We’ve Got A File On You: Gavin Rossdale
We’ve Got A File On You features interviews in which artists share the stories behind the extracurricular activities that dot their careers: acting gigs, guest appearances, random internet ephemera, etc.
Bush’s 2022 album The Art Of Survival is really heavy. The first sound you hear is a bass line so downtuned and crawling that you might think you’re listening to Godflesh or Gojira. Songs like album opener “Heavy Is The Ocean,” “More Than Machines” and “May Your Love Be Pure” combine almost doom-metal riffs with humming, buzzing electronics and tick-and-boom rhythms. But when Gavin Rossdale’s voice comes floating in over it all, you know exactly who it is. He’s got a dramatic, impassioned delivery that helps him sell even the most ambiguous lyrics, and turns his best lines on the new record (“The Earth dies/ It’s a money thing”) into slogans you can imagine yourself howling back at him in an arena.
When Bush’s debut, Sixteen Stone, was released in 1994, they were initially derided as grunge also-rans, English try-hards piggybacking on an American sound. The album sold over 6 million copies in the US, though, and the follow-up, 1996’s Razorblade Suitcase, recorded with Steve Albini, was the #1 album in America for two weeks. The band’s third album, 1999’s The Science Of Things, also went platinum, and found them changing their sound slightly, incorporating more electronic influences. During the sessions, the band took a break to perform at Woodstock ’99, where they had the challenge of following Korn. After releasing their fourth album, Golden State, in 2001, the band broke up. Rossdale formed a new band, Institute, which released Distort Yourself in 2005, and made a solo album, Wanderlust, in 2008. He also turned his attention to acting — he’s appeared in movies like Zoolander, Constantine, and The Bling Ring and on an episode of the TV show Criminal Minds. Oh, and he was married to Gwen Stefani from 2002 to 2016; they have three sons together.
In 2010, Rossdale reunited Bush, but only one original member, drummer Robin Goodridge, came back. With new members Chris Traynor (guitar) and Corey Britz (bass), they made three albums: 2011’s The Sea Of Memories, 2014’s Man On The Run, and 2017’s Black And White Rainbows. In 2019, Goodridge left, and the band released The Kingdom in 2020. The song “Bullet Holes” was included in the third John Wick movie.
In conversation, Rossdale is friendly, self-effacing, and sharp. He’s also, it must be said, ridiculously good-looking, not just for a 56-year-old man, but period. (To be fair, he had one of those fancy ring lights on his end of our Zoom call, and I was just sitting at my desk, but looking at the guy, I felt like I’d just crawled up out of the earth.) We had a very pleasant conversation about his music career, his acting career, the difference between being a rock singer and being an actor, and how his kids see him.
The Art Of Survival (2022)
The new record has a more metallic sound than your earliest work – it’s still identifiably you, but it seems heavier. Can you describe the evolution of your writing?
GAVIN ROSSDALE: Metallic, or metal? It’s not a metal record, ’cause I don’t sing that way, [but] look, I’m always trying to push. I totally accept rock’s position in the culture, which is pretty – it’s weird ’cause on the one hand it’s nonexistent, and on the other hand, I’m playing to 350,000 people over the course of, like, two months. [Those aren’t] 350,000 invisible people. For me, as a songwriter, I’m just always looking for different ways to challenge myself and keep it fresh, keep it interesting in service of a long career. People can either mellow out into the sunset, or they do something like I’ve done with The Kingdom and with The Art Of Survival, which is try and fight, go against the tide of the success of the band, try and create records that exist in their entirety on their own. They don’t lean on the previous work, you know? To me, it’s just trying to find what inspires me, what’s interesting, what I like in a studio, that’s really what it is. And I get the luxury of being to an extent my own producer, where I can make tracks for myself to sing on. And then I collaborate, I sing on other people’s music, whatever, I’m very collaborative. But in terms of the meat of the record and getting the aesthetic going, it’s just me in a room, and I’ve noticed that these last few years so much is given to the live performance.
I play metal festivals, rock festivals, alternative, more pop-leaning festivals sometimes, not often, so I would find myself over the years choosing the heavier songs off of certain records. You want to survive amongst peers on those stages and not be just going [sings mournfully], “Swallowed…” [laughs]. It’s a bit much. It just got into that situation, and I had that one record that we did called Institute, which is all [written in] drop C sharp and it was really fun to do, and I don’t know, I just kind of felt there was something about that that’s exciting to me. People have said about the last two records, “Oh, it sounds like old Bush,” you know? And I think that non-musical people just think that ’cause the intention and the vitality to it is consistent, that’s what it is. Musically it’s completely different.
