Greener Pastures: a No Doubt fan site
January 12th, 2015

No Doubt playing the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Thanks to Pam for the head’s up, No Doubt has announced that they are playing at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival!

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From the official: “We’ll be performing at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Friday, May 1! Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 11am CST at www.nojazzfest.com.

Heather :)

January 10th, 2015

rare 1996 record store set on YouTube

Hello! Thanks to YouTube user mykmenez for uploading his own personal, rare, recording of a small February 1996 record store set at Plan 9 Records in Richmond, VA! No Doubt was in town, as they opened for Bush at the Richmond Coliseum on February 20, 1996.

Heather :)

January 10th, 2015

Tony supporting benefit for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

Hello! Tony recently posted a message on Instagram in support of a cocktail benefit happening on the 14th for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in NY! He is on the Host Committee.

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“If you’re in NYC next week, please support my friends Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary @woodstocksanctuary at their “Sanctuary In The City” benefit on January 14th at the Alexander Gray Art Gallery in Chelsea. Thank you! Info and tickets here: http://woodstocksanctuary.org/2014/12/sanctuary-in-the-city-2015/

The sanctuary posted a short video to YouTube, which features Tony and Cat Greenleaf:

Heather :)

January 10th, 2015

new Adrian radio interview

Hello! Adrian recently called into the Kevin Klein Live radio show to talk about the upcoming BottleRock festival! From the radio station’s web site:

“No Doubt drummer Adrian Young has never been one to shy away from questions. So when Kevin Klein Live asked him about peeing into a water bottle, he was more than forthcoming. (listen to the above for his explanation)

More importantly, Adrian was happy to reveal that No Doubt will be one of the headliners at this year’s BottleRock festival. This marks the first time they’ve played in the Bay in over 6 years, a streak that’s gone on for far too long.

So what Napa attraction has Adrian most excited? Well, wine and golf are both near the top of the list – but he’s most excited to get back on stage with No Doubt to play in front of their rabid fan-base.

Check out the full interview above, then see No Doubt live at BottleRock this May!”

Heather :)

January 10th, 2015

old live photos of Tom shared by Eric Keyes

Hello!

Tom has shared a couple photos of him performing back in the 90’s. He posted to his web site: “My old friend Eric Keyes sent me these two shots of me playing guitar with No Doubt back in the 90’s. Thanks Eric!”

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Heather :)

January 6th, 2015

No Doubt performing at at BottleRock Napa 2015

Hello! From the official:

bottlerock

“We’ll be returning to the Bay Area for the first time since 2010 for a performance at BottleRock Napa 2015 the weekend of May 29, 30, and 31!

Get 3-Day GA, VIP and Platinum Passes beginning this Thursday, January 8 at 10am PST.”

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite starting on that date and time. If you have a Citibank credit card, you can get access to presale tickets now by entering the first six digits of your card on the web site.

From Eventbrite: “Recently deemed one of the world’s best festivals by Fest300, BottleRock Napa Valley is a three-day cultural experience filled with world-class music and hospitality. Taking place in the heart of downtown Napa, BottleRock features over 70 acclaimed artists and bands, and food and wine from top chefs and vintners from throughout Northern California.”

Heather :)

January 6th, 2015

Gwen on the cover of Metro Source

Hello! Gwen is on the cover of the February/March issue of Metro Source magazine!

Metrosource

From the Metro Source web site:

Gwen Finds Her Voice

After swearing off going solo, Gwen Stefani surprised fans by joining the coaching panel of The Voice and releasing tracks from a new solo album. Now, she talks to Metrosource about the happy accidents that helped change her mind.

Gwen Stefani’s life has been full of surprises lately. After two successful solo albums, she had reunited with No Doubt and had no intentions of doing another solo album anytime soon. But then life threw Gwen a few curveballs — including an unexpected pregnancy, a coaching gig on NBC’s hit The Voice and new opportunities to collaborate with Pharrell Williams (who helped pen Stefani’s massive hit “Hollaback Girl”). Suddenly, a third solo album went from impossible to inevitable. We spoke to the world’s busiest blonde as she wrapped up her debut season on The Voice with an explosive performance of the track “Spark the Fire” and continued to craft her forthcoming album.

