It's been said that the era of the "rock star" is dead, the time of pretty-boy, pin-up, Bon Jovi-styled rocker is as revelvant to these troubled times as an 8-track tape. Maybe so. But the fact is that despite his best efforts to the contrary, in 1996 Bush's Gavin Rossdale has become the very embodiment of the classic Rock God. This British basher's high cheekbones, come-hither eyes and lithe form have set the hearts of groupies aflame around the world--at the same time that his powerful voice, evocative lyrics and wall-shaking guitar work has begun to convince mainstream rock society that his band may just be the "real thing." Ever since his teen years, when he split his time between being an extra on a variety of English TV shows and polishing his rock and roll attitudes, Rossdale has lived his life in the spotlight. But now with Bush's debut album, Sixteen Stone, having passed triple platinum sales level, and work on the group's second disc is underway, Rossdale realizes that his existence will never be quite the same.
"I'm very glad I never really wanted to be an actor," Rossdale said. "Those people tend to be so unpredictable in so many facets of their lives. It's just a product of the environment in which they work. Every few months you're cast in with a new lot of people and told to work with them as closely as you can. You develop strong attachments--especially to the women actors on the set. Then, as quickly as you were brought together, you're torn apart when the movie, TV project or whatever comes to an end. It's like being placed in a band every few months. It begins to play with your head."
While he has quite obviously avoided the "musical chairs" band phenomenon through Bush's recent success, in his private life rumors continue to circulate that Rossdale is quite the young stud-about-town. Though he insists that his undying loyalty remains with his long-time girlfriend, Jasmine, recent reports have linked him with everyone from a variety of young Hollywood starlets to Hole's notorious Courtney Love. Rossdale freely admits that he knows and likes the former Mrs. Cobain, but he holds to the story that there is nothing more than a nice friendship bonding the pair together.
"It's amazing what the media can do with a little bit of information," he said with a look of exasperation. "Bush and Hole played a number of concerts together last summer, and it's rather traditional for the members of bands to hang out a little bit together after the show. Who else is around at that hour except for other musicians? My dealings with Courtney were quite dull, really. We just would meet after a show at the hotel bar--along with other members of both bands--and just hang out. After a while, everyone went their own way; Courtney would go back to her room and I would go to mine. Sorry, but there really isn't more to it than that."
Now that Sixteen Stone has run it's course, Rossdale and fellow Bushmen Robin Goodridge, Dave Parsons, and Nigel Pulsford, have returned to the recording studio to begin work on their all-important second album--a disc they hope to have out by the fall. Rossdale can barely contain his enthusiasm for the new project for a variety of reasons; he feels the band's music has taken a quantum leap forward since their debut disc, the band will be working with noted producer Steve Albini, and they will be working in the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London--a place made famous by one of Rossdale's primary influences, the Beatles.
"It's so exciting to work there," he said. "We spent the first few days at Abbey Road just totally distracted by all the wonderous things that are
hanging on the wall. But having someone like Steve Albini there has been a big help because he's not as easily distracted by things like that. He's kept
us focused. But to be honest, we really don't need that much motivation to get into this album. We've been bursting at the seams to do it for the last six
months. We may have gotten our foots in the door last time, but we still know there's much work to do."