Bush Days — Have you ever much considered the music that Gavin Rossdale has produced since Bush decided to disband back in 2002? Can you hear the difference between Bush and Institute? Where do the singles and collaborations fit into the timeline, into the lineage of the music? What can we expect from the other tracks on Bush’s new album, Everything Always Now?
There’s never a more difficult time to be a hardcore fan of a band than when they’re building up to an album release. Granted, when said album keeps getting pushed back from release, it’s a little more difficult to bear the time, but you make do where you can — gossip, rumours, speculation… it’s like a coming awards show. Who’s going to be wearing what? What songs are going to be performed? What will be said about the music, and the processes behind making it?
So while we’re passing the time — hoping to get a sudden album drop here today — let’s consider the music that has been produced since that fateful tour in the Golden State era where Bush decided to be no more.
If we begin at the beginning, there was “Adrenaline” from the original soundtrack for XXX starring Vin Diesel. Rewinding back to 2002, this was something of an alarming project, as this for all intents and purposes was a) the first time Gavin has released material under his own name, b) the first time he recorded original material written by someone else (after a career policy of writing all of Bush’s catalogue), and c) he didn’t even pick up a guitar in the music video.
Sadly, the full potential and promise of Institute — particularly evident in the playfulness and range evident in their three non-album tracks — would go unrealized, and they broke up in 2006. Far from finished, however, Rossdale began to write music that was released in 2008 on his first official solo album, Wanderlust.
But the question really is this: where does Bush end, and Gavin Rossdale begin? Rossdale has said on more than one occasion that had former Bush bandmates agreed, the songs that made up Wanderlust would have been a Bush record instead. But can you imagine it?
Imagine “Love Remains The Same” as sparsely arranged as “Straight No Chaser”, atonal strings included. Picture “Future World” with the same character in “Alien”, or “This Is Happiness” with the same attack and energy found on “English Fire”.
There’s no question that with the input and influence of original Bush bassist Dave Parsons and (especially) guitarist Nigel Pulsford, Wanderlust would have been alarmingly differently arranged. Pulsford’s asynchronous tendencies and atmospheric harmonics would have added some interesting texture to the tracks on the pop record, and Parsons shifting bass lines would also have made quite an impact in the finished result.
Likewise, consider everything we already know about Everything Always Now — will it capture the majesty and swagger that Bush created and molded over the span of four studio albums? Or does it glean and shine in the way that Distort Yourself shed the bravado and honed down to a precise, dynamic team? Perhaps instead it will glisten with the care and candour of Wanderlust?
Rossdale has always achieved his best by surrounding himself with the most creative and talented individuals he knows. It’s unlikely that Everything Always Now will be any exception to that rule, but for now, discussion is sadly all we have. Unless… it could be released today. It could happen.