Gwen on ‘Push and Shove’: “It Just Didn’t Feel Exactly How We Wanted It To”

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In Gwen’s latest lengthy interview with UK’s POP magazine for their spring/summer issue, Gwen discusses writing No Doubt’s last album and how it didn’t come out the way they wanted it to, getting back to work on her brands and her upcoming makeup line.

In the article, Gwen admits that she was going through a pretty tough time while writing Push and Shove. She says that Gavin was on-tour for most of the time and had a tough time splitting her time between working in the studio and being there for her children. After putting our the album, the band decided “didn’t feel exactly” how they wanted so they went back into the studio in December of 2012. After getting pregnant, Gwen pulled back from the project and took time off for herself. During her downtime at home, she went back to work on her brands that she had felt been neglected over the years “because you can’t do everything at once.”

“I had been trying to do the No Doubt record and to be a parent in the way that I needed to be at that point when things… you know, you go through different phases. At that particular time it was tough for me as Gavin was on tour. I really needed to focus on my kids. It was just a lot! It made the record a really drawn our process which I think in some ways was frustrating for everyone. The record finally came out and it just didn’t feel exactly how we wanted it to, so we went back into the studio to write, and then I got pregnant. Then I was like, now this is what I’m going to do! I am going to let the record go for a minute and I am just going to do nothing but be pregnant. And I did that for the whole pregnancy, but meanwhile I was like, okay while I’m home, I’m just really going to work on my brands again. I had neglected them just because you can’t do everything at once.”

People previously reported that Gwen was indeed working on her first line of lipsticks. She was wearing another prototype for the collection during the interview and was praised for how great it looked on her.

Below are a few more photos from the magazine courtesy of POP and @LittleCarlyMy. For the full article, make sure to pick up POP on newsstands now.

50 thoughts on “Gwen on ‘Push and Shove’: “It Just Didn’t Feel Exactly How We Wanted It To”

  1. at least now she recognizes it, push and shove was a major fail for the band, music wise, lyrics wise, everything was a bubble pink autotuned mess!

  2. ^ Autotuned?? Really?
    Of course she won’t mention the LH video incident, but that was the main thing that stopped them from continuing to promote the album. I’m pretty sure interscope didn’t allow them to release another single. There were rumours saying they went back to the studio to record more tracks and then re-release P&S, but over time their plans changed and decided to quit the project.

  3. I’m actually confused because I thought Push and Shove was an excellent album. I always felt that it was just abandoned and I don’t think we’ll ever get the true story behind it all. At this point I think everyone involved is going to be very polite or diplomatic about it.

  4. ^ Exactly my thoughts. Of course the band won’t share what really happened BTS, especially when they’ve been under interscope’s thumb for years.

  5. ^ yea i agree. I’m sure part of what she is saying is very true but there is definitely more to the story. understandably, i think she is just being diplomatic.

    but why is everything such a struggle for her? P&S and now the new album.

  6. I thought Push and Shove was a stellar album!!! There is like 1 song maybe that I’ll skip over!!! I’ve been a fan since I was 12 years old when they released Tragic Kingdom and I was hooked!! I wish Gwen would see this because a true fan grows with the band and I thought I was another killer album. It was different but amazing all in one!!! I can’t wait for them to make another one and go on tour!!!!!

  7. If the album didn’t sound how they wanted it to they SHOULDNT HAVE RELEASED IT. That simple. Or maybe they should only start projects they intend to finish in a reasonable amount of time. It’s hard to stay focused, I get that, but still…

  8. P&S was a decent album. Nothing spectacular but definitely not bad. The band was pretty cocky about it being good though especially Adrian so clearly the lack of commercial success changed their mind much like when they said ROS was their best album but failed compared to Tragic Kingdom. Honestly I think the only songs we will hear them play live from this album is Settle Down, P&S and maybe Sparkle. The rest of the songs are already dead to them. Which sucks because I would especially like to hear Heaven, Undone and Undercover live.

  9. I agree with Nick.
    There was a lot of pressure to make the album and it wasn’t the most inspired time in their lives to do so.

    The record did feel uninspired. The melodies were there but what disappointed me the most was all the shameless overproduction. Rock Steady had more studio polish and electronic elements but still there was a raw element (Detective is a great example).

    But in Push and Shove you couldn’t tell the guitars from the synths, it was all bland and plastic-sounding, maybe fit for a Selena Gomez album but not for this band. I think they were wise not to have promoted the album, it was clearly not very fitting for a band gone for more than 10 years.

    Don’t fool yourself NDLover, there is autotune used in the album, you just have to listen harder.

