Does she worry that she is missing out, that she is, to use her own word, in danger of becoming too isolated?
"Touring is an incredibly isolated situation," Bush argues. "I don't know how people tour for years on end. You find a lot of people who can't stop touring, and it's because they don't know how to come back into life. It's sort of unreal."
For Bush, the trick seems to be shutting out as much of the background blare as possible. She rarely reads the papers or listens to the radio or goes to see shows or buys albums. She claims no knowledge of the notoriously Bushlike singer Tori Amos – "I heard one track and I thought it was very . . . uhh, nice" – and cites as her own primary influences the English and Irish traditional music that her piano-playing father, her singing mother and her older brothers played and sang in the house when she was growing up.
"From the earliest age I can remember," Bush says, "I was hearing the most beautiful tunes being made up."
The recent death of her mother, to whom she was always very close, is one reason why Bush has taken so long to produce The Red Shoes, her first album since 1989's The Sensual World. According to those around her, it took Bush the better part of a year after the death to get back into the frame of mind to work. But despite the long periods out of the spotlight, she has maintained a core following with a deep and unswerving loyalty.
Her fans, Bush insists, mean a lot to her. "It's very moving that a lot of people that I don't know are so supportive of what I do," she says. "I don't tour, I don't give them that much, really. Obviously I try to make the best music that I can, but after about two years of making an album you start to worry: `Is it going to come out all right? Is it all going to sound churned out?' And then you get odd little letters from fans here and there encouraging you, and that's a fantastic boost. I suppose I hope that if I keep an integrity in my work, then they'll always feel that."
This story is from the February 24th, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone.
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