Gwen Stefani got so hot with “Hollaback Girl” that she wants to “Cool” it now — with her next single and video. She just shot the video last week with director Sophie Muller, which is fitting, since Muller also directed the video for the song that “Cool” is based on.
When Stefani originally teamed up with Dallas Austin, one of her producers for Love, Angel, Music, Baby, Austin told her about a song he was trying to write that would be his version of No Doubt’s “Simple Kind of Life.” “He said he loved that song, and when he heard it, he wrote this other song, but he never finished it,” Stefani said. “He asked, ‘Maybe you can help me finish this track?’ Because he never could make ‘Cool’ sound cool.”
So he played it for her, and instantly, Stefani said, she had the “craziest feeling,” like, “Wow, this is my song.” Within the next 15 minutes, the lyrics just poured out. “When he told me about the track and where it came from for him, it just triggered something in me.”
Stefani related to Austin’s struggle to describe his relationship with a girlfriend that had evolved into being not “just friends” but the best of friends, thanks to her much-chronicled relationship with No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal. In “Cool,” she sings, “It’s such a miracle that you and me are still good friends/ After all that we’ve been through, I know we’re cool.” While the video doesn’t co-star Kanal, it does depict Gwen in a relationship that changes over time — as the couple become lovers, then exes and finally, friends. The clip is tragic yet elegant and scenic, thanks to its locale — just outside Milan, Italy.
“I was never intending to go personal on this record,” Stefani said. “This was a get-up-on-the-dance-floor kind of album, you know? But no matter what you do, things just come out. It just ended this whole thing for me in my head, and it puts an end to a chapter in a really nice way.”
For a feature on the recording of Love, Angel, Music, Baby, check out “Gwen Stefani: Scared Solo” .