Rolling Stone — Gwen Stefaniâ€™s Fashion Week presentation Thursday at Milk Studios wasnâ€™t just a preview of her military and punk-inspired fall line for L.A.M.B. â€” it was also a sneak peek of whatâ€™s brewing in the singerâ€™s head for the next No Doubt album.
First was her choice of a DJ: Jeremy Healy from Haysi Fantayzee (of â€œShiny, Shinyâ€ fame), who had mash-up duties on her 2006 single â€œWind It Upâ€ (combining her song with â€œThe Lonely Goatherdâ€ from â€œThe Sound of Musicâ€). As the models â€” all identically made up in bangs and brushed out curls, smokey eyes, and dramatic red lips â€” strutted down a runway that was more skate ramp than catwalk, they did so to mash-ups of songs like â€œWarm Leatheretteâ€ and â€œI Eat Cannibals.â€
â€œWe just had a lot of the stuff that I like, [from the] â€™80s, you know, everything I like,â€ Stefani said after the showâ€™s end. Under other circumstances, that wouldnâ€™t be noteworthy, except for the fact that No Doubtâ€™s currently on a crash diet of one-hit wonders. Though Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young had started working on the next album while Stefani was unavailable (due to various solo album and mothering duties), now that theyâ€™ve re-teamed, theyâ€™re scrapping some of the early work and started fresh a few weeks ago.
â€œThey were doing stuff before,â€ Stefani said, â€œbut things are kind of starting over, you know what I mean? We might revisit some of that stuff, but itâ€™s the same old chase. It doesnâ€™t matter how we get there â€” we want to get there, we will, and weâ€™re having fun doing it.â€
Part of the fun is revisiting songs from their youth, as Stefani and Kanal did during sessions for her solo albums. â€œWe always do that. I think everyone does. The last few weeks, weâ€™ve been listening to the worst of the â€™80s, in the sense of bad but good,â€ she laughed. â€œPop songs, one-hit wonders, nifty songs, things like that. You just go back and find things that you love, and try to figure out how they made them. We just listen to good songs, and then writing our own stuff, we try to pull it out wherever we can.â€
Foremost on the playlist right now? â€œWhat was the last thing I was listening to?â€ she paused, thinking. â€œLionel Richie. I love him.â€