Written by Matt Sharkey for NoDoubt.com (circa 2001):
His own band mates describe him as “strong” and “a man of true integrity.” An incredible bass player and lively act on stage, you might be surprised to find out how humble and generous a person he truly is off stage.
Tony Kanal was born on August 27, 1970, in Kingsbury, a suburb of London, England. At the age of eleven his family relocated to the Orange County region of Southern California.
Tony’s earliest memories of music are old compilations of nursery rhymes and the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack. As Tony grew older his father served as a great musical influence by purchasing various contemporary recordings for him. In 1982 the Men at Work album Business As Usual became the first record that Tony bought with his own money.
Soon to follow would be the same music that the rest of American youth were listening to; from Motley Crue to Duran Duran and everything in between. In 1985 Tony was fortunate enough to catch Prince on his Purple Rain Tour. This was Tony’s first live concert experience, helping to change the way he views music to this very day. Prince, or the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, remains one of Tony’s greatest musical influences.
In high school Tony really got into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and can remember cutting school to see them play live. All of these different musical interests would help to shape the musician that Tony is and the musician he continues to become.
Tony began playing bass in his high school jazz band. He sites his bass teacher Dave Carpenter, The Specials’ bassist Horace Gentleman, and Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher as his first major influences. Tony’s introduction to, and ultimately inclusion with No Doubt would soon follow his beginnings in the high school jazz band. After having played only one official gig at Fender’s Ballroom in Long Beach, No Doubt needed to replace their bass player. Tony, who had been in attendance at the first show, was chosen as the new bassist and joined the band before their second club show.
Many of No Doubt’s earliest influences came from England’s two-tone ska scene. Thus, this is primarily the music that the band was playing when Tony joined them. However, as time passed and the band grew, the many different influences of each band member would contribute to the sound that has become entirely No Doubt’s own.
Outside of music, Tony has always kept a sharp eye on good business people and has observed their tactics as how to and how not to conduct himself within his own business affairs. It should then be no surprise to find out that Tony handled many aspects of No Doubt’s business during their formative years and that he continues to be involved in these matters even today.
For more on Tony, please check out Wikipedia.org.
Tony Kanal is the bass player of No Doubt and joined the group in 1987 shortly after seeing the band perform live. He was also known as the band’s manager in the early years.
After Tony and Gwen’s breakup (the two dated for seven years), he offered to leave No Doubt, but ultimately stayed in the band because Gwen didn’t want him to.
Tony continues to write and produce for the band and has released six albums with No Doubt.
Tony has reached out to several artists outside of No Doubt to collaborate. Notable artists that he’s written and produced for include: Elan, P!nk, Weezer and Unwritten Law. Tony was also heavily involved with production for both of Gwen’s solo releases including “Crash”, “Don’t Get It Twisted”, and “Florescent”.
Tony once had his own sub-record label with Interscope, Kingsbury Studios.
Tony is a strong voice in the Vegan community and an avid supporter of animal rights.