Gwen Stefani famously sang about feeling “hella good” during her time with No Doubt — but the group wasn’t immune to pressures of making a hit album.
The “Hollaback Girl” songstress, 53, got real on about the hardships she faced while recording No Doubt’s final record in 2012.
“Push and Shove, the title, actually makes so much sense to the songs,” Stefani told Fault magazine in an article published on Thursday, June 22. “That whole time period was just a really hard time. Everything was like we were in molasses, and nothing was coming easy.”
The Grammy winner cofounded No Doubt in 1986 with her brother Eric Stefani, who left the band in 1995, and John Spence, who died by suicide in 1987. Bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young joined the group before they released their debut record, No Doubt, in 1992. Trombonist and keyboardist Gabrial McNair and trumpeter and keyboardist Stephen Bradley toured with the ska band beginning in the mid-1990s.
The Orange County-based group released five records between 1992 and 2001 that included hits such as “Just a Girl,” “Hella Good” and “Hey Baby.” The band’s 1995 chart topper “Don’t Speak,” which Gwen wrote, was inspired by her split from Kanal, whom she dated from 1987 to 1994. Amid their success, the group took a break in 2003 to work on solo projects, including Gwen’s 2004 album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
When No Doubt reunited in 2008 and subsequently released their final record, Push and Shove, four years later, the dynamic had shifted.
“I feel that record was where No Doubt was most confused. We just had come back together, and we wanted to do it so badly,” Gwen explained to the magazine on Thursday. “But for me, I was completely depleted from my world tour and giving birth. So many things had happened and then we tried to write that record.”
The California native — who shares sons Kingston, 17, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 9, with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale — confessed that it wasn’t always easy managing her and her bandmates.
“When you work with No Doubt, it’s almost like you have to have somebody that’s just there to make everybody happy so that everybody can have their little piece,” she recalled. “It was a lot, that was a struggle, that record.”
Although it wasn’t the best recording experience, Gwen told the outlet it “makes [her] happy” that people listened to the album. No Doubt announced their hiatus in 2013 but sporadically reunited for live performances in 2014 and 2015.
Another No Doubt reunion, however, isn’t totally off the table, according to The Voice coach.
“What are the odds of anything? I was just on The Drew Barrymore Show. She was one of my favorite celebrities when I was a little girl, and now I was just on the show with her. Anything can happen,” Gwen said during a December 2022 interview with WSJ. Magazine. “We haven’t really talked about doing anything, but it feels like everyone is, right? All the ’90s people — Blink-182 did an eight-month tour that sold out in like five minutes.”
For now, Gwen is focused on her solo ventures and recent collaborations with husband Blake Shelton, whom she wed in 2021.
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“That’s the greatest thing I think about having a long career, to be able to get on stage and actually not be able to play your whole catalogue because there are just too many hits,” the musician told Fault ahead of her trip to the U.K. to headline a Warwick Castle concert on Friday, June 23. “And so how that happened, I don’t know. I’m looking up, but to be able to do it still and have the opportunity to come there and be on such a huge stage with Pink, it’s just gonna be one of those … I don’t remember a lot, but I’m gonna remember this one.”