No Doubt will spike their signature sound with a dramatic mix of reggae, synth-pop and arena metal on their fifth album, which they will begin writing in January, guitarist Tom Dumont said.
"I would describe our new direction as a fusion of dancehall reggae, Euro-synthpop and victory rock, ala Europe's 'Final Countdown,' " Dumont wrote in an e-mail interview Monday. "We're planning on being very adventurous and working with different producers."
The Orange County, California, quartet will not do any more touring behind its latest LP, Return of Saturn (2000), so the bandmembers are free to focus on the album's follow-up.
"We pretty much toured all we care to on this one, and since we're all fulfilled with that, we've set ourselves the goal of having a new ND CD out by the end of 2001," Dumont wrote.
If No Doubt meet that release target, they'll trounce their track record for taking a long time between albums. Four-and-a-half years lapsed between their 1995 smash, Tragic Kingdom, and Return, though the band spent about half that time on the road.
"This time we're going to try really hard to not make this a traumatic experience," singer Gwen Stefani recently said. "We had a really fun time with [Return,] because it was all about pleasing ourselves, and it was very much a creative process, and it was really fulfilling."
Return of Saturn, featuring the current single, "Bathwater," has sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Tragic Kingdom has sold 7.5 million.