I read people writing about the dearth of inspiration in rock music, and how it can be a bit homogenized, because I think rock radio can be seen as a homogenous sound, going for a certain thing, whereas everyone else in the pop world can be far more experimental and way out there. And to me it’s just as simple as trying to stay interesting to ourselves, and create excitement like that.
You’ve always been the sole credited songwriter on every Bush album, but is this version of the band, with you as the last original member, more or less democratic, artistically speaking, than the original lineup?
ROSSDALE: Well, it’s funny, because the way that it worked out in the first lineup, when I first met Nigel [Pulsford], I said, “I have these songs,” or rather, “Can we work together?” I was looking for a guitar player. And I thought it was really just weak, because I was looking for a guitar player and I was thinking, Hold on, you say you’re a songwriter, you’re a singer, you’re a terrible guitar player but you can play a couple of chords, and how pathetic that you’re just waiting around for someone to write songs [with you]. That’s hardly impressive, that your oeuvre, your life’s work is waiting around for a guitar player.
So I sat down and the first song I wrote with me on music as well was “Comedown.” I couldn’t believe the alchemy. I’m still enamored with it. I haven’t lost that sparkle of, like, oh my god, when it comes together, and I’ve got a riff and I sing something, it makes me the happiest in the world. I’m slapping the engineer like, “Look, it works, look at that!” ‘Cause I find music incredibly mysterious, the alchemy of why things work so well, or conversely don’t work. So I got that song together, then I began to do a few more. And so when I met Nigel, I said to him, “I’ve got these songs that I’ve put together,” and he at the time was earning money doing these videos [for] a thousand pounds a day, which is a fortune if you have no money, for training videos, corporate training. Rodent killer conference, and he’d do the music for it and he’d get a grand. So he was really good in the studio. So I’d take him these songs, and he was just really amazing on all the demos. So we did three or four songs like that, and I thought now he would trust me to write songs with me. And I said, “So should we get together and write some songs together?” And he said, “No, no, no, this system’s great. I’m really busy, you write some songs and bring them in.” So every two weeks I’d bring him three songs, before we had any other band members. So we built up around 12, 15 songs, and we got the other guys, the rhythm section.
Now it’s different, but back in the olden days, the horse-drawn cart era of the ’90s, bass players and drummers couldn’t give a shit about writing songs. You included them as a band member, and we took care of all the money stuff, but that’s how we worked… everyone was paid equally and they’d do way less work and they’d be on holiday and I would write the songs. And it’s not because they couldn’t. The rhythm section weren’t interested, Nigel was too busy doing other stuff… but I’ve always been really collaborative. Even though I take those songs in [to them], it’s always been collaborative, in the way that Nigel always made the songs better and same difference when I work with Chris [Traynor]. I’d have these songs and he’d come in and make them better. So that’s it, and I’ve been now on this trek — there’s like four or five songs that I’ve done with other people, so it’s not purely me. And I think that’s essential, ’cause I don’t want to always be the guy writing the songs because it’s literally a limitation. It’s like, why? Chris is an amazing musician, he gave me some great music. Tyler [Bates], I worked with, gave me incredible things. So I’m the topline guy. I’m totally down with that. I’ve nothing left to prove about writing songs, so I don’t care — it doesn’t matter the genesis of who did what on something. We work all together, and it’s extremely collaborative.
Like the saying goes, good drummer, good band; bad drummer, bad band. So it is about the personnel as well.
ROSSDALE: Yeah, yeah. And we have a fantastic [lineup] right now, I think. I sit and do a lot of the stuff, write maybe 20, 25 songs, and then I will also work on stuff anyone sends me. If they send me music, I’m like, “Perfect. Take the day off from worrying about the music, let me sing on this.” With studios now in your own house and everything like that, it’s incredible the way the technology’s moved on, and I just want the record to be great. I want people to love it. That’s the goal…to make a record that people connect to and surprises people with its power, you know? Both soft power and more edgy, like you said at the beginning, more metallic. ‘Cause you know, there’s all different ways of being powerful. Take “1000 Years,” from the record, it’s just as powerful as our most bombastic [song] “Heavy Is The Ocean.” It’s all about immersion, isn’t it? It’s just about you believing it and you falling into it and people connecting to that.
