No Doubt released their 6th studio album (4th as part of a major label), Push And Shove, in September 2012. It was their comeback album, after more than a decade since their previous record as a full group. After 2001’s Rock Steady, the band had released a greatest hits compilation and rarities collection, then went their separate ways, including two solo albums from Gwen Stefani.
In 2009 No Doubt reunited for a big tour, and after 3 years in the studio, they finally were ready to release Push And Shove in 2012. It sounded a bit like Rock Steady mixed with Gwen’s solo work. It was a solid album, but wasn’t the big comeback people had hoped for. It didn’t have huge singles, nor did it sell especially well. Unfortunately, the era was cut short.
Despite planning a world tour for 2013, No Doubt set aside those plans to write and record their next album. They spent the first half of 2013 working on the new album, but that ended up not lasting long. By early 2014, it was starting to look more and more like the new No Doubt album was on the back burner, and Gwen Stefani was gearing up to release a 3rd solo album instead.
No Doubt has been more or less inactive since late 2013. Gwen has released three solo songs so far, with an album expected in early 2016. No Doubt, however, seems to be on a hiatus, and the members currently have no plans for new music as a band.
No Doubt End Tour Early to Work on New Music
On February 26, 2013, No Doubt postponed their tour plans to focus on writing new music. Even though Push And Shove had come out only 5 months earlier, they were so inspired that they wanted to get in the studio quickly. The wrote on Facebook:
While we were traveling the world last year promoting ‘Push And Shove,’ Gwen mentioned she was inspired to write new music. In December, around the time of our hometown shows, we discussed the idea of starting 2013 by getting back into the studio together. We did so in January and the new music started flowing with unexpected ease. After spending three years recording the last album, this new pace feels incredibly exciting.
We have decided to follow our muse for the time being and focus on this new music that we don’t want to stop. So, we will be postponing our tour plans briefly while we endeavor to create something special and inspired. Our goal as a band is to share this new music with you as quickly as possible — both recorded and live on tour.
Between February and May 2013, No Doubt shared more than 60 photos of them working in the studio via Facebook. You can see them here:
Studio Updates For the Fans
In addition to the photo album on Facebook, No Doubt also shared additional pictures and written updates on their studio progress:
Greg Kurstin and Rock Mafia Confirm Working With No Doubt
In April 2013, a couple of producers confirmed to Rolling Stone that they were working with No Doubt on the new album.
Producer Greg Kurstin said, “They’re working on some new material. We’ve been working and we’re going to work on more next week. That will be fun, I think.”
Rock Mafia’s Antonia Armato added, “I’m super excited. We’re doing a lot of really amazing, fun stuff. It’s better than ever.”
Sudden Halt & New Baby Son
In mid-May 2013, No Doubt evidently stopped working in the studio. At first it seemed they had already finished recording. But then there was no information about the new music for months. Late in 2013 Gwen revealed that she was pregnant with her 3rd child, which would further delay any new music until after her baby was born.
On February 28, 2014, Apollo was born. He is Gwen and her husband Gavin’s 3rd son together.
Gwen’s Surprise Coachella Appearance
In April 2014, Pharrell Williams was playing a concert at Coachella. Fans were surprised when Gwen Stefani suddenly appeared on stage to sing “Hollaback Girl,” from her first solo album. And that wasn’t all: At the end of the performance, Pharrell mentioned something very important:
Look how amazing the queen looks as she is making her arrival back to the music industry.
What’s that? Gwen was making a return to the music industry? People weren’t sure yet, but it definitely sounded like Pharrell just announced that Gwen was coming back to music… alone. Was she getting ready to release a 3rd solo album?
You can see the Coachella performance below:
And then there was more: Gwen Stefani officially joined NBC’s The Voice, taking over Christina Aguilera’s spot as the latter was due to have her second child. Pharrell was also joining The Voice, taking the place originally held by Cee Lo Green.
Gwen and Pharrell performed “Hollaback Girl” on The Voice in May 2014:
You can also see an interview with the pair from the Hollywood Reporter.
Gwen Stefani at 2014 VMAs: I Want to do BOTH!
When she was at the VMAs on Sunday, August 24th, Gwen Stefani revealed what has been going on with the new music. No Doubt has been working on a new album, Gwen has been working on a solo album, and now she’s thinking she’d like to do both!
