Altering the title of Bush’s new single-“Speed Kills” to “The People That We Love”-might not be the only change Bush has to make on its forthcoming album Golden State. Another track on the October 16 release, “Head Full Of Ghosts,” contains the lyrics, “I’m at my best when I’m terrorist inside,” a line that Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale noted “is the worst line on the album in this time.”
Bush’s Rossdale enacted his own preemptive strike for the song and its controversial line. He told LAUNCH what was behind the lyrics. “The fact that a lot of the time we’re guilty of sending out a representative of ourselves,” he said. “You put a front on. It’s very difficult sometimes to be yourself. I was painfully shy when I was growing up. So often I wouldn’t quite represent myself in the right way and come off sounding wrong. Many times when I felt out of my depth, ‘I’m best when I’m terrorist inside. I’m best when I’m really…,’ funniest, is when you’re really being yourself.”
Rossdale was asked if he’s had thoughts of changing the lyric, due to the terrorist attack on the U.S. earlier this month. “Absolutely. There definitely has. I guess I use violent imagery,” he said. “You just find strong words. Terrorist is just an amazing word linguistically. Semantically, terror is an amazing thing, it’s a great word, but this is an awful time for it. I would change it, certainly if I was going to have it on the radio. Anyone who knows anything about us…I’ve never been a violent person, but it’s just unfortunate.”
“I certainly didn’t mean it with any intention of harming anyone,” Rossdale added. “Before, nobody would have blinked at it.”
Bush and its label, Atlantic Records, felt the same way about “Speed Kills” after radio stations stopped playing the single in wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Los Angeles. The title was actually inspired by a slogan used in The War Room, a documentary about the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign. “There was no warisms intended,” said Rossdale. But he still agreed that it was pragmatic to change the title.