  10. Hm, I think we shouldn’t read too much into Gwen’s comment about P&S. I don’t think she wanted to say that the band was generally dissatisfied with the album. I think she’s mostly refering to the recording process and not the album itself. I’m sure the LH incident and the lack of success were the reasons for them to withdraw from this album. They just spent too much time on this album and when it finally came out, they were exhausted and maybe already tired of the songs.

    I still think P&S was a good album and I think it could’ve been even better without Spike Stent’s overproduction. I think he took control over the whole thing at some point, probably because of the band’s exhaustion and that’s why the album didn’t feel entirely ND-ish. Maybe ND should’ve recorded more songs with Major Lazer. I think P&S (song) was a true blessing for them. The album could’ve needed more of this energy and confidence.

  11. J, comparing P&S to a Selena Gomez album is like comparing oranges and apples. At the end of the day P&S is still a pretty solid Pop album, far from being disposable music.

  12. I think P&S is certainly not a bad album, I still listen to it quite often and enjoy it. The only thing is that the typical No Doubt stylie and ditto energy is really lacking. It just sounds too polished and synthy. I love hearing a good bass riff, energetic percussion, and guitar solos.
    Even though No Doubt will always be my no 1 favorite band, it kind of stings me that they only managed to put out six albums in 28 years… :/

  13. And if I have to listen harder to find autotune then they did a pretty good job cause it sounds pretty good to me. You make it sound like they completely distorted her voice like Cher or Britney Spears. lol

  14. I agree with YYY! When the album came out they were already tired of those songs. It took them too long like it was a chore they were forced to finish. Luckily some of those songs are amazing gems.

  15. I think that the real problem is that Push and Shove was the 3rd Solo album from Gwen Stefani with some ND influences, and people didn’t like it.
    Who knows? Maybe Interscope had plans to fusion ND and Gwen Stefani in the future (bcause ND is not relevant in pop music anymore) and this was like a failed project.

  16. And yes, the album sounds completely autotuned… There are only 2 or 3 songs that sound natural like: DTSD, Heaven or Undone..

  17. All I know is that P&S is my 3rd favourite ND album. The only song that I feel that is a bit overproduced and that never did anything for me is “Gravity”. All the other songs are perfect! The only thing missing is another Major Lazer song to make the album more consistent.

  18. That is exactly how I have described P/S in the past…it’s Gwen’s 3rd solo album. However, I have learned to appreciate it for what it is. The lyrics and theme of the album are not their best, but it’s not a bad album overall and I wish they wouldn’t brush it aside because I’m dying to hear those songs live. Unfortunately I think we will only hear P&S from now on and maybe Settle Down. It’s such a shame what a disaster that era ended up being.

    I don’t recall hearing any autotune either. I actually think Gwen had some great vocal moments on that album (Easy and Undone).

    I think Stent is partially to blame for the boys being drowned out, but I also think he was forced to work with what they gave him and maybe he did the best he could. Still, I hope they avoid him in the future. I’d like to see them work with Ric Ocasek again.

  19. *Yess, Cynthia and Amanda G!

    And recently, they (No Doubt) were close to repeat the same mistake once again.. I mean, release SHINE as a ND song. It doesn’t sounds like ND at all.. come on, it sounds more like Pharell trying to make a pop hit with their old roots IMHO.

  20. ^ If there’s a song that sounds a lot like No Doubt is “Shine”. Only a person who doesn’t know their music catalog would say something like that. You can tell that this song started as a No Doubt song. It wouldn’t surprise if it was a song from the 2013 sessions.

  21. To NDLOVER:

    So “Shine” sounds like ND because it has horns and some reggae vibes at the end… Ok, you got a problem. Shine sounds like Gwen Stefani and it would fit perfectly on Push & Shove (3rd Solo Gwen).

  22. I enjoy the P&S album a lot; I don’t get everyone’s big issue with lyrics? There are some very deep meaningful lyrics on the album… particularly related to relationship struggles which is obviously what was going on at the time….

    It had been so long since they had released anything, initially they hoped to be inspired but it dragged out for them all personally and if they had success with it, that would inspire them to keep going and be performing…. BUT imagine having a non-enjoyable recording process, then it not being a success… What would make you want to keep going with it? It would just feel like a boring job where you have to go and release an album by a certain date, even though it doesn’t feel right…

    I think Gwen’s parent comments are so right… why should it be ignored that Gwen is a mother like any other in the world; she has the luxury of not having to work to pay bills etc, so she should be able to take time to spend with her children…. Gavin not being there is also a massive deal because that would mean the children only had Gwen around as their actual parent, obviously there are nannys etc but Gwen being there for them would have been the priority rather than new music.

