New Interview: “Whenever we hit difficulties, we persevere”

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In a new-ish interview with UK’s The Daily Mail, No Doubt sat down with the publisher and discussed how they plan on bringing all of their children on the road with them. Tom says that the band will still be tired on the road, but from having fun with their… families during their down time, not partying.

Gwen starts off saying that herself and Gavin are obviously very hands-on parents. She admits it’s getting more tough with her two boys as they get older since they are “emotionally demanding”.

While writing, Gwen says that she was afraid that the material she was coming up with wasn’t good enough. After coming off the tour, Gwen started listening to the music she grew up with and then the ideas started to flow.

Gwen and Tony also talk about how their relationship has changed since their breakup. They call everything “fun” now that they both have families of their own and everything they have been through with the band. Adrian says, “What happened would have broken most bands, but we pulled through because music was so important to us. Whenever we hit difficulties, we persevere.”

Daily Mail — Gwen Stefani is a woman of many parts: peroxide blonde pop siren; fashion icon; yummy mummy.

Today, as she sits in a London hotel suite with her three No Doubt bandmates to discuss their new album, Push And Shove, it is the latter role that is occupying her thoughts. And her colleagues’ thoughts, too.

Though the California quartet have been out of the limelight for more than ten years, they’ve been busy. No Doubt, the next generation, comprises eight children under the age of ten.

Stefani, 43 — who has kept a high profile with a solo career — has two sons, Kingston, six, and Zuma, four, with her British rocker husband Gavin Rossdale of the band Bush.

‘Gavin and I are hands-on parents,’ Gwen tells me. ‘Children are a reward for your love, and I don’t understand people who palm them off onto other people.

‘The last year has been tough, because the children get more emotionally demanding as they get older. Last week, I left Kingston at home for the first time because I had to work. He was in his second week at school and leaving him worried me to death. Luckily, his dad was there to take care of everything.’

No Doubt drummer Adrian Young, 43, bassist Tony Kanal, 42, and guitarist Tom Dumont, 44, are similarly devoted dads.

This could prove problematic when the band launches its world tour next year to promote Push And Shove, the first studio album since 2001’s Rock Steady, which sold more than seven million copies.

Luckily, Dumont has a plan. ‘We’ll bring the children with us,’ he says. ‘It means the backstage bar will become a creche and we’ll be visiting amusement parks. We’ll still be tired — but it won’t be from partying.’

The new album almost didn’t happen, Stefani tells me. When No Doubt reconvened in 2008, she found, to her horror, that she had a bad case of writer’s block.

‘I was writing, but I couldn’t tell whether my songs were any good, and that was scary,’ she says. ‘I was pregnant with Zuma, so I was creating something in my belly — but I couldn’t create anything in my head!

‘So, on a whim, shortly after I gave birth, we went on the road. We hadn’t toured without new material since the early days of the band, but it did the trick. I came home and listened to some of the music I grew up on and the ideas started to flow.’

The outcome is a record that sounds like No Doubt meets Blondie. The lyrics, once written solely by Stefani, are now a joint effort with bassist Kanal.

The pair’s long-running relationship lies at the core of everything No Doubt do. They were lovers for seven years, until Kanal ended the romance in 1994. It could have spelled the end for the group, too — but Stefani used her heartbreak to inspire No Doubt’s breakthrough third album, Tragic Kingdom, which sold 16 million and spawned their single Don’t Speak.

If the duo’s split has left any emotional scars, they aren’t on show. Gwen and Tony (who has a baby girl with actress girlfriend Erin Lokit) seem relaxed in each other’s company.

‘Tony and I were so young when we started dating that we became best friends,’ says Gwen.

‘We were teenagers when we met. Our friendship got us through the break-up. Now we both have families of our own, and it’s so much fun.’

‘What happened would have broken most bands,’ says drummer Young. ‘But we pulled through because music was so important to us. Whenever we hit difficulties, we persevere.’

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