I’m the biggest No Doubt fan so I’m waiting on new music. When can we expect it?
You know, there’s no way – With new music, you never know when its going to happen exactly, but we are working on new music, on new No Doubt music, just new music generally.
Will you do another solo album?
I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen. I’m in this weird place where things just happen now. I don’t know what’s happening next, but I want to do both [a solo album and a No Doubt album]. I want to do it all.
We don’t know about you, but we are excited that we could get not one, but two new albums! No Doubt and Gwen Stefani have both put out amazing records over the years, and why choose one when you can have both?
Gwen Goes Solo + Reveals New Song Title
On the same day that Gwen released her new solo single, “Baby Don’t Lie,” Gwen also had plenty of interviews lined up. During her interview with Ryan Seacrest, Gwen described working with Pharrell again. They were reunited thanks to The Voice, and after performing her 2005 hit single “Hollaback Girl,” Gwen felt it was time to make some more music.
Gwen also told Ryan Seacrest about No Doubt’s progress. They’d been working on a new album too, and just recorded a song called “Shine” on Saturday, October 18th. It was also co-written by Pharrell.
Paddington and “Shine”
Gwen first mentioned the song “Shine” in October when she was promoting her lead single, “Baby Don’t Lie.” She revealed that it was a new No Doubt song, and said she had written it with Pharrell.
Since then, Gwen has confirmed that “Shine” will be in the upcoming children’s film, Paddington, which will be released in the US in January. The movie follows a Peruvian bear who ends up in England; the story is based on the popular Paddington Bear children’s book series which started in the 1950s.
Although Gwen has mentioned that “Shine” is a No Doubt song, it seems that the version in the movie is just her and Pharrell Williams. There is no mention of No Doubt. You can hear two short clips of it below:
“Shine” only appears in the US version of Paddington, which would hit theaters on January 16, 2015.
No Doubt Confirm That They Are Not Working On Music
On April 10, 2015, the Orange Country Register published an interview with No Doubt’s bassist, Tony Kanal. No Doubt was gearing up for some live shows in the spring, but there wasn’t going to be any new music soon. While Gwen works on her solo album, No Doubt is on hold save for some live shows here and there. As the Orange County Register reported:
Though soon No Doubt will spend a good chunk of time together playing these shows, Kanal said the band is not working on new music. With Stefani focusing on a forthcoming solo album, Kanal added that he’s just glad that all of their schedules aligned to make these upcoming gigs possible. That’s not to say, however, that there won’t someday be fresh material from the band, which even after all of these years and some time apart, keeps finding its way back together.
Adrian Young re-stated this information in an interview with Billboard on April 20th. When asked how long it would be before No Doubt released their next album, Adrian responded:
It’s hard to say. We don’t have any immediate plans for new music. Like Tom said, this year is about playing festivals and then we’ll see where that takes us. There was some experimenting going on, but Gwen’s gonna do another solo record and we’re gonna continue to play some more live shows and see what happens from there.
Adrian also revealed a bit of information about their management. Although Gwen signed with Irving Azoff management in 2014, that does not apply to the three guys in No Doubt:
The three of us are self-managed now. It’s not really the plan, it wasn’t like we’re gonna be a self-managed band, so we’re in a little bit of limbo right now. But we don’t have a real tour going on or a new record coming so we’ll see where that takes us.
You can read the rest of Adrian and Tom Dumont’s interview with Billboard for more information.
Adrian Re-Affirms No Doubt’s Inactivity
In mid-November 2015, Adrian appeared on The Dangerous Darrin Show. During the interview, Adrian talked about No Doubt’s handful of recent festival events; unfortunately, that’s it for now in terms of seeing the band live. As Adrian stated:
I don’t know when we’re going to record or play again. Yeah, that’s it.
Instead, Adrian has a new project in the works – a new band – but he’s not allowed to say more at this time. Adrian had been in the studio with Tony and Tom in October, so it’s possible all three of the guys – but not Gwen – are involved in this new band project. We will find out soon enough. But it looks like No Doubt truly is on the back burner for now, and it’s unclear if and when the four members will work on new music together.
You can listen to Adrian’s full interview to learn more about what he’s been up to. Stream or download the podcast is on iTunes to hear it.