Gwen on Writing ‘Truth’ and the Album’s Artwork

Photo courtesy of Gwen Stefani/Interscope
Photo courtesy of Gwen Stefani/Interscope

Gwen opened up about This Is What the Truth Feels Like in a new interview with GQ and spoke about writing the album and the inspiration behind the personal artwork.

Gwen admits that she’s found it difficult speaking about her private life and inspirations behind the album’s songs but does appreciate the attention. “Normal people, in real life, we don’t talk to people we don’t even know about personal things! It’s such a weird process. I’ve done it half of my life since I’ve been in a band.” Truth is a very important album for Gwen and she’s finding herself very defensive over it. She says it’s incredible to have the album out but wishes she was still writing for it.

She says she’s surprised she was able to write so many songs in such a short period of time and called the experience “magical and spiritual.” “[The songs are] going to capture that time period of my life in such a magical, perfect way. I got a hold of things by writing those songs and giving them a little place where they can live, instead of being all over the place in my mind.”

Gwen recalls early writing sessions (for her now infamous scrapped album), she felt like she didn’t have any creative freedom writing songs of her. “…they weren’t letting me write. They were giving me tracks and doing it all. I was like, Why am I here? Gwen says it took her being paired with her Breakfast Club writing crew (including Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, Raja Kumari and JR Rotem) for her to finally find her way and inspiration. “Then I got the perfect combination of people to really support me and make me feel confident. It was an amazing awakening.”

Gwen’s intentions behind the album has been the truth from the beginning. “There’s been a lot of dishonesty around me, and I just don’t understand that because it’s just not how I live.” She breaks our heart when she expresses that all she wanted to do was “die” after her ordeal this time last year. Gwen has prevailed and came out on top and feels incredibly grateful and privileged for Truth to be out for everyone to hear. “The fact that now I have a record and people are hearing it, it just blows my mind.”

On writing for the album, Gwen says that’s always kept a journal which came in handy while writing Return of Saturn. She continued to write down her thoughts and song ideas throughout the year, including “Used To Love You”. “I had a book, on an airplane. The songs were already in there. “Used to Love You” was already written in the journal before I even got into the studio. [I just needed] to find the songs and place them to melodies and finish them.” Gwen said she pushed herself to write and not feel sorry for herself.

Gwen said that when coming up with ideas for Truth‘s album artwork, she strived to keep it simple to not take away from the album’s meaning and intent. “I did all those doodles. Some of it was my real journal, like in the background.” Gwen reveals that her label and creative partner were not 100% on board with her idea for the doodle format but she pushed for it since she wanted it “to say something.”

8 Replies to “Gwen on Writing ‘Truth’ and the Album’s Artwork”

  1. Kinda funny to hear the label was not being 100% behind some of her decisions. Very different from when Jimmy Iovine was on Interscope, I always had a feeling she could get away with anything under his management (on the record label!).

    1. Yeah it’s sad that nowadays an artist as Gwen Stefani can’t have all the freedom to express herself the way she wants. I feel like back in the day for Rock Steady and L.A.M.B. she could do whatever she wanted!

      1. But I’m glad she scrapped the “curated” album and stepped away from being just another puppet and have other people to get her everything on a plate.

  2. Just out of curiousity….but Blake doesn’t write most of his songs, right? I wonder how she feels about that. Maybe she will encourage him to try.

    1. I read it somewhere, caught me by surprise, I always thought most country singers sang their own stuff.
      Maybe she wrote some songs for him on this album, there’s a duet on his new album, hoping she is the writter.

      1. I read that his new single that is supposedly about Gwen, wasn’t really written by him. lol I guess he just hires some writers and tells them what he has in mind…

      2. I think it’s just as common in the country world as it is in the pop world to hire songwriters, but I could be mistaken.

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