Sunday, 8 December 1996

British band Bush storming U.S. charts

December 8, 1996
Web posted at: 9:45 a.m. EST

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- What band has the best-selling new British import in the United States in over a decade?

If you guessed Oasis, you're wrong. It's a band still struggling for critical acclaim and mainstream recognition: Bush.

The critics hate them. Hardly anybody in England even recognizes them. Yet their American fans have made them the darlings of MTV and radio. And for the second straight week they've got the No. 1 album in America.

Part of that success comes from "Swallowed," the first single from Bush's second album, "Razorblade Suitcase," a term lead- singer Gavin Rossdale uses for what writers carry when they come to profile the band.

"'Razorblade Suitcase' alludes to the fact that people always come to me, to the band, with a massive agenda already written," Rossdale says.

Take the recent Spin magazine cover story. The headline captures the critical establishments' take on Bush: "The lead singer's got the look ... the band, well, they're just Nirvana-wannabees.". QuickTime movie of Bush in concert)
"It's a compliment. I mean, if I'd been compared to, I dunno, Mariah Carey: 'Mariah Carey-wannabees,' I'd just be destroyed," Rossdale says.

The people's choice

But forget the critics. Bush was the people's choice at the recent MTV Video Awards.

"You know, we've never had much media hype or anything like that, so this is much more real in that sort of way," says bass player Dave Parsons. "So yeah, winning the viewer's choice is like amazing."

"It's the best one," adds Rossdale. "It's the one voted for by the people."

Their first album, "Sixteen Stone," sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S., where rock radio and MTV gave Bush a big push. They've outsold rival British rockers Oasis in America, but are far less well-known in England.

All that aside, Rossdale still gets the full gossip-column treatment these days. He's been linked to Courtney Love of Hole and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, to name a few.

But like No Doubt's hit song, "Don't Speak," Rossdale takes a very silent posture about his love life.

"My status is that being in this band and traveling around the world has destroyed that side of my life," he says. "I understand people want to know things, but the speculative stuff and the rumors, it's just really hard."

But all things considered, things are pretty easy now for these four lads from the London suburb of Shepherd's Bush.
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