Considering her good looks and celebrity status, you’d think Gwen Stefani of No Doubt would receive more than her share of suitors and gawkers, but she said her admirers pale in comparison to those that scream, drool and faint for her bandmates.
“You got these girls who basically go to concerts to try to see if they can get with the guys,” she said recently during an interview at CSI rehearsal studios in New York’s Chelsea district. “For some reason, if you’re talented and you’re up there, girls want to make out with you.”
Stefani documented the phenomenon in the band’s new single, “Hey Baby,” an infectious blend of slick, pulsing pop and dancehall grooves. “I’m the kind of girl that hangs with the guys/ Like a fly on the wall with my secret eyes … and the boys get the girls in the back,” she sings.
Not at all ashamed of the truth revealed, bassist Tony Kanal gloated, “It’s actually a very PG version of the actual debauchery that goes on backstage.”
“Well, you hate to turn [the girls] down and hurt their feelings,” added guitarist Tom Dumont.
“Hey Baby” is the first single from No Doubt’s new album, Rock Steady, which comes out December 18. The video premieres November 7, and was shot in Los Angeles by Dave Meyers, who directed Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” and
Janet Jackson’s “All for You.”
Jamaican dancehall DJ Bounty Killer performs a mid-section reggae toast on “Hey Baby,” which was produced by No Doubt and veteran reggae production team Sly & Robbie. Other producers on the LP include Prince, the Neptunes, Nellee Hooper, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and Ric Ocasek (see “No Doubt Ready To Rock Steady“ ). Tracks produced by Dr. Dre and Timbaland didn’t make the album, though they may see the light of day in the future (see “Dre, Timbaland Beats Will Be Absent On No Doubt LP” ).
“If there’s one thing our success has afforded us, it’s the opportunity to work with all these people that we’ve looked up to,” said Kanal. “We’ve listened to their music for so long and been so inspired by them.”
As inspired as they were, the band’s decision to use multiple producers stemmed in part from their inability to hook up with one hot-shot knob twiddler for an extended period of time.
“Nobody was available for the block of time to do a record, so we just hooked up with different people when they could hook up with us,” said Stefani. “Like, I would have loved to do a couple more tracks with Ric.”
“Hearing the stories these guys have to tell you is incredible,” added Kanal. “Ric told us amazing stories about Bad Brains and when he recorded Rock for Light, and that was so awesome. The energy and experiences these people have had is invaluable and it really rubs off on you.”