  23. I think Shine sounds more like a b-side from the ROS era. I would have rather heard Gwen’s lyrics before Pharrell made her change them to be more bear oriented haha

  24. P&s as an album is totally over produced! I think there’s maybe 3 EXCELLENT tracks off the whole thing. P&s (the song) is soooo good, and “sparkle” are the only ones I liked 100% instantly. Most of the rest of the album sounds like one big long drawn out whiney girly song. I reallllllly wish they’d just play live shows with all the hits from now on. I LOVE ND and they’ve given me so much joy with what they’ve already released throughout the years. If Gwen wants to be a 45year old white mom rapper and all that goofy stuff fine! LOL!

  25. Its nice they at least tried after gwens solo albums though. I was not a fan of LH, but to see my favorite band promoting the hell out of that song made me happy

  26. I don’t think it was a major fail. I liked most of it and like all bands that are going through tough times they aren’t always going to be 100% I mean you don’t want to try and promote an album and say- eh but it’s not so great. Looking forward to more new stuff either way.

  27. I like the album. My only problem with it is that you can’t really hear the band. It’s so overproduced you can’t really listen to the guys playing their instruments, which is a real shame (oh, and Gravity is an awful song). Aside from that, it’s a decent album. But please, no more Spike Stent.

  28. Bob they have been playing just the hits at every live show now which is getting boring for most fans now. And they did not promote the hell out of LH they performed at the ellen show before it was released as a single then they performed it two months later at the EMAs and AMAs. How is that promoting the hell out of it? The promotion was terrible for that single.

  29. @Lisa, they performed LH way more than that, they even performed it on the Tonight Show with President Obama. THATS BIG. also you mentioned BIG shows as well. Music video or not, iTunes or not, we live in an age were if a song is great it can move on its own, the public just didn’t like it. It was a goofy song. I think they had stronger singles on the album.

  30. And the publicity LH got after the music videos “controversy” only gave the song MORE publicity, I just think the album had stronger singles that the public would’ve liked

  31. Hm, I agree that P&S was really overproduced, but I still think that it had a very strong “band” feeling to it. I don’t think it sounds like a solo album at all. Of course the songs are VERY pop-ish, so I can see some connection to Gwen’s solo albums, but still I think it felt like a pop album by a band and not by a solo artist. Maybe some of you guys should listen to the leaked instrumentals, because they really show this “band” feeling I’m talking about. Many guitars, bass and drums and stuff.

  32. I kind of agree with everyone. I also think that they are making their music a chore. They all have families now and I think they really don’t want to make music that much right now. I also wonder why they haven’t left Interscope and made thier own record company so they can do whatever they want when they want.

    As a No Doubt and Gwen Stefani fan , I will buy whatever album they release and try to see them on tour. 😀

  33. Batcaver, whatever, it’s your opinion. But if there’s a solo song that is totally ND-esque, that’s “Shine”. Like someone said, it even sounds like a ROS B-side. Don’t let the lyrics trick you. It could even be about scrubbing the floor, for all I care, but the instrumental is No Doubt.

    I agree with YYY, I think people underestimate P&S just because it’s more Pop oriented, and a little to the left of what we’re used to hear from them. But it doesn’t matter to me, I’d rather have a natural evolution of their sound than an attempt to recreate TK/ROS magic just to accuse them to being stuck on repeat.

    By the way, for the record, P&S entered the Billboard’s charts at #3 (115,000). If that’s not impressive by today’s standards, then I don’t know what you really want. Fireworks? Lmao!

  34. It makes me really sad that P&S will always be seen as a failure from now on and it makes me even sadder that even the band will ignore it at their shows. I think overall it was a very enjoyable pop album with a very mature and cohesive sound. They always said that they wanted it to be 80s and that’s exactly what it sounds like. If only they had made better single choices… Oh well…

  35. Push and shove… good. Not great.
    ND can do so much better and hopefully they’ll bring back some of their well-loved authenticity for future projects.
    That’s all I have to say!

  36. The album sounds better when you’re high to be honest. But the title track has the best chorus No Doubt has given us since the TK days, so I know they still got it.

  37. The Webisodes during P&S era were very promising… I P&S (song) sounds different and less autotuned on the 1st Webisode, sounds cooler.

  38. When reading different opinions it is obvious who is completely subjective and bias be it positive or negative and who is being objective and balanced. And it also annoys me when someone says “a real fan is this” or “a real fan would be this way”. It is really immature to define what a real fan is into one category.

    In one light it annoys me when someone is completely bias in a negative way towards No Doubt. One example that I seemed to notice a lot of metal fans will judge No Doubt and say things that are not true and not accurate. On another light I have seemed to notice some No Doubt fans that are too positive with their bias. One example is some fans seem to completely ignore any truth or facts if it is at all negative. In their minds No Doubt are perfect in every way and are super humans and never make mistakes. Those fans are the most difficult to talk to because the conversion is completely onesided. I could state facts that are completely logical and they will ignore it if it is negative.