And that’s why I so like it when discussing things like lyrics, because I think once a song goes out into the universe, it ceases to be about what you wrote it about. Anyone can take that song and appropriate it for their life, or else I’d never be able to sing the songs I wrote – when I sing “Comedown” tonight, it’s nothing about me going, “You’re an idiot — write a fucking song on your own. It’s not that fucking hard.” I don’t sing it about what I wrote it about at that time, but it’s a very, very powerful song, and those lyrics are malleable. All lyrics are malleable, aren’t they? They’re not set in stone.
It’s funny, I was in San Francisco the other night talking about Allen Ginsberg and the deep effect the whole Beat movement had on me and that kind of jazz poetry, and at the beginning of my career I used to get a lot of trouble for being so cut-up and not consistent. I was like, “You’re not mad at Bowie, you’re not mad at Burroughs, just look at Ginsberg.” It’s like these fucking chaotic endless thoughts coming out. Are they connected? Not sure, but they all have the same feeling, or they all — most lines of Ginsberg in his greatest poems, they just cut you. They arrest you. They’re arresting words. And so I’ve sort of been inspired by those kind of writers, you know. Some people do the Mellencamp/Springsteen story thing, which is amazing, but it’s just not in my nature to care about writing like that. I can’t think of it. It’s like being a short novelist. I like the haiku. I’m more haiku. So that’s “Girls, you in control, not the government,” or “The Earth dies, it’s a money thing.” I believe in haikus.
The new album has a lot of lyrics that are pretty explicitly critical of the particular insanities of living in America.
As someone who moved to this country about 30 years ago, how much thought do you give to getting out again? Or is post-Brexit UK an even worse prospect?
ROSSDALE: Oh, no, I mean, it’s weird for me — it’s very interesting, because I sing on [this] record, “You can’t kill the American dream/ You know you tried but you can’t kill me.” And it’s like, I embody the American dream. I came here, was saved by America so to speak, I was given a life by America. I married an American girl, I had American children, I changed my citizenship because I thought, having three American kids and one English kid, I felt weird having a green card, and I love America. I don’t ever want to come across as though – I’m not doing an Ozzy, and pulling out. [laughs] I have incredible roots here, I’m just really lucky ’cause I have both places, and I think there’s incredible potential in both places, and so many riches from both places. So I feel really lucky like that, but I think that anyone who has young kids would agree, once you have the kids, they dictate where you are. And it’s not even like, maybe I could live in Hawaii if I want to live in America, or New York, or something like that. I am always gonna be where they are. I have an eight-year-old, so I’m screwed for another 10 years. I feel very ingrained in it.
If anything, it’s sort of a protective side. There’s a lot of Americans who agree with me about the line in “More Than Machines” — “Girls, you in control, not the government.” There’s a lot of Americans who agree with that, and clearly there’s a lot who don’t. I’m always kind of careful; I don’t know any better than anyone else, so I’m not in a position to point fingers, to tell people what to do, I just think it’s important that if you make things creatively, there has to be some comment on what’s happening around you, and what’s going on. I was really thrown by that whole Supreme Court move, like many people, and couldn’t get my head around it. It wasn’t logical to me, I was like, wow, it’s such a draconian, archaic concept, and not in the spirit of the progress that women are experiencing in these times of redressing the imbalance that’s been there since time began. So I was just happy to be able to reference it, because that’s all I should do. It’s never a point of, I don’t stand up and point at anybody, because I always think that’s a terrible position to put yourself in. ‘Cause I don’t know better than anyone. I’m just like anyone, just trying to get by, and I prefer to not live a too confrontational life. But sometimes things come up; you know, “The Kingdom,” that was in light of the way that we had all the peaceful uprisings, with the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd; “Bomb,” on the first record, is about the IRA, and a guy [who] goes to a shopping mall and he gets blown up inadvertently ’cause of the Troubles. So throughout my career, I’ve had pieces that I’ve put in, but I’ve never been – no one would ever think that Bush is a political band in any kind of way, but at the same time, I’m not free of opinions.
Signing To Interscope For Sixteen Stone (1994)
Sixteen Stone was not that well received by your label at first, but it wound up being one of the most successful hard rock albums of the ’90s. Can you remember any particular executives doing a total 180 and kissing your ass once it took off?
