The Easter Bunny Issue
by John Baccigaluppi
It’s hard to tell if a lame interview is the result of the people you are interviewing (in this case the band Bush) or your own inability to do a good interview. The first time I heard Everything Zen by Bush on the radio, I thought it was a brilliant lost Nirvana out-take from the Nevermind sessions. Then I saw the artsy, moody video directed by photographer/artist Matt Mahurin and thought these guys were pretty concise for a debut band. I got a copy of the record and was additionally intrigued by the album art by David Carson of Raygun and Beach Culture fame. The record was produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley who’ve also produced acts like Elvis Costello and David Byrne. I asked the band (guitarist/singer/songwriter Gavin Rossdale and drummer Robin Goodridge) how they managed to hook up with such big name talent their first time out. Gavin replied, “Dave Carson to us is the best at design. I love Raygun magazine. I love Bikini (see Heckler’s Alternative issue for an interview with Bikini designer Scott Clum). He had the look and understood that whole thing. Matt Mahurin is so much better than anyone else. He’s a painter, he likes the same painters that I do. So we had a whole history of stuff that we got on together about. And he really loved the record most importantly. All these people, they really wanted to be involved. They’re all the first people we asked.” Robin added, “We just sent them the album, and they called back and said “let’s get on with it.'”
Gavin went on to say, “Counter culture is to me the most interesting part of the youth culture. That’s where it’s all at. Fanzines and stuff, that’s all the street level stuff and that’s what Dave Carson’s like.” I’m not sure how street level Raygun is and I’m not sure how street level Bush is either. But I can say this with certainty: They are the most polite band I’ve ever met with a Top-10 hit single. Both Robin and Gavin repeatedly offered to make me tea or did I want a beer. I can also say that they’re having fun too. When I arrived at the Cattle Club, I thought Gavin was a tourist as he was wandering around the club wearing Arnet’s and shooting hi-8 video. And they do rock. Their live show sounded just like their record. They really are a band, not just a bunch of studio musicians. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to finish this story because nothing really exciting happened the evening I saw and interviewed the band. But, I had asked a lot of people for help setting up the interview (Mike Jerrick and Lucinda at WEA, Jerry & Troy at the Cattle Club) and Curtis shot a whole roll of film, so I figured I might as well finish what I started. Besides, my wife, Maria, says Bush rocks her world. And after hearing Everything Zen again last night, I must say that it is one of the best songs to hit the rather weary alternative top 10 chart in the last year. Before Bush, the band all painted houses together in London, which is a salt of the earth kind of thing to do. In the end, maybe that’s all that matters. The guys in Bush are true gentlemen and hard workers with a hit single that does not suck.