Bush are a British rock band formed in London in 1992 shortly after vocalist/guitarist Gavin Rossdale and guitarist Nigel Pulsford met. It was not long before they recruited bassist Dave Parsons, and later drummer Robin Goodridge, and started writing. Dave Parsons joined Bush shortly after leaving the band Transvision Vamp. Drummers such as Sacha Gervasi, Amir, and Spencer Cobrin had all filled in as Bush drummers before Robin Goodridge was made the permanent fit and thus completing the Bush line-up.
The grunge band found its immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which is certified 6× multi-platinum by the RIAA. Bush went on to become one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the 1990s, selling over 10 million records in the United States. Despite their success in the United States, the band was less well known in their home country and enjoyed only marginal success there. Bush has had numerous top ten singles on the Billboard rock charts, and one No. 1 album for Razorblade Suitcase in 1996. The band separated in 2002 but the name was revived in 2010 and they began work on a new album, The Sea of Memories, which was released in September 2011.
The group chose the name "Bush" because they used to live in Shepherd's Bush, London.
In Canada, they were once known as Bush, because the 1970s band Bush, led by Domenic Troiano, owned the Canadian rights to the name. In April 1997, it was announced that Troiano had agreed to let them use the name Bush in Canada without the superscript x, in exchange for donating $20,000 each to the Starlight Children's Foundation and the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.
Formation and Sixteen Stone (1992–1995)
After leaving his band Midnight, Gavin Rossdale met former King Blank guitarist Nigel Pulsford in 1992. The two bonded over an appreciation of the American alternative rock group the Pixies. The two formed a new band which they called Future Primitive. Describing the early sound of the group, one British record label executive said years later, "They weren't what they are today – they were a little like the more commercial side of INXS". The pair then recruited bassist Dave Parsons (formerly of The Partisans and Transvision Vamp) and drummed with several different drummers (one being British journalist, screenwriter and film director Sacha Gervasi) before Gavin asked drummer Robin Goodridge to complete the line-up.
In 1993, the band was signed by Rob Kahane, who had a distribution deal with Disney's Hollywood Records. The band completed recording its debut album Sixteen Stone in early 1994. However, the death of Disney executive Frank G. Wells eliminated a supporter for Kahane, and executives at Hollywood deemed Bush's album unacceptable for release. As a result, the members of Bush took jobs performing menial labour. Interscope Records ultimately decided to release the album, and at the end of 1994, Kahane sent an advance copy of the album to a friend at influential Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM, which added the song "Everything Zen" to its rotation. On the Billboard Music Charts (North America), Sixteen Stone peaked at No. 4 on the Heatseekers and Billboard 200 charts. The album spawned two Top 40 singles. After about 6 months of promotion for Sixteen Stone, the album began to sell wildly, once "Comedown" and "Glycerine" struck America. Additionally, "Little Things" and "Machinehead" both charted well in North America.
Razorblade Suitcase (1996–1998)
In late 1996 Bush released the first single "Swallowed" from their second album titled Razorblade Suitcase. The song spent seven weeks on top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album hit number 1 in America and placed high in many European countries. Although a success, at two hit singles compared to four the album did not sell as well as Sixteen Stone. Razorblade Suitcase featured Steve Albini as the audio engineer, a move which was criticised by critics. Albini had worked with Nirvana on their final studio album, In Utero, only 3 years before. Following the success of "Swallowed," the album had one more hit, "Greedy Fly", but then failed to produce any more sizeable hits.
Possibly to boost the sales of Razorblade Suitcase or move into new ground, Bush released the remix album Deconstructed. The album saw Bush re-arranging their songs into dance and techno stylings. The album was a moderate success going platinum less than a year after release.
The Science of Things (1999–2000)
Following the completion of touring, Rossdale went into seclusion in Ireland, where he worked on material for the group's next album. Rossdale periodically sent demo tapes of his works in progress to his bandmates. The group finally convened to record in London in August 1998, where the band reteamed with Sixteen Stone producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.
The release of The Science of Things was held up by a court battle between the band and Trauma Records. The case was settled in early 1999 and the album was finally released that October. The Science of Things was a major departure in several forms from Bush's first two albums. Like the multi-platinum successes of Bush's first two albums, this album also reached platinum status. Also, while the band's previous albums were strongly influenced by grunge, The Science of Things featured some electronic music influences that distinguished the work from Bush's earlier sound. For example, although lead single "The Chemicals Between Us" had a prominent guitar riff, it also had many electronic elements usually found in dance music. Although the album had a few hit songs, it failed to chart within the top 10. The band's performance at Woodstock '99, however, helped The Science of Things achieve platinum status despite its slow start.
Three singles were released from The Science of Things, most notably "The Chemicals Between Us", which spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks and peaked at No. 67 on the US Hot 100. "Letting the Cables Sleep," the third single, reached No. 4 on the Modern Rock Tracks and also received considerable airplay.