ROSSDALE: No, what happened is this. We were signed to a small label, Trauma, at the time. We had a distribution deal with Hollywood Records. Frank Wells was the guy who signed us there for distribution, and he died in a helicopter crash. The record was done. It was a real tragedy. And when the head of our label went in to see them, they threw the CD at him and said, “Not only are there no singles on this record, there are no album tracks,” which is brilliant. So we got dropped from there. And that’s when Jimmy Iovine, and actually Ted Field takes a credit, from Interscope, heard the record. And I was so confused, ’cause I came over to America, I hadn’t been able to get a record deal in England. I came to America and I was so confused, I didn’t know how it worked, with a label and distribution. I was like, Oh no, another boardroom. But it was the first boardroom that I went into where people were like with open arms, saying, “This record is fantastic. We are gung ho to help you do whatever you need with this record.”
So that was the first time I ever experienced a communal [feeling], as opposed to us and them. I’d lived my whole life where I’d see an A&R guy at a club in England and be like, Oh my god, there’s Tracy Bennett from London Records, or Malcolm Dunbar from Warner Brothers. These people could change your life. So you’d see them and you’d be desperate; you’d want to go over and say, “Please listen to my record, please sign us, please come and see my band, we’re playing at the Pig and Shithole down the road, we’re playing there tomorrow night,” and they all rejected me and they all passed on me, and that’s the way it goes. I think Lady Gaga sang, you just need one person to believe in you, and that person was the guy that signed us in America, and then subsequently Interscope and then the rest and here we are, up to now. But everyone has those stories. I was so naïve – I still am pretty green, but not as green, more of an off-green now – so the Pixies signing to 4AD from Boston, that was a huge impetus for me to be like, You know what? Sometimes you’ve gotta do these things. I would have loved to sign to 4AD. 4AD was my synagogue, that was my church. Surfer Rosa was the biggest record for me, Throwing Muses and Cocteau Twins, it was all just all too good.
Recording Razorblade Suitcase With Steve Albini (1996)
When you were making Razorblade Suitcase with Steve Albini, how much money did he take off of you either at poker or pool?
ROSSDALE: [sharp inhale] We played a lot of pool, and he’s very good. He’s too good at poker. So I didn’t get into that with him. But yeah, the pool stuff, we played, and I’m just… I have really fond memories of making that record with him, and just the idiosyncrasies of Steve Albini. To be there working with him and hearing [it] coming back from the monitor board — it was very exciting. It was commercially the worst idea, we should have just… we could have just found someone to try to reproduce Sixteen Stone and keep in that more polished vein, and we were just brilliantly naïve, like, fuck it, we’ve now played two years on the road, if anyone can capture the kind of muscularity of the band or the shimmer of the band, he’s the guy. ‘Cause he’s literally like, he only allows you overdubs if it’s compositionally intentional. If you said it at the beginning. Daft. If it was compositionally intended, then okay, but otherwise it was like, who cares.
Getting Sued By Trauma Records Over The Science Of Things (1999)
Your label sued you over your third album, which was a kind of electronic rock record. Was it a Neil Young situation where they were suing you for not making what they thought a Bush record should be, or was it something else?
ROSSDALE: No, no. It was all a bit convoluted. They got very excited ’cause they then took on No Doubt. Interscope saw what they’d done with us at Trauma, so they’d had this band languishing for five years making Tragic Kingdom, this band [that] was going nowhere and sat on the shelves and Jimmy is very good at delegating, obviously, he’s a master at it. He got my label to pick up No Doubt and for them to come on tour with us for three months. And that’s how I met Gwen, so that’s the beginning of that life. So at the end of that period, No Doubt became extremely successful, we were doing really well, so the company got valued at a certain amount of money and that guy went into Jimmy Iovine said, “It’s been valued at a lot of money — give me the money, and I’m out.” And Jimmy was like, “You’re out of your mind.”
So they then had a fight, and it just started this whole thing. They were trying to cash out, basically, and the silly thing is that is that Jimmy’s always said that he would have given any of those executives… they could have run Elektra, or whatever. He was the head of a lot of labels. But it was just a thing like, they were so brilliant for us and then they got the dollar signs from a financial institution on Wall Street and thought that meant that they would just be given that. It was messy greed, is the bottom line. But that’s a long time ago now, so…
Woodstock ’99 (1999)
Which of the two documentaries about Woodstock ’99 do you think more accurately reflects your experience of playing there?
