Lead singer [b]Gavin Rossdale[/b] tells [b]nme.com[/b] why he made a political protest against the Austrian government at their gig there last week...

BUSH frontman GAVIN ROSSDALE has been telling nme.com about the reasons behind his onstage political protest during the band's Austrian gig last week.

Rossdale sang a Jewish prayer at the band's Austrian concert on Friday February 4 in protest at the country's new right-wing government.

Rossdale offered the Hammotzi, a prayer for the breaking of bread, in solidarity for the 2,000 people attending the concert in Graz.

Earlier the same day, Austria's new government, including the far-right Freedom Party of Joerg Haider, was sworn into power. The Freedom Party's inclusion caused an international outcry and rebellion in Austria itself after Haider made comments downplaying Nazi war crimes and denigrating immigrants.

Speaking on his decision to speak out on the issue, Rossdale told
"I thought that in the face of those demonstrations all I could do was...just stand up and sing that Jewish prayer out of respect for all those people that were lost in the Holocaust."

Rossdale's own father's family were Jewish emigres from Russia in the 1860's. However, he stressed that this was only part of the reason he felt strongly on the issue.

He said: "You only need to read about the Holocaust and what people went through. Obviously it is to do with my family as well. My family left Russia because everyone was being killed and I've had persecution in my blood since 1867. It's insane. But we can't really think about that, we just live our lives. So it worked on many levels for me."

When asked if Bush had considered cancelling their visit to Austria as Prince Charles has done did to make a more public protest, Rossdale said it hadn't crossed their minds.

He continued: "He (Haider) wasn't voted in by the people who came to our show. He was voted in by a lot of the older members of the society and people who were pissed off at having fifteen years of a socialist government. A lot of the people who were at the demonstration came over to our show afterwards. It's the closest I'll ever get to feeling like Fugazi in my life. I mean, I don't know about fucking Prince Charles but for us to not go there because of a political party. It's a bit hard. I mean, what's going on? Everyone hates Austria now so they all have to be tarnished with the black brush of the right wing?"

Bush release their next single, 'Warm Machine', on March 6 through Trauma Records and begin a UK tour on March 18 at Norwich UEA.

For details of the entire tour and to buy tickets, go to the nme.com Ticketshop - click here[/url]

Or call the 24-Hour NME Virgin Cola Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663. Calls are charged at national standard rate.

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