Gwen stopped by the 97.1 AMP radio studios in Los Angeles this morning for a candid interview with Carson Daly about her where she’s at right now, her new album and what she has planned next.
Carson first asked her how it was returning to The Voice and she’s found it incredible and more exciting this time around since she knows everyone. She talks extremely candid about her situation and says, “My life basically blew up in my face. Now I’m in this new life and its pretty awesome”. Everything feels new for her this time around because Gwen says that she’s “in a new place” then when she was on the show last time and is feeling inspired.
Gwen went out this past weekend and celebrated Halloween with friends and Carson brings up how the media has been having a field day with the rumors of her and Blake Shelton. Gwen laughs it off and says she felt like that typical party girl who goes out after her life “blows up”. She said that her and Blake “we’re just trying to have fun”. Both of them were spotted attending a parties on both Friday and Saturday together.
Gwen goes on about how she’s finding inspiration from unexpected miracles, starting off with the birth of her third son, Apollo. She says that he was unexpected and then came her offer to join The Voice shortly after (which she refers to as a “whole new inspiring experience”). Gwen calls her surprise appearance with Pharrell Williams at Coachella in 2014 a “turning point” for her.
She shares that in February (of this year), things started to go downhill for her (a week after her MasterCard Priceless Surprises concert in Los Angeles). “My life just changed.” She continued by saying she wasn’t able to write, no matter how hard she tried. “I couldn’t write. It just wasn’t happening. I was so insecure about it. And then it just opened up — this channel. I went in to write my first song with this guy Rick Nowels and I literally cried.”
When Carson asks what was the motivation behind her sudden inspiration, he mentions the divorce and Gwen jokes about how she wants to throw up. She thought it was funny that he mentioned the “D” word on the radio but you could tell Gwen was ready and willing to talk about it. “I don’t have anything to hide. Everyone knows that I was married forever, and now I’m not. Could you imagine what my life is like right now?”
Gwen recalls sitting down for the first time to write with Rick Nowels and said that it was back to basics for her. He sat her down at a piano and wrote their first song “You Don’t Know Me” together. She says after writing that song, she was able to channel her emotions and hasn’t stopped writing since. “Everything about who I am, confidence wise, or I value myself on, is by songwriting.”
When asked about her new album, Gwen still doesn’t have a release date but is expecting it to be out early next year. Within 8 weeks, she wrote 19 songs and found herself sometimes writing more than one in a day.
She admits that she’s still writing and finds it therapeutic to be in the studio. Gwen says that it was difficult for her last year to write, but since her divorce, she’s finding herself inspired and comforted by songwriting. Gwen revealed three new song titles: “Naughty”, “You Don’t Know Me” and “Red Flags”. When she went back into the studio in June with Justin Tranter, JR Rotem and Raja Kumari (“The Breakfast Club”), Gwen expressed to them (and her label) that she wasn’t about writing big hits anymore but more about staying true to herself. She said “all I want is the truth” and described her mood as “honest” and “real”. She says new song “Red Flags” is a “work of art” and a true collaboration between the group.
The new batch of songs reflect where Gwen is at in her life right now. Gwen calls her new record “very spiritual” and Interscope approached her asking to release to her album when she felt like it wasn’t ready. She says she got the feeling that the label wasn’t into what she was doing, which says made her feel “defeated”, but felt a special connection with “Used To Love You”. She says that Interscope approached her for the first time in 25 years saying she had a potential hit on her hands.
Gwen says that it was pretty surreal having her new single “Used To Love You” debut the same week that Tragic Kingdom celebrated its 20th anniversary. She says that she wrote the chorus a day after “some crazy stuff had gone down” and revisited it again a few weeks ago while writing. Gwen thinks it’s incredible how well song the has been received and has found this whole experience healing. Rather than going online, Gwen channels her energy into songwriting and Gwen has found comfort in writing and support from those around her.
Gwen used the words “humorous”, “dark”, “sarcastic” to describe songs on her new album and says that it takes listeners on a journey. She says that the album goes to place of “realness” and shares that there are “joyful” songs, too. Carson commends Gwen for always finding humor in the darkest of places. He says of what describes, that her new album is a direct reflection of herself and has come full circle.
Gwen talks about her New York debut performance of “Used To Love You” and said that while at a bar with friends after the show, she found the support and love for the song directly afterwards felt like “bandaids” to her. She feels like fans “understand” her and feels so grateful for the love. She didn’t expect the positive reaction and is extremely excited about it because the song is “so important” to her, especially since it’s “happening in real time”.
On new album, Gwen says that she’s written “maybe over 25 songs now” and is still writing. “The record is so good. I don’t mean to say that in a brag way, because I don’t feel truly responsible for it, and I’m just channeling and it’s been given to me so I’m grateful for it.”
Writing this album has been a “release” and a form of “healing” for her. She felt like she needed to write songs, not because she was pressured to. She’s finding being in the studio addictive even though she has such a busy life.
She spoke about No Doubt’s festival tours this past year and called them “intense”. Gwen says she found herself reliving the songs onstage (including “Don’t Speak”) and said there were a few almost “breakdown” moments. She shared that the band’s last show in San Deigo (Kaaboo) had her feeling like she was in high school again. When asked what’s next for No Doubt, she seems to evade the question and is just focusing on “living in the moment”. She doesn’t want to think about their next album cause she feel like she’ll stress herself out.
Like most of us, Carson was really pushing Gwen by the end of the interview to keep releasing new music to keep her momentum going. You could tell that he really cares for Gwen and was insistent on helping her put together a game plan for the near future.
On a side note, songwriter and collaborator Justin Tranter revealed to Songwriter Universe that he has written about 15 songs with Gwen and says that he “can’t wait” for the world to hear the tracks.
The full podcast is expected to be on AMPradio.com this morning and we’ll share the link once it’s available.
— 97.1 AMP Radio (@971AMPRadio) November 2, 2015
— 97.1 AMP Radio (@971AMPRadio) November 2, 2015
It’s been announced that Gwen will be stopping by the AMP Radio studios this coming Monday, November 2, to join Carson Daly in the studio on his morning show! She will be appearing on the show at 7:10AM PST and fans can either tune into 97.1 AMP in Los Angeles or by streaming the show live on AMPRadio.com or by downloading the Radio.com app to your phone.
We’re really looking forward to Gwen’s interview and last time surprised listeners to a sneak peek at “Spark The Fire” back in October 2014. We hope she reveals more details on her upcoming album and future projects! If you’re not able to tune in, we’ll be listening and will share highlights from her interview and more than likely will be shared by AMP Radio, too.
— 97.1 AMP Radio (@971AMPRadio) October 31, 2015