“I’m excited. I love talking about myself,“ Stefani jokes as we dive into a conversation that touches on everything from her constantly evolving creative process to the tribulations of making eye-popping music videos.

JUST A GIRL
It’s hard to believe, looking at the eternally youthful Stefani, but she started recording with No Doubt in the mid-1980s. Those who know the band from massive hits like “Don’t Speak” (which spent 16 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts) may not realize that the band’s breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom was actually their third.
From the beginning, Stefani was a study in contradictions that captured the public’s imagination. Her flawless platinum locks, often swept up in a way that recalled 1940s glamour, might not have seemed a natural match with her cutting-edge fashions and hanging-with-the-boys attitude. Yet somehow, on Stefani, it all worked.
So it was no surprise when in 2004 she embarked on a solo career, releasing Love. Angel. Music. Baby. What was surprising: Stefani turned out to have even more unique tricks up her fashionable sleeve. Much of the music on L.A.M.B. and its follow-up The Sweet Escape hearkened back to some of the best pop of the ‘80s — helping to usher in a major retro revival. Other aspects of the projects were wildly forward-thinking — incorporating contemporary Japanese culture (notably in the form of her “Harajuku Girl” dancers) and adding phrases like “hollaback girl” to the popular lexicon.
In 2011, No Doubt reunited to write, record and perform in support of their sixth album Push and Shove, and Stefani gave every indication that she would make music exclusively with the band moving forward. At least that was the plan.

BABY DON’T LIE
“This was never intended to happen,” Stefani says of the as-yet-untitled solo album. But once she’d been asked to do The Voice, she knew she wanted to release new music while she was on the show, and she knew there was no way another No Doubt album could materialize in that time.
“Our last record took three years to make,” Stefani explains — blaming some of that slowness on her own busy schedule balancing work with her fashion line L.A.M.B. and family obligations (Stefani is married to British musician Gavin Rossdale and the mother of three boys).
So she had to find another way to make music. “It’s so weird, the creative process; especially these days, after having done so many things in different ways,” says Stefani, who tends to use the word weird with a giddy frequency that is both adorable and hilarious.
Stefani tells me that the album “started with visuals.” She describes putting together “mood boards” of colors, inspirations and “vibes” — hoping to both reconnect with her last solo period but also move forward.
Next, Stefani headed into the studio. From early on, the focus of the album was collaboration. “It’s all working with talented people,” she explains. “It’s basically a record for talented writers, and me trying to piggyback on top of them.”Some songs evolved from a process of emailing tracks back and forth with her collaborator — which she describes, with a laugh, as “so weird!”
Though she can’t yet reveal all the people she’s worked with on the album so far, Stefani says that their time working together as coaches on The Voice made her particularly excited to get back into the studio with Pharrell.“I think being together all the time, being around all the music, doing something I had never done before,” she says, “It’s very inspiring.”
She recalls saying to Pharrell of the first two tracks they worked on, “Whoa, dude, you’re going to go there? These songs are kooky!” The following morning he surprised her with the beat to what would eventually become the album’s second single, “Spark the Fire,” and, “I was like, That’s it!” she says.

GET OFF MY CLOUD
The video for the album’s first single, “Baby Don’t Lie” features Stefani traveling through a colorful, computer-animated wonderland. But, she says, the process of making that kind of green-screen magic is far less colorful than the result. “It was so boring. All I did was walk on a treadmill,” she says, sounding like a kid who can’t go out to play on a rainy day. She recalls repeatedly asking, “Are you sure there’s enough going on?” at the time, but ultimately was pleased with the result. “They kind of took this blank green page and made this whole world around it.”
Fortunately, while the process was going on, Stefani was also getting inspired about the visuals for “Spark the Fire.” “Oh my God! I know what I need to do!” she remembers thinking. “We’re going to have emojis coming out of my mouth, and I’m going to do this and I’m going to wear that and I’m going to have a cloud outfit!”
And though much of the visual pyrotechnics of the “Spark the Fire” video were also layered on with computers after filming, Stefani had a chance to experience the live equivalent when she premiered it on The Voice. “When I was on the Voice set, the people there are just so incredible and I was like, “Okay … can I have a cloud? And can I have this? And can I have that? It was: Check! Check! Check! Everything I wanted, they made happen. It was the weirdest experience. Usually there’s a lot of pushback and budgets,” she says of the performance (during which she did, in fact, ride in on a giant, smiling cloud).
She also notes that she was a bit sad to see that process end. “It’s almost like Christmas for the kid, where there’s such a buildup and then it’s the day, and they have all the toys — they don’t know what to [do]!”

