Scans: New No Doubt Photos And Interview In Q Magazine; Transcribed Article

The September 2011 cover features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kedis on the cover and is on sale now on the official website.

Woah! Huge thanks to our friends at Everything In Time for sharing with us! No Doubt is featured in the newest issue of UK’s Q magazine. It features a new photo shoot (more than 1 photo!) and a new interview with the band from the studio. They look amazing! It’s official, the band is back in full force! We will add the HQ scans to the gallery, and huge thanks to aaalex555 for transcribing the article for everyone!

The article does reveal that “Undercover” was one of the first tracks they wrote after the 2009 summer tour.

Gwen also describes “Easy” as a potential single and “Dreaming the Same Dream” as a “prom song” which we can assume is a ballad.

Click here to see scans from Q Magazine

Click here to see the photo shoot from the magazine

Where: The Pass Studios, Hollywood; A&M Studios, Hollywood; The Mix Suite, Santa Monica
Producer: Mark “Spike” Stent
Song Titles: Undercover, Settle Down, Easy, Dreaming The Same Dream, Heaven, One More Summer
Due: Late 2011

On a gorgeous, sun-drenched Santa Monica afternoon, No Doubt can be found hunkered down in the dark expanses of The Mix Suite studio, where they’ve been working on their as-yet-untitled, very much unfinished new album since the beginning of the year. “We’re sure our management have arranged this interview to shock us into hurrying up,” says frontwoman Gwen Stefani. As the LA four-piece beaver away on their first full-length record since 2001′s Rock Steady, they’re rapidly tiring of fielding one question: What took you so long? “It seems almost offensive to hear that because so much stuff has happened in that 10-year period,” says the singer, visibly narked. “We’ve toured twice, released a Greatest Hits, I’ve had two solo records, two clothing lines, two babies… There’s been a lot coming out of me – literally!”

Stefani may have a point, but for the three blokes in the band, there does seem to have been some time spent twiddling their thumbs. Bassist Tony Kanal worked on much of Stefani’s solo output and, alongside playing for bands including The Vandals and Maroon 5, drummer Adrian Young’s golf game is much improved. “Really, it doesn’t feel like we’ve been away that long,” says guitarist Tom Dumont. “I enjoyed surfing and hanging out. I got married and had kids, produced a few things. I actually am a pretty lazy person.”

Fifteen years ago, the Number 1 hit Don’t Speak propelled No Doubt to mainstream stardom. Its video featured a scene in which a photographer ushers out each member of the band except Stefani. In the 2000s, that’s exactly what happened. As the bottle-blonde bombshell carved out a solo career, Stefani’s brand outshone that of No Doubt. A short break from the cycle of recording, promotion and touring soon turned into a long haitus. Did it cause tension? An awkward silence from the male contingent is broken by Stefani herself: “there was a time when I was touring and it probably was frustrating for them because it went on way longer than we ever talked about,” she says. “But we always planned to do another No Doubt record, we never talked about splitting up.”

Whether impatiently or not, the three men in the band began songwriting without Stefani in 2007. Putting her solo career to bed the following year, Stefani rejoined to find her band had grown rusty. “I couldn’t get any perspective on what we were doing,” says the singer, who was pregnant at the time. “Maybe it was the hormones.”

In frustration, they hit the road on a 57-date US tour in 2009. When they returned, they wrote a track named Undercover that finally let the genie out of the bottle. “Once we had that song under our belts we knew it was going to work,” says Kanal.

Writing throughout the rest of 2009 and 2010, the chief aim was to pen a pile of ultra-catchy tunes.

“Prince once said to me, Do you ever just try to write a hit song?” name-drops Stefani. “You know, instead of trying to be all arty about it?”

Beyond that there’s no grand plan, no over-arching theme, not even a concern for where No Doubt’s blend of reggae, ’80s pop and ’70s new wave fits into a musical landscape that’s been levelled and rebuilt since they last popped their heads above the parapet. “We wish we were good enough to craft it and have a vision, but our songwriting process is sort of desperate – we’re just praying that something comes out,” says Stefani with notable self-deprecation.