Golden State and break-up (2001–2002)
In October 2001, now on the Atlantic Records record label, Bush released its next album, Golden State. While the album attempted to return to the simple, catchy sound of the band's debut, it failed to achieve the same commercial success as the band's previous releases. Several singles were released, most notably the hit "The People That We Love (Speed Kills)", but none were mainstream successes. The album was the band's least successful, selling only 380,000 copies in the US. "The People That We Love (Speed Kills)" was used in the game Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
In January 2002, Pulsford left the band after the release of Golden State to spend more time with his family and Chris Traynor took over on lead guitar for the subsequent tour, which would turn out to be Bush's last for 8 years.
Due to declining record sales and a lack of support from Atlantic Records, Bush disbanded in 2002. In 2005, the band released a greatest hits album called The Best of: 1994-1999, and, a few months later, a live album called Zen X Four.
Gavin Rossdale formed a new band, Institute, in 2004, serving as their lead vocalist and guitarist, just as in Bush. Chris Traynor also joined the band, as lead guitarist. (In addition to playing in Institute, Traynor also joined the reunited metal band Helmet in 2004 on bass; he quit the band in 2006.) Institute released one album, Distort Yourself, but failed to achieve much commercial success in spite of opening for U2's Vertigo Tour at some shows. Institute broke up in 2006 and Rossdale then embarked on a solo career. In 2007, he covered the John Lennon song "Mind Games" for the Lennon tribute album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. His first solo album, Wanderlust, supported by leading single "Love Remains the Same", was released in June 2008. Wanderlust was originally intended to be the next Bush album but after originally agreeing to take part in the Bush reunion, guitarist Nigel Pulsford opted out as he does not care to tour any more.
Rossdale has also ventured into the world of acting, appearing in the films Zoolander, Little Black Book, The Game of Their Lives, Constantine, How to Rob a Bank and others.
Robin Goodridge recorded with the British rock band Elyss in 2004, although they have not released any new material since. In 2006, Goodridge began drumming for indie rock band Spear of Destiny, and appeared on their 2007 album, Imperial Prototype. During the summer of 2008, he toured the UK with British rock band Stone Gods after their current drummer Ed Graham reportedly fell ill. On 29 July it was announced that Graham had left the band and on 6 October 2008, the band's website announced that Goodridge had joined the band full-time.
Nigel Pulsford has spent most of his time since leaving Bush raising his children with his wife.
In an interview with Blender, Gavin Rossdale admitted that the likelihood of a Bush reunion was "very high". He then added "quite high," In a November 2008 interview, Rossdale revealed that he had tried to contact the other members of Bush, "I reached out to them."
Reunion and The Sea of Memories (2010–2013)
On 22 June 2010, it was announced that Bush would play their first show in eight years at the second-annual Epicenter Music Festival in Fontana, California on 25 September 2010. A new album, then-titled Everything Always Now, was also announced as well as a new single "Afterlife".
Founding members Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons both decided not to rejoin the band, with Rossdale stating:
Pulsford and Parsons were replaced by Chris Traynor and Corey Britz respectively. Traynor had also stood in for Pulsford during the Golden State tour. The new line up played seven shows in 2010, performing songs from Bush's previous four albums as well as their new song "Afterlife".
Gavin announced on radio that the album had been renamed The Sea of Memories and was released in September and managed to peak at No. 18 on the Billboard Top 200. The first single of the album, "The Sound of Winter" was released in July 2011 and reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
On 19 November 2011, Bush performed a live set for "Guitar Center Sessions" on DirecTV. The episode included an interview with program host, Nic Harcourt.
Their song Into The Blue is featured on The Avengers soundtrack album released on 1 May 2012.
They toured with Nickelback on their Here and Now tour.
New album (2014–present)
On 26 March 2014, it was reported that Bush have begun recording their sixth studio album with producer Nick Raskulinecz.
- Current members
- Gavin Rossdale – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1992–2002, 2010–present)
- Robin Goodridge – drums, percussion (1992–2002, 2010–present)
- Chris Traynor – lead guitar, backing vocals, cello (2002, 2010–present)
- Corey Britz – bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboards (2010–present)
- Former members
- Nigel Pulsford – lead guitar, backing vocals (1992–2002)
- Dave Parsons – bass guitar (1992–2002)
- Sacha Gervasi – drums, percussion (1992)
- Amir – drums, percussion (1992)
- Spencer Cobrin – drums, percussion (1992)
- Sacha Puttnam – keyboards (1999–2002)
- Sibyl Buck – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012–present)
- Studio albums
- Sixteen Stone (1994)
- Razorblade Suitcase (1996)
- The Science of Things (1999)
- Golden State (2001)
- The Sea of Memories (2011)
- TBA (2014)
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
MTV Video Music Awards
MTV Movie Awards
- Official website
- Allmusic entry
- MTV biography
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Image from Discogs