With a new album, the grunge-rockers are on the road and on the run again

When it came to Bush’s new album, Man on the Run, founder and frontman Gavin Rossdale was in a quandary about what to call it. “I always thought it’s a cop-out to use a song title as an album title,” says Rossdale. “But I wanted something universal, and that song stood out as something affecting most people—not having enough time to satisfy every area of our lives. We’re all running around feeling we can’t get everything done.”

Rossdale didn’t want to create a dark concept record with a political or social message. “The mood is meant to be sort of quiet but uplifting,” he says. “When you look around at the state of the world, it’s terrifying—the carnage, the destruction of lives. It’s hard not to acknowledge it, but I never wanted to make a political record. You can have a tune and identify it with stuff, and you can have a tune and get lost in it. But it’s a weird idea to me to have a tune and a political message.”

The British rockers’ multiplatinum debut Sixteen Stone was released 20 years ago, but Bush took a near-decade break from 2002 until the band’s 2011 album, The Sea of Memories. In those years, Rossdale released music without Bush—in fact, The Sea of Memories originated as a solo project. “The Sea of Memories didn’t begin as Bush, but it ended as Bush,” says Rossdale. “It was like a love story. It was always a Bush record. It just took me a while to realize it. But that experience allowed me to fully attack this record as Bush and dive back in.”

Rossdale loves the creative process, if not the result. “It’s a compulsion,” he says. “I still love that alchemy. That first time I play back a demo and it makes sense is so incredible. But as soon as it’s ready to share with everyone, it changes—it becomes just OK. I’m not going to make that terrible analogy about songs being your babies. I have babies and I have songs. They are not the same thing.”

Rossdale—who’s landed acting roles on the side in film and TV—recently joined his wife of a dozen years, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, on NBC’s The Voice as a guest coach. “It’s fun,” he says. “You get emotionally involved with these people. Gwen really loves it, and it’s something we enjoy doing together.”

But Bush remains his focus as the band’s world tour begins in early 2015. “I love touring and the buzz you get every night. The two things I care about most are playing every show like it’s your last, and changing people’s mood from when they arrive to when they leave.”

—Linda Laban

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