Beating Around the Bush

by Jaan Uhelszki
November 17, 1998

Gavin Rossdale and co. mixing forthcoming album in London

Bush’s Gavin Rossdale has been racking up the frequent flyer miles lately. Just before Halloween, the Brit grunger jetted to Los Angeles, where he met up with his inamorata Gwen Stefani. The duo spent All Hallows Eve sans costumes at an intimate soiree at Offspring singer Dexter Holland’s Orange County digs, where according to witnesses, the couple spent the night gazing deeply into each other’s eyes and smooching. Soon afterward, Rossdale returned to London long enough to pick up his toothbrush and hair gel before flying to Milan, Italy, to be a presenter, along with Natalie Imbruglia, at the European MTV Awards Show. He didn’t dally in the Italian fashion capital any longer than it took to slurp up some Spaghetti Milanese and read his entry in the Nov. 16 issue of People (which named him one of the sexiest rock stars), before dashing back to a London studio where Bush are due to begin mixing tracks for The Science of Things, their forthcoming studio album.

The band has been working on their fourth album for the past eight months — ever since Rossdale went into seclusion in southern Ireland following the completion of their last tour. According to Bush spokesperson Michael Pagnotta, the singer began honing some of the songs he had penned on the road, as well as writing some new material. But instead of inviting band members guitarist Nigel Pulsford, bassist Dave Parsons and drummer Robin Goodridge to his digs, Rossdale periodically sent them works-in-progress tapes. They finally all came together in London last August and hammered out sixteen tracks for the new album.

According to Pagnotta, the band hopes to have a final mix sometime around the New Year and, if all goes according to schedule, Science will be in stores next spring. The disc was again produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the same cheeky duo who ran the boards for Sixteen Stone, Bush’s 1996 mega-platinum debut — not to mention all that memorable stuff for Madness, Elvis Costello and Morrissey. Although the folks at Trauma Records have been tight-lipped about the release, we did manage to pry two song titles, “Ban the Bomb,” and “Altered States,” out of them. In case you were wondering, Gwen Stefani does not make an appearance, nor are there any love songs on the disc, although Rossdale did admit in an interview earlier this year that, “She did inspire one of my foolish protest songs.” However, there is a rumor that the band engaged cult screamer Poly Styrene of British punk band X-ray Spex to sing on one of the tracks.

While there is no tour planned as of yet, Pagnotta is confident that the band will hit the road soon after the release date. As you know, Bush, who originally hailed from Shepherds Bush (get it?) England, have been met with derision in their own country. But perhaps that all has changed, since the band took home the Best British Band trophy at July’s Kerrang! Awards, causing Gavin Rossdale to quip, “Does that mean that we’re English now?”