Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal Discuss No Doubt’s New Album, Having Michelle Obama Over to Visit
"Yesterday, I watched her introduce the First Lady of the United States — she hosted Michelle Obama at her house," said Tony Kanal, talking about Gwen Stefani, his longtime partner in No Doubt. "It really brought things full circle for me; it was like, That’s my friend who I’ve known since I was 16 years old, hosting the First Lady at her house. I was just incredibly proud of her."
The band has certainly come a long way since its inception as a group of ska-loving Southern California teens in 1986. As they prepare to release 'Push and Shove,' their sixth studio album -- and first in over a decade -- they're finding they have plenty of chances to look back at the long road they've traveled together.
Stefani and Kanal reflected on the band's past, present, and future during a recent interview for New York Magazine's Vulture offshoot, discussing everything from the reasons for their long hiatus (Stefani: "We were just burned out; we had toured so, so much, and it takes so much of yourself") to how often they saw one another during their downtime (Kanal: "As much as there was a break, it never felt like, 'Oh my God, I haven’t talked to that person in forever'").
Asked what she was missing during No Doubt's hiatus, Stefani responded, "There’s nothing that compares to being in a band with your best friends you’ve known all these years. Playing live is so automatic and so electric."
But that doesn't mean writing the songs for the new album was a fast process, according to Kanal; as he explained, "We didn’t have the luxury like in the past of writing 30 songs and picking the best 10. This was, like, every song had to count. And the eleven songs we have are the eleven songs we wrote."