WIND IT UP
In the meantime, Stefani, continues to work on finishing the album. “First I thought I was done, and now I’m kind of like, Hmm, I think I want to write a few more,” she says. “I was going to try to get it out before Christmas, and then thought, Why am I rushing it?”
Is there anything in particular we can look forward to? “I just did a new song with Pharrell a couple of days ago; that’s really cool,” she says. “And there’s another one that I’m working on with — I can’t say who!”
Before we say our goodbyes, I mention to Stefani that it seems many of her fans — particularly her gay fans — worship her style with a fervor once reserved for the screen sirens of Old Hollywood. We laugh over the fact that she actually has played an Old Hollywood screen siren — Jean Harlow in The Aviator. “How weird is that?” she says, before she gets serious. “I feel really blessed to have anybody still looking my way,” she says. Stefani confesses that she was convinced, from very early on, that there would come a day when the public’s appetite for her would fade — it even helped motivate her to start her fashion line as a fallback career. “I know that they’re not going to still like me,” she says with what seems to be genuine humility. “You know what I mean? There’s no way. The high can never last.”
As for the idea of being worshipped like a screen siren, Stefani says: “In my world, my gay friends that I know — people that are in my life — are the most sort of creative, exceptional human beings and they’re special,” she says. “They’re part of my creative team and people that I really count on, so it means a lot to me. Thank you very much.””

Heather :)

December 16th, 2014

Almost Acoustic Xmas

Hello! No Doubt played Almost Acoustic Christmas on Sunday night, and they were completely awesome, as usual! My friends at EIT captured and uploaded the live web stream to YouTube:

No Doubt’s performance is receiving rave reviews! This Los Angeles Magazine article is entitled “U2 Who? No Doubt Brings Down the House at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas”. In this OC Register article entitled “No Doubt pinch hits with power at Almost Acoustic Christmas concert at the Forum”, they wrote:

“Riding to the rescue came Orange County natives No Doubt, a band that in many ways KROQ made, providing a thrilling finale to a strong installment of the annual two-day holiday show. With an hour in which to cram a dozen songs, No Doubt stuck mostly to fan favorites, opening with “Hella Good” and its call to keep on dancing, and roaring through hits such as “Sunday Morning,” “Underneath It All” and “Just A Girl” in the first half of the set.

No Doubt dressed for the occasion, too. Singer Gwen Stefani looked great in a sequined Santa Claus shirt, green-plaid drop-crotch shorts and knee-high Doc Martens. Guitarist Tom Dumont wore a red string tie with “Seasons Greetings” on its strands, while bassist Tony Kanal’s shirt shouted “Happy (Bleepin’) Holidays” and drummer Adrian Young’s kit was strung with Christmas lights.

But the music was the thing that truly made No Doubt’s set a winner from its fast start to the final run of songs that included “Don’t Speak” and “Spiderwebs.” Stefani had the crowd shout “Get well, Bono!” a few times, and no one seemed disappointed by these pinch-hitters.”

Heather :)

December 8th, 2014

Gwen performing tomorrow night, Mastercard commercial

Gwen and Pharrell are performing tomorrow night in Hollywood! 1iota has posted a link to get free tickets on their web site. The event is called “1iota Sessions”. From the web site – “Join us for Special 1iota Performances featuring Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams on December 9, 2014 in Hollywood, California!” Blake Shelton is scheduled to perform at 7pm, and then Gwen and Pharrell at 8:30pm.

Gwen’s new Mastercard commercial has been released. It’s pretty cute. I especially like the end, where Gwen says the girl has cool hair (she has  a Gwen ‘do). Here’s the commercial:

The video description reads “Gwen Stefani launches Priceless Surprises to cardholders, from concert tickets to golf experiences to a chance to meet her. Fore!”

