Named in part for the euphoric state of mind songwriter Rossdale had been experiencing, Golden State also takes its name from California, the place the members of Bush, who previously recorded in London, spent their days putting the final touches on the album. The band is more than pleased with the twelve-track recording and is looking forward to their month-long US tour. With the Denver kick-off concert on the way, drummer Robin Goodridge took time out to speak to UniverCity about Bush's newest album, the "Golden State" tour, the fans, and what he has learned and experienced as a member of one of the most popular British bands in the world.
UniverCity: How do you think your decision to complete recording in Los Angeles affected the way the songs turned out?
Robin Goodridge: It didnít really affect the way the songs turned out. Itís just a lot nicer there weather-wise. The songs were already there; we just decided to spend some time in L.A. We had been in London in one of the worst months of the year for weather, so it was nice to get away. It makes the day nicer, really I mean I like working in bad weather in the studio because it makes you want to work. The main thing is itís something that you donít really spend all day at. The producer does a lot and you come in and out, in and out and if youíre in a nice, sunny place you can go to the beach or something.
UC: Is there a song on the record that is especially meaningful to you?
RG: I guess "Solutions" is really my favorite song when we were writing the album because it felt like a progression from where we were to where we are. One song could add a dimension of momentum to the whole album when youíre in the creative process and thatís the one that did it.
UC: What do you hope the fans will get out of your latest release?
RG: I just hope that they just believe that weíll make records for a long time and weather out whatever musical storms are happening in the industry. Itís a peculiar time for music. Weíre just hoping that theyíll have faith in music and hope that weíll make more records, which we will.
UC: The songs that didínt make it onto Golden State, will they be included in your set on your upcoming tour?
RG: I donít know. I think weíve got enough songs. We have four albums; thatís like fifty-seven songs and adding songs that no oneís ever heard before do not mix. I think, maybe, we may do a cover on this tour, weíve been discussing one, but other than that, there are so many songs to play. Weíve been looking at set lists and itís just a disaster trying to leave songs out. We know what the fans want, but we canít play a greatest hits album every night. Youíve got to have some kind of dynamic and obviously we want to play our new record. Itís three quarters of the new album and seven or eight songs off of other albums and by then youíre fed up with it. An hour and a half is enough for most people.
UC: How will your upcoming tour differ from your previous tours?
RG: Weíre pretty good live again, not that we ever were bad, but we took a real quantum leap on the last record. The shows weíve done so far have had a special dynamic and visual aspects, which is quite exciting for us. Itís just chaotic. Thereís just a bit more chaos, confidence.
UC: Is there a city you are especially excited about performing in?
RG: Detroit, actually. I always loved playing in Detroit because theyíre mad. The crowds are crazy. Itís a real rock place to play. Boston has always been fun. We did an amazing show at that huge amphitheater. It held like 28,000 people, and that was one of my favorite shows while on tour. I love the passion of the East coast. There is a difference between East coast Americans and West coast Americans. I guess itís the cold weather that makes people want to go out and do something, participate.
UC: How do the American audiences you have performed for differ from the audiences in your native England?
RG: Theyíre all very similar in my opinion. There are idiosyncrasies in certain countries. The Portuguese are probably the most obscure because they sing like a soccer crowd. They sing songs right before you come on stage. Itís quite cool. It creates a massive atmosphere.
UC: Before you perform live, is there a routine you and your band mates go through?
RG: No, we just touch base with each other before we go on. We donít have our own little personal dressing rooms or anything like that. We stay pretty close, you know, hang out together, talk. We always make sure weíre close before we go out on stage because we have to be close when weíre on stage, a meeting of bodies and minds.
UC: As a veteran of the music business, are there any important lessons youíve learned?
RG: Yeah. Donít take it for granted. Just keep going. Donít get complacent about anything, song-writing, performing, taking time to talk to people, other musicians. You can get way too focused on yourself and be exclusive if you have other things, but you can find another person who can be a better influence than you are on what you do.
UC: Are there any accomplishments youíre still looking forward to making?
RG: Global domination, the usual stuff [laughs]. There are loads of places I'd love to go and play again. I love touring America in the summer. Iíd love to do that this summer, which is why weíre doing a smaller tour now, so hopefully we can come back and play some bigger places in the summer. Thatís what weíre hoping. Weíre doing a lot of festivals in Europe, but it would be really nice to do some exciting shows in America. I love doing the amphitheaters-big audience, outside, warm weather, party atmosphere, people smoking pot on the lawn-all the good things in life come together at that particular event.
UC: Was there a point during your career that you said to yourself, "Weíve made it"?
RG: Yeah, I guess there have been a number of points. I never really quite understood what "made it" means, because you could have made it and two weeks later you havenít made it anymore. There are wonderful glimpses or euphoric moments where youíre on stage somewhere and you say, "This is fun." We did one show in London and Mick Jones from The Clash was there. I have been a huge fan of The Clash for many years, and he came up to me after the show and he said he thought it was just a wonderful show and he loved watching me play. When I was thirteen and I saw The Clash, that was exactly what I thought and it was a very inspirational moment to me. So the circle had been completed, as far as I was concerned. I finally made it from the front row of The Clash in 1980 to being onstage and having a member of The Clash watching me.
UC: Do you want to continue making music?
RG: YES! A definite yes. An affirmative yes in capitals.
UC: What makes you want to keep going?
RG: The amount of fun it is, the pleasure it gives me, the people. Itís relatively pollutant-free. It doesnít hurt too many people. Itís created out of thin air. We donít use up too many of the worldís resources while doing it.
UC: Is there anything you always bring with youíre on tour?
RG: Oh, there are many things I always bring on tour with me. For instance, my computer with a DVD player in it, for obvious reasons. My walkman, lots of CDís, really nice stuff to put in the bath, because the stuff you get in hotels is rubbish. One tip for you: I discovered the ice bucket in hotel rooms is the perfect receptacle for cheese popcorn. When youíre lying in bed with a glass of wine, watching a movie about two in the morning after a show, that rustling bag of popcorn always used to get on my nerves. If you just put it in [the bucket] you donít get that rustling noise every time you put your hand in the bag, so you donít have to have the sound [on the movie] up so loud. Thatís one of my top tips for touring.
UC: Whatís the craziest thing a fan has ever done?
RG: There was a girl who shaved "Bush" into her bush and did an incredibly good job of it. It must have taken her hours. I thought that was dedication. That would go under the term dedication. If someone asked you to define dedication, I would put that there somewhere.