A focused songwriting process was a necessity of the band’s unforgiving schedule. With young families to take care of, work would begin at 5pm and end around midnight, meaning there was no time for messing around. “By 5pm, I’ve already had a full day of being a mom, working on my two clothing lines and working out,” says Stefani. “That’s the horror of any creative person – to have to be creative between certain times.”

the band then took to the Santa Monica studio owned by Mark “Spike” Stent, their longtime producer, in January 2011. Here, they play two new tracks: One More Summer, a beat-driven electropop track with a soaring chorus, and Settle Down, a raucous dancehall number that neatly updates No Doubt’s Rock Steady reggae sound. Other track include potential single Easy and Dreaming The Same Dream, which Stefani describes as a “prom song”. Though mixing is set to commence in July, there’s no release date set beyond “this year”. Even at this stage, Stefani’s celebrity lifestyle interrupts the process – the band recently took a break while she filmed a L’Oreal advert in Cannes. But for this unhurried foursome, it’s all about the process. “We don’t even need to be making this record,” says Stefani. “We just wanted to make it because of the process of writing songs, recording them and touring them around the world – it just feels right.”

And then? Can we expect another 10 year gap? Stefani fires daggers across the room: “Don’t even think about asking us what comes next…”

19 Replies to “Scans: New No Doubt Photos And Interview In Q Magazine; Transcribed Article”

  1. Just wanted to say that it seems only ‘Dreaming The Same Dream’ is the ‘prom’ song, if you read carefully. Thanks

  2. I think what it comes down to is that there is no need to mention the ska–it’s part of ND’s roots, so no matter what type of music they explore, the ska influence will still present itself in one way or another, even if they don’t intentionally make a ska record 🙂

  3. I think what it comes down to is that there is no need to mention the ska–it’s part of ND’s roots, so no matter what type of music they explore, the ska influence will still present itself in one way or another, even if they don’t intentionally make a ska record 🙂 EW also said that OMS updates the band’s “ska-pop sound”

  4. By looking at the pie chart, it looks like we can divide the song descriptions according to the coloring.

    What I mean is, since we know “Dreaming The Same Dream” is a ballad/prom song, it’s clearly represented by the black area of the pie chart. IF “dreaming the same dream” is the ONLY prom/ballad song on the album (thus far), that means the size of the black area of the chart accounts for 1 song.

    So, if we take the black portion of the pie chart, and estimate how many times the black portion can fit into the larger portions of the chart, we may sneek into a preview of how many songs currently fall into the categories on the chart.

    To me, it looks like approximately 2 songs fit into the “Dancehall” category, 2 in “80’s One-hit wonders”, 1 in “heart on the sleeve lyrical content”, 3 in “incessantly catchy choruses”, and 1 in “Depeche mode and the cure.” The “Unnamed mystery guest” category seems smaller than a full song, which makes sense if it’s a song ‘featuring blah-blah-blah’ (for example, Underneath it all featuring Lady Saw). It also doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery guest since we already know Major Lazer has been in the studio…

    So, the pie chart seems to account for 10 songs, which has been confirmed as the number of songs ND has completed so far.

    “One More Summer” is described as having a “soaring chorus.” It would likely fall into the “Incessantly catchy choruses” portion of the chart.

    “Settle Down” has been described as having a “Jamaican street vibe.” It was also described as Dancehall by entertainment weekly – so it goes in the “Dancehall” category.

    “Push and shove” has been rumored to be the song that Major Lazer is collaborating on. Major Lazer is a very Dancehall-influenced collaboration team…so I’m thinking “Push and shove” can also fall into Dancehall.

    “Easy” has been described as being a potential first single. Normally, a single has a pretty catchy chorus. (Think about it – Hey baby, underneath it all, ex-girlfriend, bathwater, just a girl, spiderwebs…) I’m thinking it’s unlikely No Doubt would release a first single that is too heavy (so it’s not likely to fall into the “heart on your sleeve” category). I’m thinking that “Easy” might be in the “catchy chorus” category.

