdale. "We resolved it and the war of attrition is over. We're concentrating on all working hard together to make this record well known. We're down with them. It's just really good to be having a record out."
For its third full-length studio outing, the band again blends its raging guitar riffs with disturbing lyrics penned by Rossdale. But this time, the band added touches of electronica.
"I didn't want to do another record like the one we did just before," he says. "That was way more raw and guitar-focused. This is just changed up a little bit. And it's fun because so much of the music I like has bleeps in it. I wanted to be more bleep-oriented."
Ska fans will be pleased to know that "The Science of Things" even features vocals by Gwen Stefani, Rossdale's longtime girlfriend and the lead singer of No Doubt.
But Rossdale's looks and love life aside, Bush's latest release hasn't proven to be a grand-slam chart-topper. It's fallen from 24 to 41 on the Billboard album charts.
And it's gotten decidedly mixed reviews, with USA Today's Edna Gundersen writing, "Bush comes across as an increasingly hollow enterprise despite savvy musicianship." But according to Rolling Stone's Matt Hendrickson, "The album is a step forward, with trippy beats and drum loops giving the band a fuller sound."
Rossdale says he's unfazed. With Bush's 1994 debut "Sixteen Stone" having sold more than 5 million copies in the United States on the strength of such hits as "Glycerine" and "Comedown" -- and the 1996 follow-up "Razorblade Suitcase" going multiplatinum as well -- expectations for "The Science of Things" were high. Yet Rossdale says he's comfortable with the new work.
"Success means achieving the kind of record we want to get," he says.
"I already feel successful with this album because it turned out how I wanted it to and I'm proud of that. It always gets away from you a bit -- it's sad that way because your purist vision is compromised because that's just life.
"I just know that because of the combination of how hard we play and the hard work all around us, that the record will do as well as it can. I don't feel that people aren't going to find out about it."
British band Bush storming U.S. charts
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