    It seems to me that most on these comments think Push and Shove is either overproduced or it sounds too artificial and not like the sound No Doubt is known for. it seems to me the Native American controversy had more to do with the music video than the song. In my opinion that is not enough to cause the album to fail.

    Gwens comment could be referring to many things about Push and Shove. In my opinion what Gwen said could apply to the writing, recording or the production of Push and Shove or all of them.

    In opinion Gwens comment validates my opinion of Push and Shove. To me it validates that Push and Shove is not great. I like a few songs on the album. In my opinion Push and Shove is No Doubts worst album ever. In my opinion fans who say Push and Shove is great are saying that either because of that is the type of music they like or it is out of blind loyalty.

  39. The only thing that bugs me is the question whether Gwen would say the same things, if P&S had become a bigger success. Like, when it came out the band said that it was “the album of our lives” and Gwen always talked about “ear candy”. Of course I’m aware that artists always say these kind of things after a fresh release for promotional purposes, but still it seems like a very drastic change of opinion now. I guess it would be a lot more sincere if she just said “Well, nobody really cared about our comeback, the album got mixed reviews and we didn’t get any hits out of it despite going for this super radio friendly sound. That’s why Interscope pulled the plug.”

  40. I had an interesting observation. Despite the fact Return Of Saturn did not sell very well, yet No Doubt toured a fair amount across the United States and Japan in 2000. The fact that No Doubt didn’t do tour that much for Push and Shove. I wonder if it No Doubt toured for Return of Saturn because they were happy with that album and those songs were great to perform live. In contrast I wonder if one of the reasons No Doubt didn’t tour that much for Push and Shove was because they were not happy with that album and those songs were difficult to perform live or not fun to preform live. It seems to me that songs that are that artificial and overproduced would not translate very well from the recordings to live performances.

  41. If they were proud of P/S, they would have stood by it and promoted it no matter what. Many artists tour off of albums that aren’t hits. It’s not uncommon. Hell, Gavin has been doing it for years LOL I think the Looking Hot fiasco was the excuse they needed so they could back away from a tour and 3rd single.

  42. Travis aka NDGoonie, speak for yourself dude. P&S is a great album. If you don’t like it, it’s a different story. You also didn’t like Rock Steady at all. Are you even a fan at all? lol

  43. My opinion of Rock Steady has evolved and I like that album. The Rock Steady era has great memories of going to a meet and greet and being on stage with the band.

    The fact that you’d bring up my user name from the forum when I haven’t posted on the forum since 2011 shows that you must have been really affected by my opinions and hold a grudge.

    If Push and Shove is so great why did it sell so poorly? Why did No Doubt not stand by the album and promote it no matter what? Why did Gwen say what she said if it was so great? Why are the majority of fans

  44. Why is the majority of fans opinion are negative about Push and Shove if it’s so great? It comes down to opinion. You have the right to like the album and I have the right to my opinion.

    I love No Doubt but I am realistic about the fact that the band members are human. They are capable of making mistakes. They are capable of changing their priorities like people do. As talented as No Doubt is I do not expect them to always make great music. To sugar coat the truth and assume No Doubt are always going to do everything perfect is immature.

  45. Charts positions won’t change my opinion on an album I cherish so much. I actually think P&S is ageing pretty well Of course it was released in 2012 but some of those songs are starting to sound like classics. Too bad they haven’t performed half of it yet, so it’s hard to have some great memories. The magic I hear on songs such as Easy, Undone or Dreaming The Same Dream would probably help to sell this album better to people. Sadly they’re now obscure songs on their catalog. I hope they perform them at some point though.

  46. We’re all “Different People”. No Doubt has one of the most diverse fan bases made up of fans with many different likes and dislikes about No Doubt’s music. That’s why on this subject the comments have been mixed opinions. Everyone has their own reasons for liking an album or song, that’s why makes us individuals. I never base wether I like something off of chart stats. One of my favorite bands is Fishbone and their career has not been the most successful, but I yet I really like their music. Set aside wether or not Push and Shove was a poorly done album. It seems most of the fans comments about Push and Shove are negative and they don’t like that album. That does not make it a bad album.

    And I believe when there is a band that has been creating music as long as No Doubt has there will always be the one or two albums that most fans do not like. Based on my experience with fans opinions there may be albums like Tragic Kingdom that is fairly universally liked among most fans. But, the rest of No Doubts albums seem to vary from fan to fan who likes or who does not.

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