Rock band Bush makes a comeback in studio, on tour

2012-04-05T06:00:00Z 2012-04-05T14:11:17Z Rock band Bush makes a comeback in studio, on tourDavid Burke The Quad-City Times
April 05, 2012 6:00 am  • 

When the band Bush gets onstage at the i wireless Center next week, during its first night as an opener for Nickelback’s tour, it will already have had plenty of practice.

“We’ve been touring for the better part of seven months,” guitarist Chris Traynor in an interview from his home in Topanga, Calif.

“As Gavin (Rossdale, the band’s lead singer) would say, ‘We really don’t need to play “Comedown” again,’ ” he added.

Bush was already getting into its stage show as a headliner from mid-August to mid-November.

“We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s nice to kind of get a mental break from it, and it seems a little bit more musical when you get back into it,” he said.

“When we do a lot of shows with different bands, it shows that we’re kind of just a rock band,” Traynor added. “A lot of people like that about us.”

Traynor, 38, has been with an eclectic slate of acts onstage and in the studio, including Helmet, Katy Perry, Blur and Blue Man Group.

A Long Island, N.Y., native, he met Rossdale when they were set up by a producer in 2003. Traynor was a member of Bush for a year and then worked with Rossdale on the latter’s solo project, “WANDERlust.”

“It took me a few years to be at ease with him,” Traynor said. “It wasn’t until the ‘WANDERlust’ record where I felt I could be myself in the studio. With this record, I could play the songs the way I wanted to play them. It adds kind of a richness to the music.”

“This record” is last fall’s “The Sea of Memories,” Bush’s first studio album in a decade. The first single from it, “The Sound of Winter,” was No. 1 on Billboard’s alternative and rock songs charts.

Traynor said the band felt it was taking a big gamble with the album’s release.

“We didn’t know what to expect and we didn’t take it for granted,” he said. “I had low expectations. I was just looking forward to going out and playing with these guys again.

“But the fact that ‘The Sound of Winter’ has done so remarkably well is just an added bonus. It’s created its own wave that we ride on,” he added.

Fans and radio honchos say the new music seems exactly like the former Bush sound, but Traynor disagrees.

“I think this record is sonically different from any record they’ve done,” he said. “The opening song, ‘Mirror of the Signs,’ is more aggressive and angular than previous records.”

But, he added, that shows the Bush evolution.

“With each record, they’ve kind of had a different sound,” he said. “Gavin’s a pretty brave songwriter and leader in that he’ll have visions of going off in one direction that really can be different from your idea.”

Traynor said Bush is part of the soundtrack of the upcoming “Avengers” movie, with an original song titled "Into the Blue."

Although Rossdale has become a celebrity in his own right with and away from the group, Traynor said he’s amazed by the band leader’s humility and work ethic.

“The thing that people forget about him is that he does not have to do this.

“If he didn’t want to be making music for the fans, he doesn’t have to,” Traynor added. “I don’t think he has anything to prove, but, and this is in my view of being really close to him, he’s driven to make music and perform for his fans. That’s inspiring.”

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