Bush: The Golden State

by Shannon McCarthy
March 2002

As long as they keep breeding young children who grow up to be people who like drummers, then we’ll be fine, won’t we? No matter how many drum machines and samplers people use, a good drummer will never be obsolete, especially in rock ‘n roll. Maybe that’s why on Golden State, Bush’s fourth and latest album, the group laid off the knob twisting and effects to get back to what started them in the first place gritty, real, raw sounds. Besides, as drummer Robin Goodridge joked, if they got rid of the drummer, Who would they have to talk to? Who would you come to when you’re having a fashion crisis? Historically, drummers don’t get as much attention as the frontmen” they aren’t up there shaking their thing around or looking pretty for the camera. OK, so in the case of Goodridge, he may be looking pretty (it’s not his fault; his girlfriend is a stylist), but his job is just as important as those of Gavin Rossdale (vocals/guitar), Nigel Pulsford (guitar) and Dave Parsons (bass). After all, it is Goodridge who’s keeping the very important beat for Bush’s steady rock-hard bevy of songs. ‘I didn’t say it was going to be easy being a drummer, now did I? You chose this career,’ he stated. And then he took it back slyly, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right, that’s me,’ he laughed.

In Paris, nearly an hour and a half before their set, Goodridge is relaxing, just trying to find something to watch on television’ everything is in French, and he can barely order a beer in the language. The phone line between the British musician and me is stretched across so many time zones and accents it reminds you how international music really just is. With the release of Golden State, Bush is happy to be back on the road, doing a short European and even smaller States tour for the moment, and a much larger one after the new year. We’re having an interesting time exploring the amount of songs we have potentially to play and how many we can play a night. It’s getting harder and harder with four albums now, 50 songs to choose from. Half the set, we like to play the new album, and the other half kind of comes along. We’re still messing around with that. Funny enough, the stuff from Sixteen Stone seems to fit really well with this album, so we’re playing quite a lot of Sixteen Stone at the moment, which is quite fun.’

The plunging guitar riffs and seething rhythm of ‘The People That We Love’ are finding their way onto radio among the small cluster of other rock bands trying to battle the nu-metal wackoffs and pop princesses. The song’s original title, ‘Speed Kills,’ was changed after September 11, but one thing hasn’t changed in Bush’s music’ it still kicks with a pulse and spits on bubbly pop music with a cool attitude. Goodridge would love to see the end of nu-metal, just like most of us, especially if it means Bush will get played on the radio more. ‘All we can do is keep playing live and let people decide for themselves,’ he commented. ‘Currently, if you’re not nu-metal or pop, you’re not on MTV, that’s for sure.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with Britney though, right? ‘There’s nothing wrong with Britney Spears. I wish she was here with me right now. I’d be really happy if she was right here in Paris; it could be a good place for her. She wears her underwear on the outside of her jeans nowadays, and I like that. It’s cool, a Superman, Superwoman taking it into the next millennium or something. I sound like I’m a stylist.’