No Doubt’s break is over — while singer Gwen Stefani readies her forthcoming solo album, the band hit the studio last week to record a new song for an upcoming greatest-hits album.
The band has covered Talk Talk’s 1984 hit “It’s My Life,” which will serve as the single for the collection, due out on November 11. A video for the song is in the works. A box set will also drop on the same day.
“Instead of trying to go in and spend time writing and writing and writing, ’cause we’re not doing that right now, we’re taking a ’break,’ ” Stefani laughed, “we thought it was about time we did a cover song. We’ve done covers live but we’ve never done a cover and recorded it and put it out as a single.”
Just because no writing was involved didn’t mean there was no effort, Stefani said. The first task, she said, was deciding which songs to include on Singles 1992-2003.
“We thought it was going to be so easy,” she said, “because that was the idea — ’Let’s just do something that’s fun and easy, why do we also have to like, torture ourselves.’ We went and listened to hundreds of songs, hundreds, and imagine trying to pick one, between the four of us? Oh my god, it was ridiculous.”
No Doubt’s members collectively settled upon Talk Talk’s new wave classic because it was a “feel good” song. But then they started having second thoughts.
“We were like, ’I don’t know, is this the one? Maybe it would be easier to write one,’ ” she said.
Producer Nellee Hooper got No Doubt back on track, with a happy end result. “It turned out so good,” Stefani said. “I’m so excited about it. It’s just insane.”
No new material will be found in the box set, but Stefani said there doesn’t need to be — so many rarities will be included, it’ll seem new to most fans — maybe even to the band.
“There are tons of B-sides,” she said, “weird ones that I don’t even have, so I was like, ’Cool, I’m finally going to have that track, I forgot about that one.’ ”
Besides B-sides, the limited-edition box set will include the singles collection, a DVD of the band’s music videos and a DVD version of 1997’s Live in the Tragic Kingdom. And if that weren’t enough, the band is also planning to release “Rock Steady Live,” a DVD of a show taped last year in at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California.
“It’s just amazing to us that we’re going on over 16 years now,” Stefani said. “So it’s crazy to look back at all the songs that were on the radio. It’s a long list. You almost don’t believe it. ”
—Jennifer Vineyard, with additional reporting by SuChin Pak