Smash Hits (Australian)
by Diana Godley
‘Tis a funny ol’ life being a pop star especially when you’re a member of the pop/rock quartet Bush. One day you’re playing to millions of screaming fans across America, selling your records by the semi-full, the next, you return to your quiet suburban home in London (not a very lived-in home, nevertheless, a home) and no-one even batters an eyelid! It’s enough to make a grown man cry! But for Gavin Rossdale, Nigel Pulsford, Dave Parsons and Robin Goodridge, it’s just another day.
Instead of following the golden path to success the well-worn way, Bush took a short cut. They signed a deal with an American record company, flew over there, played a few concerts and word spread like a “bush”fire! Venues grew larger to accommodate the flocking fans, and record sales climbed from 500,000 to six million.
The fickle UK music press was not amused. In the past, they had written slanderous comments about the four lads, ut once record sales reached a couple of million stateside, they gave up writing about them at all! For example, the “music comics” (as Gavin calls them) listed the names of all the winners at last year’s MTV Awards – only one name was ominously omitted. “They did this whole big piece on Oasis because Liam spat!” explains Gavin, but zilch on their other homegrown superstars.
Never mind, we love ’em here in Australia nearly as much as the American’s do, so let’s talk about happier matters… say what the title of the new album “Razorblade Suitcase” signifies? “It means the emotional baggage that people carry about with them,” explains Gav. Erm, good. That’s that cleared up then.
How do you keep that gravelly voice of yours in tip-top condition for all that growling you do? “I don’t know! Is it that gravelly?” Erm, yeah! “This guy said to me the other day,” he continues, “‘So mate, the voice, the singing, how’d ya do it every night?’ And I was like, I dunno! I’ve just done 260 shows. I’ve never canceled a show in our careers. People like Soundgarden cancel shows about 10 times a year! Always voice problems. Chris Cornell is an amazing rock singer – not my favourite rock singer, but I have to say, on a rock level, he’s got the best voice there is. But it’s too rock. A bit too dramatic. Every single verse is screamed. No wonder after five shows he has to stop for a month.”
Like his owner, Winston, Gavin’s puppy dog, doesn’t go through any particular daily routine to keep his windpipes in good shape either. He howls and growls whenever the desire takes him. And the desire did take him when it came time to putting the album together. “He opens the new album,” informs sticksman Robin. “Winston is the first thing you hear on the album.” You certainly do. Two quick short growls and then the band launch into “Personal Holloway”. What about tricks. Can he perform tricks as well as he can growl? “Oh yeah. He nips people who are pissing me off,” replies Gavin with a smirk running from ear to ear. Gulp! All this reporter can say is, thank heavens for the quarantine laws in this country which don’t allow tourists to bring their pets into Australia!
There are three songs on the album with curious titles: “Greedy Fly”, “Swallowed” and “Mouth”. Were you hungry when recording the album? “I’m always hungry, I have a weird metabolism, I’m like a bird, I have little snacks all the time.”
Leaving food on the plate, let’s move to a more sordid topic – indecent obsession. According to a handful of American magazines, Gavin Rossdale is not only a top-ranking pop star, but one of the sexiest men alive! With a reputation like that, you could expect he’s had a few obsessive fans tagging along where ever he ventures to go. “There was this woman journalist who hid in the toilet in Chicago once,” explains Robin. “She was really sweet in the interview, but she went ballistic afterwards. Gavin was like chatting to her and suddenly she got all obsessive with him!”
“She worked for a major newspaper in Chicago. She told us that she’d just split up with someone, and suddenly, she wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought she was going to take a gun out of her handbag and shoot me!” Fortunately, events didn’t turn out quite so badly. Gav and co. managed to give her the slip, and no damage was done. They also tell another tale of a fan sending in pictures of herself – totally naked – but there’s no need to go into that right now.
So, what kind of lady does the sexy Mr Rossdale go for then? A Spice Girl, Courtney Love, Shirley Manson of Garbage or Gwen Stefani of No Doubt? “Leave the Spice Girls out of it, but the other three are all perfectly well worth a date.” ‘Nuff said.