    One June 9th, Gwen tweeted about a Major Lazer sandwich. There were no more recording tweets sent until June 23rd, a tweet came out saying Gwen is recording some rapid-fire tongue twisters, and that the beat for the song (title was not mentioned in the tweet) is “Jamaicanish”. By looking at the history of the timeline, it seems that No Doubt will tweet that Gwen lays down vocals, then either after that tweet, or a few days later, a tweet will say Tom is doing (mostly late-night) recording. Since there were no tweets about new stuff after June 23rd to July 6th, we don’t really know if Tom went in after Gwen to record on this “Jamaican” track. BUT, on July 6th, Tom noted he was working on “Heaven.” I’m wondering if “Heaven” is the Jamaican-vibe song Gwen was doing vocals on…and if it’s a “rapid-fire tongue-twister” type of JAMAICAN-influenced song, that would fit PERFECTLY with the style of Major Lazer. I’m wondering if Major Lazer has collaborated on 2 songs with No Doubt. I see at least one of the collaboration songs being a single. And with a rapid vocal portion, I’m thinking “Heaven” could belong to the “catchy chorus” category…

    IF “Sparkle” is a leftover song being remade from some LAMB recording sessions, I think it likely falls into the “80’s one-hit-wonders” category since the LAMB album was so heavily influenced by 80’s music.

    In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gwen talked about how much she wishes she was Depeche Mode or The Cure. The interview was done on June 3rd. According to tweets, No Doubt was working on “Gravity” and “Dreaming the Same Dream” during the weeks surrounding the interview. In interviews, Gwen rarely talks about the “back-then” moments. She speaks mostly about the “here-and-now” things that have taken place recently. She mentioned the frustration of looking up to Depeche Mode/The Cure for influence in recording, but that because she is not part of either artist group, the music always ends up soundling like No Doubt. For a while after the interview, it looks like ND was likely working hard at getting Gravity done (remember the “cracked the code” tweet?). I’m thinking “Gravity” could fall into the Depeche Mode/The Cure influenced section.

    The only song that leaves is “Undercover.” I believe it was Tom who mentioned that “Undercover” was the first song written off the 2009 tour and that it has been reworked/perfected since the original demo. I’m thinking that it’s possible that ND was so inspired after that tour that the first song is probably pretty deep. I mean, the tour was pretty heavy for Gwen – finally being back with the guys, getting to see the fans, performing the hits. I’m thinking “Undercover” is going to be in the “heart-on-your-sleeve” category. I see the first song off a major tour like that after not being able to come up with any material up to that point as being a great purge of emotions and lyrics. I could be wrong, but it seems like that would be likely for Gwen. Basicallh having all the potential energy built up in her lyrical system, and finally after the tour, BAM it converts to kinetic energy. And, poof, there is a song.

    So, basically, what I’m thinking could possibly be the line-up is:

    – “Easy” – catchy chorus
    – “Dreaming The Same Dream” – prom song/ballad
    – “Gravity” – Depeche Mode/the Cure
    – “Heaven” – catchy chorus
    – “One More Summer” – catchy chorus
    – “Push and Shove” – Dancehall (possible collaboration wiht Major Lazer)
    – “Settle Down” Dancehall (possible collaboration wiht Major Lazer)
    – “Sparkle” – 80’s one-hit-wonder
    – “Undercover” heart-on-sleeve lyric content

    This is all speculation, of course. And most of it is grasping at straws. It’s fun to think about though! No Doubt says they have 10 songs, and we know 9 titles! We know they are collaborating a little, and we know they are having fun! I am REALLY EXCITED about this album! 🙂

  5. Oops. I meant to put Push and shove as possible collaboration track with Major Lazer and HEAVEN as the other possible collaboration…not Settle down…Oops. Haha.

  6. WOW! I am impressed! Do you mind if I use some of that in a post that I plan on doing, kind of like a “what we know so far” type of thing? You’re amazing, lol, and that makes perfect sense to me!

  7. Yeah go for it. Feel free to rephrase it so it makes more sense. I kinda got lost in my own brain trying to articulate this. Haha.

  8. I really can’t wait for this album, and I really respect them taking their time on the songwriting and not releasing subpar songs because they feel rushed. Bring on the reggae and new wave!

  9. I really can’t wait. No Doubt + 80’s = EPIC. My favorite band + my favorite music era. I get excited everytime I read news about the upcoming album, they need to release it soon. MUST BE THIS YEAR PLEASE!

    Love you guys.
    Cheers from Brazil. 🙂

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