ROSSDALE: I’ve only seen the first series, it was a three-part, the second one I was in, and I saw that. First off, the victims of the rape is all that matters to me, you know what I mean? That’s the only takeaway from it. Angry dudes in a moshpit, that testosterone stuff and all that aggression, whatever, was just face value what it is, but it was just a confluence of so many things to do with the heat, the setup, the lack of water — it was just a perfect storm to be the opposite of Woodstock 1969. And for me, I’m an idealist, so to me, I was going in with a huge responsibility. I’d seen the Woodstock ’69 [movie] a thousand times, watching it and kind of looking at Hendrix and whoever, loving that whole thing, so when I went in naïvely.
We were making The Science Of Things, we sort of popped our heads out of the studio to go and do this show, and we were just taken by surprise, ’cause nü-metal had really — we’d taken six or eight months and we hadn’t been playing and that was the birth of nü-metal. There was Limp Bizkit and Korn, and we played [after Korn] and it was like [laughs] just naïvely going ahead and doing it, and we had a great show. It was incredible, an incredible experience, and then the unfortunate collapse of the weekend after that was really tragic. And you know, at the end of the day, it’s this incredible idea. Festivals are the most fun things to do. The way that festivals work, the whole festival run in Europe, what a laugh. I saw Mastodon, Fever 333, and Deftones, all on one day, all on the same stage I was playing. I just watched them and hung and it was such an incredible time, so what a tragedy that trying to recreate this festival of peace and love and good will and connectivity just went to shit. Some things go to shit. That’s life. That went to shit.
Acting In Constantine With Keanu Reeves (2005)
You were in the movie Constantine in 2005, and since Keanu Reeves is basically a Christ figure in our culture at this point, I kinda have to ask you to share your favorite Keanu story.
ROSSDALE: Well, what was really nice was I got reunited with him and Chad Stahelski, because we did the song for John Wick 3, and the director of that, Chad, he directed my fight scenes with Keanu in Constantine. So that was a good closing of the circle. I think my favorite thing of many favorite things… he deserves his status; he’s a very interesting, beautiful, private man. I was doing my scenes with him, working with him, and I’ve done six or seven movies now and I’m always trying to magpie and pick up tips, and I noticed that Keanu, before every scene, he really ramps up and gets really riled so he hits the scene running.
And I subsequently was up for a big audition, and I did three auditions to get into the De Niro film with Angelina Jolie, The Good Shepherd, when it was Leonardo DiCaprio who was gonna be the main guy, and it was so funny, because before I had to do these scenes I would be outside going, “Fucking cunt! Bastard!” and when I was starting to work with this [acting] coach, he was like, “Oh my god, that’s an exhausting way to work.” Anyway, Keanu was going at the weekends by jet to Tokyo from LA to promote The Matrix: Revolutions, and then coming back and working on an 83-day shoot every day. So he is Zenlike when he works, he works incredibly hard, and the most beautiful thing about him was his concern at the time about what was next for him. And I realized that, I mean, if Keanu’s living like that, we’re all living on a boat or resting on the crest of a wave or a low wave, just waiting. So what I found, my favorite thing about him was the genuine humility, and therefore he deserves his status.
Guesting On Criminal Minds
The episode of Criminal Minds you were in is particularly over the top and hilarious, even by the standards of that show. What do you remember most about that gig?
ROSSDALE: What I remember most about that gig is that at the end of it, they walked into my dressing room and said, “Look what we’ve got!” and had this life-size version of me as Dante, dressed in the vamp makeup. I was so horrified, I ran and rugby tackled it and jumped on it. I was like, “Thank you very much,” and I kept it just ’cause I wanted to make sure that this piece of cardboard didn’t exist in the world. The world did not need a life-size version of me as Dante.
You know, my favorite memory of that is sitting in the café in the corner having lunch, ’cause when you guest star – I did a Hawaii Five-O, I’ve done it on Criminal Minds — you go into these environments where people are used to working every day with each other for five or 10 years, and if you’re the guest star, you’re just like anyone. So I’d go sit in the corner, and whenever I’m working on a set, I always have my lines with me, because that’s all I care about. Just know your mark, know your lines, show up on time, that’s 80% of that job. And Joe Mantegna came and sat with me, and said, “Look, I don’t like anyone having lunch on their own.” And I said, “I’m just trying to get these lines,” because there was a lot of dialogue. But I’d seen House Of Cards, I was a big fan of David Mamet growing up, so to work with him and subsequently get to know him was an incredible luxury. He helped me on this last movie I just did called Habit – it came out just last year. I called him up and he went through it with me, just to sort of help me out.
