Bush's Gavin Rossdale

Gavin Rossdale is the charismatic lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Bush, the British band that, despite record company problems, has become one of the most popular bands of the post-Nirvana grunge era.

Gavin McGregor Rossdale was born October 30, 1967, in London. Rossdale — who didn't speak until age 4 — grew up there, dreaming of becoming a rock star.

He first played in the rock band Midnight, which cut a failed single. He then spent some time in Los Angeles, soaking up the U.S. grunge-rock sounds of the period.

After Rossdale returned to London, he met guitarist Nigel Pulsford at a club gig. The two began making music that mixed their appreciation of melody with punk rock. While working days at various jobs such as house painting, they formed Future Primitive with bassist Dave Parsons and drummer Robin Goodridge.

Despite being ignored in their home country, which was in the middle of a Brit-pop craze, Future Primitive signed in the U.S., with Trauma Records, (distributed through Interscope) under the new name Bush. The band's debut, Sixteen Stone (1994), established its intense, grunge-inflected sound on such tunes as "Machinehead," "Testosterone," "Bomb" and "Glycerine." The first single, "Everything Zen," was an alternative-radio smash in the U.S., despite having flopped in Britain.

They followed their multiplatinum debut with Razorblade Suitcase (1996), which yielded "Swallowed" (RealAudio excerpt), "Personal Holloway," "Greedy Fly," and "Cold Contagious." The disc debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart. The following year, Bush issued the remix LP Deconstructed.

Bush then became embroiled in a lawsuit with Trauma, which sued them for failing to deliver The Science of Things in a timely way. The suit was eventually settled, but the terms of the new multiyear recording contract were not disclosed. The Science of Things was released Tuesday on Interscope.

Rossdale wrote a good deal of the disc during a hiatus in Ireland. "It was really a time of reflection for me, [of] looking out at what we'd done and what we'd achieved and seeing that it was pretty good," Rossdale said. "I was quite self-confrontational [during the writing] because I had only myself."

The new LP's first single, "The Chemicals Between Us," was initially made available at EMusic.com. Bush previewed the song and others, such as "40 Miles From the Sun," during their performance at Woodstock '99. Other tracks include "Warm Machine," "Space Travel," "Jesus Online" and "Altered States."

Other birthdays on Saturday: Eddie Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), 60; Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane), 60; Chris Slade (Manfred Mann), 53; Timothy B. Schmit (Eagles), 52; David Green (Air Supply), 50; Otis Williams (Temptations), 50; Joey BellaDonna (Anthrax), 39; Jerry De Borg (Jesus Jones), 36; Snow (born Darren O'Brien), 30.