BUSH frontman Gavin Rossdale's message about founder and guitarist Nigel Pulsford's departure on the BUSH web site last week was "offensive and patronizing," according to Pulsford, who spoke out on his split from the group in an exclusive interview with Australia's Undercover.
Nigel has spoken to Undercover Media to tell his side of the story and set the record straight because "this is still a difficult issue for me but for my sanity it needs doing".
Following is the exact Q&A between Undercover's Paul Cashmere and Nigel Pulsford.
Paul Cashmere : Why the decision to leave after all these years and how difficult it was as a founding member to make it?
Nigel Pulsford: The decision was taken out of my hands when I was sacked 6 days after the birth of my son. I'd tried to quit in September when there were complications during my wife's pregnancy and I didn't see how I could continue but I'd been persuaded to carry on by getting a temporary replacement for the US tour. My motivation then had been to not screw things up for the band. I didn't want to quit but it was obvious what my priority was and I couldn't see how I could promote a record by not being around.
During the few months after Xmas there was little contact between myself and the band — no apparent interest in my wife's condition — I was absorbed at home and helped when I could with rehearsals but I'd already showed [ex-HELMET guitarist] Chris [Traynor] the parts on the previous tour.
And then out of the blue a poisonous email from Gavin telling me that he didn't want me to return. He said the whole band felt the same way which was strange as Dave had rung me the day before and spoken for over an hour and failed to mention anything. After the e-mail I was unable to contact any of them and basically left to stew while they were on tour. I know who led the charge and knowing the politics of the backing band I suppose I'm not surprised.
Paul Cashmere : Gavin's comment we actually quite complimentary for you. How is your relationship with him and the rest of the band?
Nigel Pulsford: He said very nice things but the underlying truth is that I didn't leave — I find the remarks offensive and patronizing. We haven't spoken since I rang him from the hospital when Oscar was born on March 7. Dave and Robin, well — after 9 years, I expected a little more from 'friends' but it's a shitty business and there has been an air of paranoia around the band since the failure of Golden State. The fear that Gavin would leave seemed to dominate the whispers. I figured that we'd done so well that if Gavin left it would be okay - time to move on etc. I guess the answer is that relationships end.
Paul Cashmere: What are your plans musically after this?
Nigel Puslford: I'm not sure just yet - I've been busy in my studio doing various projects although I'm still getting my head around what has happened. I'm hoping to get into film & TV music. Band wise I'll take a break for a few more months and then put something together as touring is still in my blood. I'd like to work on lots of different things — it can be stifling just playing with the same people all the time — so variety is required. I'm also spending a lot of time with my family, which is fantastic.
Paul Cashmere : Were you disappointed over the sales of Golden State and as a BUSH album how do you feel it stands up alongside the catalogue?
Nigel Pulsford: I think we were all disappointed about how badly Golden State has done - the low level of promotion worldwide was shocking. I think it stands up well as a BUSH album - certainly a big improvement on the last album but a large chunk of our audience has clearly moved on. Music tastes change. I think it will stand up as a great album in years to come. From my point of view, I think I played the best guitar of my career on there and I think the band ensemble playing is very strong. Sales-wise, I suppose it is difficult — we had new management and a new record company — I guess everyone was trying to figure out the best way of doing things but the bottom line has to be that people either like it or they don't. It is hard when you have achieved such huge success to deal with the other side of it. I know some people in the band are finding it tough but things turn around and the level of success right now is pretty decent. If we'd had the record company support that we had been promised then I think things could have been very different — half a million sales is as much a reflection on Atlantic as it is on the band.
This whole business has actually been devastating for me and I feel I should set the record straight. I've thought about leaving the band for a while but thinking and doing are two different things. It was put to me that I could have tried to rejoin - I even read Gavin saying something along those lines but he knows that I'm not going to 'beg' for anything so it is a fascicle comment. It isn't the way I work even if I wanted to. Too much pride.
I don't bear the boys any ill will. I hope they find success again. I guess for me I thought we'd achieved so much already that anything more was a bonus and so I was more relaxed about the future. I recognize that this isn't a helpful attitude to have around and so we've moved on.