BUSH have been a mainstay on Australian radios since the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994. The album was an instant smash spending forty three weeks in the Australian Top 50, peaking at #5. Glycerine, Everything Zen and Comedown are in the DNA of Aussie rock fans and are played daily on the airwaves to this day.
While the 90’s belonged to BUSH, they were on hiatus between 2001 and 2011 when they returned with The Sea Of Memories featuring The Sound Of Winter. In 2019, BUSH came roaring back with the track Bullet Holes which is featured as the end title on the soundtrack to the Hollywood blockbuster John Wick 3 Parabellum. 2021 saw the release of The Kingdom which has spawned the singles Flowers On A Grave, Blood River and Quicksand. Gavin Rossdale speaks to Hi Fi Way about their return to Australia, their first live shows in quite sometime, to play Under The Southern Stars.
The band must be really looking forward to returning to Australia for Under The Southern Stars, ten years has felt like an eternity?
We have tried, Soundwave was great and we had a good time with the side shows as well. At the moment we’re in rehearsals and we’re excited to be coming back.
The last couple of years have been tough for everyone but it must of been difficult for the band to negotiate the way through this pandemic having released new album The Kingdom?
Yeah, we haven’t played it live. Australia will be the first place to hear it live. People have been dying, lost their jobs, lost family members, there really is no time to complain that we don’t get to sing these songs on stage but at the same time we are looking forward to coming to play. We’ve been really patient and I hope this time it comes good.
The Kingdom absolutely rocks, have you been happy with the fan response to the album?
Thank you, we’re looking forward to touring it. We’ve already started on the next record and just going with the flow. It is the same for everyone but it is frustrating, a lot of people have suffered a lot worse than what we have. Just happy to be out there potentially, nearly, maybe soon, possibly, potentially!
Have you been able to use this time to keep writing and see what might be the next album?
We are sixteen songs in to the next record, we are totally working on new stuff and the exciting thing for us is the consistency of having records out. Keep moving, keep doing it is where we are at! We are excited because these songs fit in to the record after The Kingdom. There is no acoustic guitar in sight, it is super heavy. Super heavy! It’s hilarious! Hilariously heavy! There’s a couple of tracks I love that are kind of moody, which I love to write, there’s three moody songs the rest is pretty steamy hot music, fire music.
Does anything in particularly influence that heavier rock sound you are going for?
With the music that I like, it is not the usual way I sing on it, I try to find a melody, I like melodies, I hear a lot of rock music, there’s a lot I don’t like and I think it is a sexy way of making rock music and I’m trying to find that way. There is something about the tribal quality of heavy music with the rhythms and stuff, it is like a launch pad to go nuts. I love it for that, I still believe in rock music and I’m trying to do something different. Push myself, push the band and do something that is wild. It is like a return to Sixteen Stone, it wasn’t because it was completely different, maybe because it had a vigour, like a fire that is still alive.
Have you been able to get in to the studio to start doing demos?
I have been making recordings at my home studio and come end of the month I’ll take them in to the band and put all the drums on the track to flesh them out a bit more. You can get a lot done now these days in the studio or in your bedroom, just look at Billie Eilish and Finneas.
Any hints at the Under The Southern Stars set list?
I’m just looking forward to getting my seat on the plane to head down there, that is where I want to be. I’ll be so grateful to be able to walk out on that stage I’ll know then it will be really happening. It has been emotional because we never knew when it would happen again. It is really beautiful we are doing that in Australia, there is definitely something about it. I don’t think bands get there enough. After Soundwave I just couldn’t get it to work so the honour of coming back down there after all these years of not playing will be a really powerful show. All twelve shows will be really tight. Looking forward to seeing the audience, my guitar and my microphone. Seeing that crowd and hearing that roar before we playing and hearing them enjoy the other bands will be great. Festivals are fun, you go with your mates, everyone wants to blow each other off the stage and do better than everyone else. Soundwave was great travelling around, you want everyone to do great but not as great as you!
It must be pleasing to see the generational change in your fan base as well?
I think we did well reaching people who didn’t know the back catalogue. That was my goal for the record, I want to make a record that your son or daughter plays in isolation and nothing to do with the catalogue. I still want to be able to do that with the record we are making now. I want to make records that stand alone, I know it is a singles world and all that stuff. My view is that if you like the single you want to hear the whole record. I believe that is a possibility even though that’s not the norm.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Tickets available from Under The Southern Stars