Bush‘s debut album Sixteen Stone turns 25 this December, and the album couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a series of career events and genre changes.
Gavin Rossdale reflected on the album’s influences as well as the moments that led to its eventual creation on Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown. Rossdale talked about how 80’s hair metal or mainstream rock bands like Aerosmith “meant that I couldn’t be in a rock band, because Steven Tyler has such a crazy voice and was a whole different thing. I felt excluded from that.”
He then touched on the importance of grunge and said, “It was just a weird thing with that seismic shift in music. It just felt like a different scene was coming up. We were inspired by that, and we were lonely mavericks doing it in London with no commercial potential whatsoever because that was the height of Brit Pop. It was just a sound that I liked and a sound I was into.”
Rossdale continued, “And it was ironic because [Bush] was the third band I was in in my life, and it was the least commercially intentional band. The other two bands were like, ‘Okay, how do you make a song a hit? How can you get someone’s attention? How can you get a record deal?’ That was the philosophy behind those bands, and I just learning and finding my way through music and not very good at either guitar or singing or songwriting or anything. But I did get signed early on in my first band to Epic [Records], so there was some potential there, and then that failed. And then the next band failed, and everyone left, and it was an amazing liberation for me…So I thought, ‘Okay, so you’re not going to be in a sort of boy band, you’re not going to be successful or rich or happy, but you’re going to do something that feels out on a limb.'”
Rossdale then saw game-changing bands like Jane’s Addiction, Soul Asylum and My Bloody Valentine, and the rest of history.
“…I liked the performance of the American bands a lot,” said Rossdale. “So that all just inspired me, and I put it in a melting pot and out came ‘Sixteen Stone.'”
Bush wraps their North American tour with Live and Our Lady Peace on October 26 in The Woodlands, Texas before taking a break from the road and returning to touring in Australia in April 2020. A full list of tour dates can be found at BushOfficial.com.