Heather :)

December 8th, 2014

TIME interview with Gwen

Hello! TIME magazine interviewed Gwen before the Jingle Ball:

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani: I Don’t Regret the Harajuku Girls At All

“You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud,” the singer tells TIME

Between three kids, a coaching stint on The Voice and a solo music comeback, Gwen Stefani is keeping herself busy. So busy, in fact, that the No Doubt front woman had to lock herself in her bathroom to find a quiet moment away from her children during our interview. TIME caught up with the singer — just a few hours before she performed her new single, “Spark the Fire,” with Pharrell at KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball — to talk about her upcoming album (due next year), Pharrell’s recent comments about feminism and what’s up next for No Doubt.

TIME: How did this third record come about? Were you itching to make another? Was Pharrell just sending you beats until you agreed?

Gwen Stefani: We were doing a No Doubt record — we did it, we put it out, and as soon as we came back from Europe in January, we decided, “Let’s go back into the studio.” The record had taken so long to make because all of our parental commitments and lifestyles, and because of the way we work. It’s my fault, but I get really lazy around those guys. We were working within the band and didn’t have any collaborators, so it just took a long time. We went back in the studio and worked for about six months, and I think the last session that we did was with Pharrell. It was six months of struggle. It wasn’t coming really naturally. I got pregnant unexpectedly, and it was a good time to take a break. I didn’t even know that I was going to have another baby, but it was such a miracle. Hold on one second, my other kid is here.

No problem!
My son’s tooth just came out — sorry. They just got home from school. [To her son in the background: Go put this under your pillow!] I’m going to go in my bathroom so I can lock myself in there, hold on one second.

Happy to wait.
Are you there still?

Yes!
Okay, so, we decided not to do any more work because I was pregnant — I was so sick. I didn’t know that was going to happen, and then I had the baby, and then four weeks later Pharrell called me to do Coachella. My kids were such a fan of him at the time because “Happy” was at the top of the charts. He was like, “Do you want to come do it?” I was like, “I want to! I’ll wear a black jumpsuit, I’ll be fine!” The first time I had left the house after giving birth was to step on stage and do “Hollaback Girl” with Pharrell. It was just magical. Then I found out a week later I was going to do The Voice, and I had no idea that was going to happen.

When that happened, the opportunity came up — maybe I should put something out, even if it’s a collaboration, or hop on someone’s record. Pharrell kept asking me to do “Hollaback Girl,” and I was like, “I’m not going to keep doing the same song from 10 years ago!” The only way to do that would be to not do it with No Doubt, because we take forever. I just starting thinking about having an open-ended thing: let’s just see how far we get. I hooked up with Benny Blanco, who I’d been working with possibly to do some No Doubt stuff earlier during that time period. He got all these different writers together — Charli XCX, Ryan Tedder, Calvin Harris. I started hanging out with Pharrell and we went into the studio.

I wanted to put a record out quick, like, I don’t want to think about it! Now, maybe I need to spend a little more time on it and not rush it. I’m going to continue to write a little bit. It’s been this weird surprise, doing new music. With the first solo records, I had a very clear plan of what they would be that was very distinct to that time period. Now it’s open-ended. I went in and did mood boards, a visual mood board of what it would be and started that way. With music, you sometimes just can’t really predict it.

On Love. Angel. Music. Baby., you sang about the fear of going solo. And then on the follow-up, The Sweet Escape, you sang about feeling guilty for doing it again.
Because of No Doubt or because of my kids? I can feel guilty about so many things.

Because of No Doubt — you had that line, “Only one solo / I swore.” Do you still have that little voice of hesitation inside your head?

There was a little bit, because I have so many different hats that I wear. I have my own life, I have my life as a wife, as a mother, as the singer of No Doubt, I’m on The Voice, and then I have all of my fashion designing things that I do. I’m always feeling like, am I giving enough to that? Am I giving enough to that? I just have to follow my instincts. When I did The Sweet Escape, I knew that I needed to do that. If you’re not inspired to do something, nothing comes. When I was about to do that second record, I did feel, “Should I go back and do another No Doubt record?” Everybody was waiting for me to do that, meaning my band. I just didn’t feel ready to do that music-wise, because I still wanted to do quirky dance music.