The Bling Ring
You were also in the movie The Bling Ring, which was one of Sofia Coppola’s most commercially successful movies. What was your experience of making it?
ROSSDALE: First off, if Sofia Coppola says “Will you be in my movie,” you just say yes. What do you want me to do? Where do I go? And working with her was a great experience, seeing somebody — she is fantastic. And everyone who works for her production company…it’s like a movie of a production company set in Brooklyn, like, the hippest, coolest, greatest people. Everyone is just ultra-cool and easy and smart and she just glides. I never saw her feet touch the ground. She glides across the scene and across the set and just has that little, gives you a little insight, a little information…she’s a fantastic director and it was a great experience. I’ve never worn a kimono that colorful before, too. [laughs]
What you’re saying about showing up, knowing your lines, knowing your mark and that stuff…How would you compare acting in a movie or a TV show to selling a song to an audience onstage? Because I feel like especially if you’re in a rock band, as opposed to a jazz group where it’s different every night, but if you’re playing more or less the same set night to night, it’s almost like a Broadway show. The lights are gonna hit at this point, and you’re gonna be on this part of the stage, and for certain legacy acts the between-song banter is on a teleprompter and stuff like that, so tell me about how you…
ROSSDALE: [laughs] Punch me. If you ever see that, you can walk over and punch me. I’ll say Thank you, what was I thinking? Well, it’s an interesting thing. First off is that what I love [about acting] is I just like that somebody else had the first idea, you know, whereas in music, we have to make what we present in our show, so there’s that difference. But I love the process, and I love acting and actors and the way that you can take a written word and give it life. And so for me, cracking a character, cracking a part, is just waiting to hear the rhythm of the speech, the way they speak, it’s just waiting till the voice is right. I mean, I studied acting before I began in music, and I love the whole process. Tom Waits said the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and if I’m in a movie, I can’t be a dilettante, just going through on the back of a hit single or something. When I did Constantine, I’d grown up with Rachel Weisz, we grew up in London together, and I was like, “I’m so sorry, I’m not gonna screw up your movie. This is a big break for you, and I just want you to know that I’m really taking it seriously. I’m not just passing through here.”
I think that both forms require a degree of losing yourself, immersing yourself into the words, into the sounds, so that you are – you have to find some way to be mesmerizing. That’s the goal, is to be mesmerizing, so that people believe you, they back you, and they are invested in you. When I sing onstage, I’m just so free, and I’m so open to the moment, which is of course the basis of what all great acting is, is just being in the moment. I studied with an amazing coach for a long time called Harold Guskin, he wrote this book called How To Stop Acting, and whenever he would read anything with me, I’d just be like, “Oh my god, what did you do there? That was incredible.” And he’d go, “Oh, I didn’t give a shit. I was thinking about this [other thing], it came into my head.” All the time, it was very alive, very real, and it’s the opposite of reading from a teleprompter. It’s the opposite of knowing your cues.
We change the set a bit, not crazy amounts, but I don’t know if I’m stage right on this bit or whatever — I don’t have those moments, I’m not quite that bad. But I just think in any art form, you talk about painting, you can feel if a painter is lost in what he’s painting or if he’s not. You know, you could say the reason why something’s decorative versus something that has power. That power is ’cause the artist lost themselves in it. And something decorative is something where somebody’s doing 15 of them for a hotel and it has no — it’s teleprompter art. So that’s the goal. Of course, I’m not suggesting that I reach it, but I find that similar connection of losing yourself in it, and surrendering to it, so that you’re making some kind of impactful point.
Two of your three sons are teenagers now, and we all know that the young people have very strange relationships with the pop culture of the past. Are you an object of ’90s nostalgia in your own house?
ROSSDALE: No. I’m the cook. [laughs] I’m the cook, and I’m the purveyor of Amazon, whatever they use. They have all my passwords, so no, they just sort of… but no, I think that it’s important that they don’t see me in any other way than their biggest cheerleader. That’s my job. They’re not impressed. We’re going to a show today, and not one of them is impressed that we’re going. I’m impressed that they’re not.
The Art Of Survival is out 10/7 on BMG.