Rock band Bush refocuses its energy

Hard rock band coming to Stambaugh Auditorium

Thursday, September 27, 2018

By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

After a summer of playing amphitheaters, Bush is back on the road for a smaller scale tour that comes to Stambaugh Auditorium on Sunday.

The hard rock band, led by Gavin Rossdale, has actually been going at it almost nonstop since the release of 2017 album “Black and White Rainbows.”

Rossdale took a couple of weeks off earlier this month to relax and spend time with his kids, when he got on the phone for an interview.

Who: Bush

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Stambaugh Auditorium

Tickets: $40, $46, $55 and $60 at the box office, online at stambaughauditorium.com or by phone at 330-259-0555.

“I needed a few days to decompress,” he said, calling from his California home. “The speed of life is so fast, it’s amazing when you stop. The first two days, it’s like someone hit you with a mallet.”

It was a well-deserved break, but Rossdale was also looking to the future.

Bush, he said, is moving forward on its next album, which will take a more aggressive approach.

For Rossdale, it feels like the right time to make a different kind of record, one with an edgier attack and fueled by subject matter.

“The lyrics ... will be more combative and energized and less reflective and personal,” said the frontman and songwriter. “I’m focusing outward as to what is going on around [the world].”

One thing that won’t change is the melodies that lie beneath Rossdale’s often-angsty vocal delivery.

“I want to make an energetic record but never at the expense of changing my approach to melody,” he said. “I love tunes. It’s the one thing that links through all great music.”

The album should be ready some time next year.

Bush – whose lineup now includes drummer Robin Goodridge, guitarist Chris Traynor and bassist Corey Britz – started its career at the top with its landmark 1994 debut “Sixteen Stone.”

The album spawned the grunge-y hits “Glycerine,” “Machinehead,” “Everything Zen,” “Comedown” and “Little Things,” and catapulted the act to the top of the rock world.

After breaking up in 2002, Rossdale restarted the band in 2010 and has since released “Sea of Memories” (2011), “Man on the Run” (2014) and “Black and White Rainbows.”

The band’s bid to reclaim its territory got a big boost from the summer’s Revolution 3 tour, which teamed it with Stone Temple Pilots and the Cult.

The three bands took turns as headliner, with Bush claiming the top spot at the Pittsburgh concert at KeyBank Pavilion in July.

The tour’s synergy drew big crowds and festival-like excitement, and maybe a glimpse of what the future might hold for the comeback act.

“It was great to be in that environment again,” said Rossdale, “I loved being in it before, and it’s exciting to be on an upswing. We’ve got great management now, we’re being creative ... you have to appreciate these moments.”

Like Bush, Stone Temple Pilots hit it big in the ’90s, while the Cult’s early peak was a few years earlier. And not surprisingly, the three bands had an instant camaraderie on the tour.

“It began with the people backstage,” said Rossdale. “There was no nonsense, no pretense. Everyone was on the same page. We were really enjoying the summer, hanging out. There was no division.”