No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom”

March 8, 1996 — While Rancid idolizes The Ramones and other classic punk bands like The Clash, Gwen Stefani — who fronts the suddenly hot band No Doubt — grew up in Anaheim, California, worshipping their “ska-rocking” British contemporaries, “Madness” and “The Specials.” No Doubt has followed an uneven road to its current success — from an unnoticed 1993 major label debut, to the 1995 indie album, “Beacon Street Collection,” to its latest indie album, “Tragic Kingdom” — which yielded the current hit, “Just A Girl.”

GWEN STEPHANI (vocals): There’s just a lot of burdens being a girl, I think, and I just wanted to talk about that, I guess, and I think a lot of people can relate.

MTV: No Doubt broke out on the airwaves this year, but the group has been together ever since they met 9 years ago, while they were playing in high school.

ADRIAN YOUNG (drums): We consider ourselves very lucky.

STEPHANI: We just, like, inhale each day and try to savor the energy
and excitement in the air because it’s just been so amazing. I mean, last year at this time, we were honestly so down and so ready to, like, to give up. And things have really turned around.

MTV: A lot of No Doubt’s songs are about singer Gwen Stefani’s on-again off-again relationship with bass player, Tony Kanal.

STEPHANI: We’ve been together for years and I think all those songs are about him (points to Tony). We were thinking about putting the record in an order of like, okay, that was the one when we broke up then, and again, and this is the one when you started liking me again. you know what I mean? Each song kind of has a different subject, so we were thinking maybe we should put it in like chronological order that’d be kind of cool.

MTV: Instead, the band’s second major label release, “Tragic Kingdom”, deals with a local tourist attraction.

TOM DUMONT (guitar): I had this teacher in the 7th grade, who used to always call Disney Land the Tragic Kingdom.


TONY KANAL: The whole situation of about what our lives went through in those 2 years of making the record just seemed to fit all the way around.

STEPHANI: Tragic times, definitely.

YOUNG: I’ve joined the dark side because of it. (Gwen laughs)

MTV: After working on their record for two years, No Doubt is psyched to be on the road again. In their first-ever arena tour, they are now opening up for the Goo Goo Dolls and Bush.

STEPHANI: I’m excited to have a big open stage, be able to run across it. It’s going to be cool. It’ll be hard though, people are going to be filing in, trying to find their seats while No Doubt’s up there playing, but…

YOUNG: Going, “who’s this circus act? We want to hear the hits by Bush!”