We love all the press that Tony is giving! He gave a new interview with nj.com about the upcoming opening show in Atlantic City at the Borgata calling it a ‘warm up.’ He then goes on to talk about how they wanted to get out on the road, and they are still looking for a muse for the next album. Tony does confirm that no new music will be played on the road — but we will be hearing “obscure” deeper album tracks! Woo!
The band No Doubt went on hiatus in 2004, and singer Gwen Stefani subsequently established herself as a hugely successful solo artist. Now, though, the quartet is back together, and bassist Tony Kanal says he always assumed it would happen at some point.
“I knew we would eventually get back together, but I don’t think any of us really knew when it was going to happen,” Kanal says. “It had to be a situation where all four of us felt like it was time. It’s just too personal and too big, with too much history, to do any other way.”
This summer, the group will appear primarily at amphitheaters such as the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, where it is booked on June 11. Its reunion tour begins Saturday, though, in Atlantic City, and continues with a Sunday night festival-closing appearance at the Bamboozle, in the parking lot outside Giants Stadium (see below).
“We’re kind of considering the Atlantic City show as a warm-up,” Kanal says. “It’s a relatively smaller show. But we’re jumping in big the next night. It was like, ‘If we’re going to go, let’s dive in big.'”
The band, also featuring guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young, came together in Anaheim, Calif., in 1986, and had its breakthrough hit in 1995 with “Just a Girl.” Blending sumptuous pop melodies with elements of ska, punk and reggae, the group later made the Top 40 with hits such as “Don’t Speak,” “Spiderwebs,” “Hella Good,” “Underneath It All” and “Hey Baby.”
While Stefani has maintained the highest profile since 2004, everyone has kept busy with a variety of projects. Dumont, for instance, started a band called Invincible Overlord, and Kanal wrote and produced tracks for artists such as Pink and the band Pepper.
Over the past few years, Kanal, Dumont and Young got together for some occasional song writing sessions, and last year, Stefani joined them.
“We ended up spending a lot of time talking, really,” Kanal says. “Just kind of regrouping, and it ended up being used like a self-imposed therapy session.”
By “therapy,” he doesn’t mean they focused on communication difficulties or something like that.
“It was just a matter of catching up, really,” he says. “It was just kind of wrapping our heads around how we’ve grown as people and how we’ve grown as a band.”
The songwriting, meanwhile, was not going as smoothly as they had hoped it would. “So we just looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s go play some shows,'” Kanal says. “Every time we’ve made a record, we’ve always had that live component going as well, and that was missing this time.”
“Some shows” turned out to be 55 concerts in the United States and Canada. None of the new material is ready to be played live, Kanal says, so the emphasis will be on past hits, along with some relatively obscure album tracks from the past.
Things will definitely be different for the band behind the scenes this time around, as Stefani, Dumont and Young now have five young children –all boys.
“Just by default, because I don’t have kids on my bus, I’m putting the studio on my bus,” Kanal says. “Where everybody else is doing their cribs on their bus, I’ll have a little studio, so I’m going to invite my bandmates, on days off, to come and keep writing so we can continue the creative process and keep it going through the tour. I’m pretty confident that as soon as we’re done on this tour, we’re going to dive deep into this record and get it done as quickly as feasible.”
To speed up the process, Kanal says, the band simply needs to find an artistic focus.
“We’ve always found a muse for a record — something that’s a unifying inspiration for the four of us. On ‘Rock Steady (2001),’ it was Jamaican dancehall music, and we ended up going to Jamaica and working with some incredible Jamaican producers. I think we’re still trying to find that for this record. There are a few different things that are kind of bubbling to the surface, but I don’t think we’ve found that muse yet. Once we do, we will be in great shape.”