BUSH's GAVIN ROSSDALE: It's 'Hard To Fathom That In 2022' Abortion Rights Are Still An Issue
September 13, 2022
BUSH frontman Gavin Rossdale spoke to Z93's "The Morning After" about the lyrical inspiration for the band's new single, "More Than Machines". The song, which alludes to the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, along with two other "really big topics", will appear on BUSH's upcoming studio album, "The Art Of Survival", which is scheduled to arrive on October 7.
He said: "I was so pleased and proud to be able to… This whole Roe v. Wade was brewing… Obviously in the last few months people were saying it was under attack. It was just hard to fathom that in 2022 that was an issue. I still find it very hard to relate to it. [It's] very invasive.
"I wanted to put it in a song, but it's also really tricky," he admitted. "I'm not here to tell people what to think. I'm not a preacher. I don't claim to know more than you. I'm just living my life, trying to get by, having a good time and being good to my kids. It's my life — it's my music and my kids. But I want my kids to know that we should respect women and we should respect their rights. It sounds ridiculous even saying it, doesn't it? So I'm very proud of having it in there. It's just sort of an elevating topic in a modern song. And then people take it where they wanna go. And now it's been politicized. It really is the divide of the whole country. It's being seen as, if anything, ironically… And not to be political, 'cause I have no interest in that, but it's almost… I hope that it's the biggest destabilizer. What was meant to be the most forthright draconian control of women has turned into a very destabilizing issue.
"I'm in San Francisco right now. This is the most liberal city in the world, I think. And so bringing that up on stage, [I was] just realizing that I was completely preaching to the choir. There was no one in that audience who was, like, 'Absolutely. Cover them up. It's their fault,' and whatever — all the horrific approaches to women that we see in the past that have been greatly eradicated."
Rossdale previously talked about "More Than Machines" last month in an interview with Pablo of the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X. He said: "It's very difficult to find that balance between what you read about and how to put it into words in a song, what's important. And I've always found personalizing things makes it the easiest way; you're not sort of standing up pointing the finger at someone, not standing up taking sides."
Referring directly to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion, Rossdale said: "To me, it's an obvious thing. It seems [like] a medieval step in the wrong direction and it doesn't make sense — to me. And so I just put it in a song. And it just sparks conversation. And my job as a lyricist is to just kind of capture the time, to capture the zeitgeist or the feeling or the emotion. That's what [my] songs are, from the beginning to now. They're sort of commentaries on what's going on around me that other people relate to.
"Once I've written a song, I don't even like saying what the song is necessarily about," Gavin explained. "'Girls are in control, not the government' seems pretty straight-forward. But just 'girls are in control' is a powerful statement. I love that. And it would be a better world if women were in power.
"I think there's a lack of erosion of the evil that we're seeing. There's not many Russian women involved in the invasion of Ukraine, as far as I can tell. A lot of guys think it's a good idea. A lot of dudes. I haven't seen any women saying, 'This is great.'
"My point is that I'm not better than anybody; I don't know more than anybody," Rossdale added. "These things I read about every day and it sort of filters into my job. That's where I do my work, and I think it provides substance for people to sing about their broken hearts or broken lives and other things that are going on outside.
"We are destroying the planet, destroying it, and nobody seems to care. So all the time you've gotta keep doing these songs to just keep the conversation going."
BUSH wrote and recorded what would become "The Art Of Survival" during 2022, reteaming with Erik Ron (PANIC! AT THE DISCO, GODSMACK) who produced "Flowers On A Grave" and the title track for 2020's "The Kingdom", and collaborating once again on two tracks with film composer, musician, and producer Tyler Bates ("300", "Guardian Of The Galaxy"). The central theme speaks to both the human spirit's resiliency in the face of trials and tribulations as well as the band's own enduring place as rock outliers.
Rossdale previously stated about the upcoming LP: "Instead of being mournful or self-piteous, this is about the success stories of humanity's survival against the odds. People just find a way to push through. We've all obviously suffered in varying degrees. I think the nature of life is the art of survival. Everyone is being tested all of the time, but we find a way. In recent memory, we've made major strides and shown great resilience in the face of war, endless instances of racism, gender politics, a pandemic, and a melting pot of what we've experienced. For me, 'The Art Of Survival' encompasses all of this."
Rossdale told Germany's Radio Bob! about the musical direction of "The Art Of Survival": "I think I had so much fun to make it heavy that I just stayed heavy and stayed with heavy tuning and strong riffs — stuff [that will go over well at] festivals. I just like it to be exciting and really driving. So it's similar to the last one. If you liked the last one, that level of heavy, then it's like that."
Five months ago, Rossdale told Australia's May The Rock Be With You that he had written 18 songs for BUSH's next album. He also said that he tried to keep the musical direction of the new BUSH music similar to that of "The Kingdom". "It's all like that," he said. "I like that. So I've kept it in that vein. That was the launchpad. That was it. I was, like, 'I'm off.' I've got maybe two ballady, two softer songs, slower songs, but they're weird."
He continued: "I've got a studio in my house now and it's been such an amazing time. You have the tools at your fingertips now to make songs and make music. It's just staggering. It's so much fun."
Hitting the road on one of the hottest rock tours of the summer, BUSH joined ALICE IN CHAINS and BREAKING BENJAMIN for a massive North American jaunt, rolling through amphitheaters and sheds coast to coast for eight weeks. The tour kicked off on August 10 in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania at The Pavilion at Star Lake, visiting major markets everywhere, and will conclude on October 8 in Mansfield, Massachusetts at Xfinity Center.
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