Bush’s Gavin Rossdale on how he and Dave Grohl buried the hatchet on their ’90s feud
Tensions arose between the pair when Rossdale noticed that Grohl had taken to wearing a T-shirt featuring the word ‘BU$H’, featuring a dollar sign, suggesting that Rossdale’s quartet were a ‘cash-grab’ band profiting off the popularity of the original early ’90s grunge bands, including Nirvana, Grohl’s former band. At one gig at which foo Fighters were also playing, Bush and their crew decided to wear similar shirts, and Rossdale decided to confront Grohl about snarky comments he’d made about the English band.
“I went up to Dave and said, I don’t understand what the problem is. Isn’t any shades of your band [Nirvana] in us how it goes?” Rossdale tells NME in a new interview. I don’t sing like a hair-metal band like Poison, Motley Crue or Guns N’ Roses. I always thought grunge was just more aggressive post-punk music. There was never a cynical plan: as much as I loved the 4AD shoegaze bands, I never fell in love with their performances in the same way I did Perry Farrell. I always wanted the chaos of big guitars and people flying into cymbals, so it suited me to make music like that. I got into so much trouble for having what was seen as more of an American sound when – in the days of the louche cool of Suede in the UK – that was the most anti-commercial sound you could make.”
Rossdale goes on to reveal that he and Grohl have long since settled their differences.
“His daughters and my sons ended up going to the same school – like Fiddler on the Roof or something! – so I saw him at school assemblies for around five years,” he says. “Dave’s one of those people who gets along with everyone, and we had a bit of a skid back in the day. The feud was obviously that Bush were doing well, Nirvana were dealing with Kurt’s death, and it was seen that there was a second-wave of that style of music – and the first wave were mad at us, so it was inevitable, but it didn’t sustain for long. And I’ve recorded in his studio since and he’s been perfectly gracious to me.”
“It happens,” Rossdale concludes. “You’re kids and say things. Me and Trent [Reznor] never used to get along and the other night we went to an immersive theatre dinner. You think: it was so stupid we had these bitchy exchanges back in the day.”
Bush recently released Loaded: The Greatest Hits 1994-2023, which Classic Rock describes as “a great primer for a band who eventually proved their worth.”
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