When Gavin Rossdale Tried to Remix Bush’s ‘Sixteen Stone’ but Gave Up
Bush bandleader Gavin Rossdale once tried to remix Sixteen Stone, the post-grunge band's 1994 debut and most successful album. But he left the remix incomplete after he concluded it would significantly alter the feel of the effort beloved by longtime listeners — including himself.
That's what the British rocker suggested in a 2014 interview with Detroit radio station 101 WRIF. That year, Bush released remastered versions of their early albums, including Sixteen Stone, 1996's Razorblade Suitcase, 1997 remix LP Deconstructed and 1999's The Science of Things. But they were only remastered, meaning the original mixes weren't affected. Not that Rossdale didn't give it a try on Sixteen Stone.
The Bush singer explained, "We just remastered the record. I did attempt to remix. … But it's really like you just can't do that. You can't mess with stuff. Those mixes, every single level of those songs is just ingrained in my DNA, as it's probably in anybody's DNA who knows it."
Rossdale added, "It just sounds really weird when you mess with it, and you go, 'Oh, what is that? Where's that been?' Even though you can make it sound better, and it sounded interesting on one hand, it sounded way sacrilegious on another."
Remastering is when previously mastered music is changed in overall sound and volume without changing the relationship of the individual instrumental tracks to each other.
(Mastering itself is the last step in audio production when a mix is given final adjustments and transferred to a master from which copies emerge. If the music was popular, remasters often arrive years later to match the material's volume level to modern sounds.)
Remixing is a more intensive process where the sound and volume of each separate instrument (i.e. each track in the mix) can be completely rearranged from the ground up. It's essentially a "re-do" of the mix.
Perhaps it's wise that Rossdale left Bush's early catalog — especially the six-times-platinum Sixteen Stone — to their original mixes when the time for remastering came. But it's also somewhat of a shame that we'll never hear the remix he attempted.
Re-live Bush's Sixteen Stone music videos below.