Gabe sat down and gave an incredible interview with Afropunk discussing a lot of recent projects (did you see him on the Glee live tour this summer?) and of course, working with No Doubt. When even asked about the new album, Gabe went on to say that even he doesn’t know when it’s going to be ready, but he assumes they are close. It’s pretty interesting to find out that he performed live this past summer with the Glee tour and is helped score the soundtrack to an upcoming indie film that stars Garbage frontwoman and friend to the band, Shirley Manson. He’s keeping himself busy for sure! He also praises Gwen for being one of his favorite people ever and how she’s such an inspiration to everyone. It’s also nice to hear him give his insights on her and her roots. We put highlights from the interview below, but click the full source to check out his full interview, it’s pretty long and really good!
It’s also pretty interesting to read that when Gabe first joined he asked to be in No Doubt as a full time member, and they said no. As well as Steve. I had never heard that!
Gabe also hints that his next project is to focus on No Doubt since the Glee tour has ended.
Afropunk — A lot of your visibility stems from your long standing collaboration of fifteen years with No Doubt. You obviously have a mutually loyal relationship, yet neither you nor Stephen Bradley are â€œofficialâ€ members of the band. Obviously the dynamic works, but it would be interesting for us to know how it works.
Itâ€™s kind of a funny thing, when I first started playing with them they had decided it was going to be the four of them and they would always have people come and play [horns, keyboards] with them. Each show they had to pay me even though they werenâ€™t earning much themselves. Theyâ€™d gone through a lot of horn players. So when I started playing with them I said, â€˜letâ€™s make this a full band,â€™ and they were like â€˜no, itâ€™s just going to be the four of us.â€™ Then Stephen Bradley comes in a couple years after Iâ€™m in. He talks to me and heâ€™s like, â€˜hey we should talk to them about being in the band,â€™ and I was like â€˜dude, I already tried it, theyâ€™re not gonna go for it, but you know what, letâ€™s try anyways.â€™ We had another meeting with them and they said, â€˜sorry, weâ€™re just gonna keep things the way it is.â€™ I wasnâ€™t going to let my ego get in the way. At that point there were a couple hundred people who wouldâ€™ve liked this job.
But they do have a loyalty to both of you. Theyâ€™re always extending that opportunity to record and tour with them. They come to you guys first. Thereâ€™s obviously mutual respect and appreciation there.
We have a good relationship. Weâ€™ve got a complete understanding. If something sounds weird they look to me and Stephen for, â€˜how do we make this work?â€™ Theyâ€™re all great musicians, but Iâ€™ve got a great ear, a very consistent ear, you know. As far as making things work, I have lots of ideas for those things. There is a high level of respect, a mutual respect on both sides. And thereâ€™s no crazy, heavy drug use and those things. I came straight out of high school, then community college and into No Doubt. I started playing with them when I was nineteen. Theyâ€™re great people. We all have such a good time with each other. Playing with them has led me to other opportunities too.
I understand No Doubt is in the studio working on a new album. I donâ€™t know if thereâ€™s anything you can tell us about it, or when it will be ready?
I donâ€™t know when its going to be ready, but theyâ€™re probably getting close, thatâ€™s about all I can say for now, but stay tuned.
What was the experience like of going on tour with Gwen for her two solo albums?
It was really great to be there. Weâ€™ve known each other for a long time. Everyone knew sheâ€™d eventually do a solo album, it was in the cards for a long time. So when she finally put a band together to tour it just seemed like a no brainer. Gwen definitely likes pop, but her roots are deep in punk and she has that attitude about her. I would say Gwen is one of my favorite front people out there, out of men and women. Gwen and Billie and David Lee Rothâ€”no one can really top that guy.
Gwen is great and No Doubt in general are very entertaining. You and Stephen definitely bring a lot of energy to the live performances too.
We bounce off of each other on stage. Gwen is so crazy we canâ€™t just stand there and be stiff. She inspires all of us. For Stephen and I, we push each other harder, you know, heâ€™s definitely brought a lot to it. The music is infectious. The crowdâ€™s excited. Itâ€™s a good time.
Whatâ€™s next for you in the foreseeable future?
The Glee tour ends in July. Then I might start playing with another band. I canâ€™t say who, [laughs] but I think you understand.