No Doubt Blast Back with â€˜Catchy and Addictiveâ€™ New LP
Gwen Stefani and crew prepare to rule radio with first disc in a decade
Album Title: TBD (To Be Determined)
Due Out: To Be Determined
Gwen Stefani hates it when people point out that No Doubt havenâ€™t released an album in 10 years. â€œA lot of stuff happened during that time period,â€ she says. â€œMarriage,babies and for me,two records and two clothing lines. So if you really worked out the math,youâ€™d be like,â€˜Wow,you guys are going fast.â€™ â€
Their sixth album,still untitled,is about two months from completion, but they give a visitor to producer Spike Stentâ€™s sleek Santa Monica studio a taste:â€œSettle Downâ€ is a party-ready reggae blast featuring Stefaniâ€™s toasting skills;â€œOne More Summerâ€ updates the bandâ€™s ska-pop sound with pounding dance beats,arena-size guitars,and a beyond-catchy chorus:â€One more summer/One more weekend/Iâ€™m your lover/Youâ€™re my weaknessâ€. Drummer Adrian Young tells his bandmates he canâ€™t wait to play the song live: â€I might lose control and shit all over myself.â€
During No Doubtâ€™s hiatus,Young drummed for Maroon 5 and Scott Weiland;bassist Tony Kanal focused on production work, including Pinkâ€™s smash single â€œSoberâ€;guitarist Tom Dumont did some producing of his own,including Matt Costaâ€™s debut album. Stefani released two hit albums,Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and The Sweet Escape. â€œThose come from my girl side and theatrical side.â€ With No Doubt,Stefani says,sheâ€™s â€œheels off.â€
No Doubt started working on this album in 2008,but Stefani was pregnant with Zuma,her second son with Gavin Rossdale,and was having trouble focusing on songwriting. She remembers her frame of mind:â€œIâ€™m already creating something â€”I have nothing left.â€ Instead,the band hit the road in the summer of 2009. According to Pollstar,the tour sold 781,615 tickets and grossed $34 million of 57 shows. â€œWe had so much funâ€,Stefani says. â€Backstage,we had all the nannies and the babies and the blowup swimming poolsâ€. (The four members of No Doubt now have eight children between them. [EIT edit-This article was written before the arrival of baby Magnolia Young.] Dumont remembers his son Ace,then three,acclimating to life on the road. â€Heâ€™d say,â€™Daddy,whereâ€™s catering?â€™ â€)
The band recovened in November 2009, writing from around 4 p.m. to midnight in Kanalâ€™s studio(featuring a view of Hollywood that Dumont describes as â€œdistractiongly gorgeousâ€ â€”Kanal had to install curtains). Working together again just felt right. â€œI had gone on my tortured journey of working with outside songwriters,â€ Stefani says. â€œI would throw up if someone made me do that again.â€
â€œWriting with other people is a learning experience,â€ Kanal adds,â€œbut when you come back,and youâ€™re sitting in a room together, it feels like home.â€
No Doubt obsessively polished each song,Kanal says. â€œWe would say, â€˜OK,the B section isnâ€™t good enough,letâ€™s re-write that,â€™ until we felt the song was great. After laboring through 2010, they had nine songs (â€œTen if we write the chorus for that last oneâ€, says Kanal),and have spent 2011 recording them with Stent.
â€Itâ€™s so exciting to have a record coming outâ€,Stefani says,almost vibrating with glee. â€And we all want the same thing:for it to be modern,catchy and addictive.Once you make music that connects with people,itâ€™s like you taste blood-you canâ€™t go backâ€.