The Zenith is a strange venue. Larger than Brixton Academy, it's situated in a park in north west Paris, surrounded by trees, libraries and garden areas. Close by runs one of the city's business roads but it's a peacefuly bubble (quite literally - it looks like a giant, grey bouncy castle) in a pleasent area. That is until two of the most highest profile rock bands of the past few years decide to play. Then the whole area is over run by screaming teenagers, eager to see the pin-ups of a thousand dreams, Gavin Rossdale and Courtney Love. Yup Hole are in town and decided to invite their friends Bush over to support them. Everywhere we look is bedlem so we decide to seek tranquility backstage and see if we can track down our Gav. Finding his tour manager we are assured that Gavin's getting ready and will be down to meet us soon. We're led to another dressing room to wait. They're bizarre little rooms; portakabins stuck on top of each other with iron staircases connecting them. There's a catering area and a big social place with seating in the middle, that everyone's studiously avoiding. After 20 minutes a guy wearing a walkie talkie pushes open the door. "Sorry, Gavin was ready but Courtney arrived and Gavin had to have a chat with her. It's been a long time since they saw one another, which means it could take a while." Oh yes, before we know it the band are on stage and we haven't even said hello. Then Hole play and we finally catch up with him. He apoligises profusely, explaining, "We're really good friends with Courtney. That's why we came - the chance to play just one show in France. It's so close to London. Great food, good win. I won't have any sex but apart from that, it's perfect", he smiles. Happy days.
Four years after the enormous sucess that the group achived on the other side of the Atlantic, Bush are still on top of the world. But they still smart from the UK press woundings. They want The Science Of Things to be the album that cements their succes in Britain, with both the fans and the press. However Gavin continues to get irritated by the idea that there wannabes, fakes trading in second hand emotions and other people's melody. "The media made too much of that," says Gavin wearily. He's also got no time for assumption that they don't sell records in this country. "We've sold 14 million in America and 200,00 in England. Which is crazy when you think about it. Our English tour attracted 80,000 people, which is far from being a failure, don't you think? Journalists focused on our American success, while in Europe we are doing rather well." Considering that many bands would faint just at the figures, Gavin's aware that it's not just sales that wins over the British press, but, of course, being fashionable. The rock press has always accepted Bush, if a tad begrudgingly, but the indie press hates them with vengeance. "Yeah, well England is in love with groups like Pulp and we aren't Pulp," he states.
Supremely relaxed after a stunning show, Gavin is sitting down calmly, glass of red wine in hand, confident in himself and the new album. "I wanted this album it to dynamic, exciting, and passionate. I wanted some extremes. Blue/green, Hot/cold, you know the kinda thing. It's got a sexy texture, full of beats and taste, and it demostrates what we've been through as a band. Basically, it's the album which is going to make us huge. I want Bush to still be here in 25 years, like the Rolling stones or Aerosmith." In contrast to the recent vogue of super-long albums, The Science Of Things is a self-contained blast that doesn't outstay it's welcome. "Yeah, I think that it's a little more accessable in that it's smoother, shorter. I wanted to make a classic record but 17 or 18 songs is just too much. So I cut it to the bone." Having been out of the limelight for the past year, the first rumblings about the new album came in ominous form. The battle between Bush and there record label had been simmering for some time but it's all settled now, with rumours of a substanial amount of money coming the bands way. Understandably details are not for public consumption but Gavin admits that, "People always want to take advantage of you. Your relationship between a record label and it's groups is the same between parents and children. Now we've grown up and everything is fine between us. To be honest, we're very lucky we've exceeded our dreams. I mean, I'm a fan of Fugazi, and they havn't sold as many albums as us."
With that, a blonde head peeps in through the door: "Am I disturbing you? I can come back later." Courtney Love comes in,
hair grips in place, bare-foot, no make up and in a dressing gown. She takes Gavin's hand and kisses it affectionately before saying to
me: "You know that this guy is a darling? I adore him. Write that in your paper!" Then she turns to the object of her affections. "Gavin? Do
you want to come to the Louvre tomorrow?" The Bushman lifts his eyes, amused. "I know her so well, and for so long. And the more I
know her, the more I love her," Ah, sweet. But does Gwen Stefani know...?