This time, that wasn’t even a option. It was either no new music and do The Voice or do some more dance music and just be free and see what happens. It wouldn’t be an option to do No Doubt because there was was no time! I had a baby, and then eight weeks later I was shooting the campaign for The Voice. It was very quick and unexpected. No Doubt has a bunch of stuff that we’ve worked on, and we’re going to see where we go next. It’s interesting, because it’s not one or the other. No Doubt doesn’t have to be on a complete hiatus for me to do new music on my own. It can happen simultaneously.

When Love. Angel. Music. Baby. came out 10 years ago, it didn’t sound like anything else out there. “Spark the Fire” is the same way — how do you pick sounds that still seem fresh years later?
That is such a flattering, sweet compliment, but I obviously don’t think about that. When you’re going in, you’re just thinking about what’s going to come out. Pharrell is a genius. He’s not scared, and he is only interested in doing something that’s different from what’s out there, in a really dangerous, punk rock kind of way. I just love being around him, because he’s such a purist, and he’s competitive in such a positive, creative, artful way. Just being around his energy puts me in a whole new chapter. He’s just been so supportive of me, and I don’t understand it. I’m like, “You’re the biggest, most incredibly talented, forward, modern producer-songwriter-artist of our generation! And I get to hang out with you and piggyback on all your success?” I’m so happy about it. He’s so generous and just wants me to do that.

He presented two songs to me that he wrote, and they were so weird and crazy. I was like, “But I really want something hard” — I don’t remember saying that, but he says that’s what I said. He came into my trailer at The Voice and was like, “I gotta play this!” He was crazy about it. We were meant to be going on [stage], and he’s like, “I don’t care!” He’s setting his Beats Pill up. “It has to have bass in it, if you’re going to hear it!” He plays me this song, and it was the beat for “Spark the Fire.” I was like, “That’s it, that’s it, we’re going to go in.” It sounded like a really good idea that morning, but by the end of the day, it was like, “Are we really going to the studio right now?” We went in and wrote that song. It’s so weird. Come on! I mean, it has this weird intro, this weird bridge, the lyrics are all over the place. It’s perfectly a mashup of us together, and it totally defines where I’m at.

Pharrell says this song is about feminism, which I’m not sure I get.

He calls it a feminist anthem. I would never call it that! Because it’s just not. That’s what he sees in me — I don’t see that. I see it as a personal song that is a really positive message about don’t mess with my vibe. I’m going to be up here, don’t bring me down. Get off my cloud, because no one’s going to take me away from this positivity. If I don’t do any other songs in this moment in my life, this one is definitely a good one to define this period. That’s all I can ask for. I just feel more grateful than ever if anyone pays attention. The longer that you have a career, the more precious you are about it, the more grateful you get, the more you realize that at any point it’s going to be gone. You don’t let one minute tick by where you’re not grateful for anyone listening to your song or getting joy out of that.

Looking back on Love. Angel. Music. Baby., do you regret the Harajuku Girls given the criticism you received?
No. There’s always going to be two sides to everything. For me, everything that I did with the Harajuku Girls was just a pure compliment and being a fan. You can’t be a fan of somebody else? Or another culture? Of course you can. Of course you can celebrate other cultures. That’s what Japanese culture and American culture have done. It’s like I say in the song [“Harajuku Girls”]: it’s a ping-pong match. We do something American, they take it and they flip it and make it so Japanese and so cool. And we take it back and go, “Whoa, that’s so cool!” That’s so beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing in the world, how our cultures come together. I don’t feel like I did anything but share that love. You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud. Because, seriously, that was all meant out of love.

And the girls themselves, it was just a magical thing to get to know them. They were dancers that were cast, but they became real. One girl was a Japanese girl that grew up in L.A., and she got to hang around with three different Japanese girls that were from different places in Japan and had different backgrounds. They became best friends, and she got to go to Japan and see her heritage and see how we are all the same. And I got to hang out with girls for the first time.

Heather :)

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