No Doubt have plenty of songs ready for their next album, they're just missing one thing: Gwen Stefani.
When their frontwoman hit the snooze button on the band's would-be sixth LP last year to prolong her solo career, the rest of No Doubt continued to amass music for their long-awaited follow-up to 2001's Rock Steady (see "No Doubt — Minus Gwen — In Early Stages Of New Album"). Guitarist Tom Dumont said plans are in motion for the project, though he warns that fans shouldn't expect to see the finished work until at least the Fall of 2008.
"Tony, Adrian and I have been busy preparing material for the album since this time last year," he wrote in an e-mail to MTV News. "So we have a lot of instrumentals looking for words."
Dumont wouldn't reveal many details about their stylistic approach thus far, saying only, "We've written so much stuff that covers so much ground that it's hard to say what sounds will win out in the end."
The guitarist denied recent gossip that bassist Tony Kanal had joined Stefani on tour to work on new material but said he and Kanal may meet up with her on the road later. Stefani's tour in support of The Sweet Escape has dates scheduled through October 20 in the Czech Republic (see "Gwen Stefani Makes 'Big' Plans For Spring Sweet Escape Tour").
"Gwen has a busy world tour all year, so obviously most of our writing this year would happen either separately or during a few off days here and there," Dumont said.
Stefani's original plan was to do one side project that she initially hesitated to term a solo album. That turned out to be 2004's massively successful Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Following a tour and the birth of her first child, Kingston, with Gavin Rossdale (see "Gwen Stefani Delivers Baby Boy"), Stefani released The Sweet Escape in December.
"This break has been good for everyone," Dumont said. "We had been together as a band nonstop for so long that it was healthy for us to all stand on our own two feet, so to speak. In the past four years, I bought a house, got married and made a baby, so [I] pretty much grew up and returned to normal life outside of the rock stardom which dominated my 20s."
Dumont, Kanal and drummer Adrian Young also kept busy with various musical endeavors. Dumont collaborated with his friend Ted Matson on an instrumental project called Invincible Overlord and produced two albums for singer Matt Costa, the second of which is due this fall (see "You Hear It First: Matt Costa").
"Matt is pretty unique in that he grew up in Huntington Beach in the skateboarding scene there, but is primarily consumed with music from the '60s and before," Dumont said. "He gets excited by British artists like the Kinks and Donovan, but has an equal love for early American folk and blues, from the Carter Family to Buddy Holly."
Kanal lent Stefani a hand on both of her solo albums and produced songs for Hawaiian rockers Pepper and reggae singer Elan (see "No Doubt's Tony Kanal Spending Band's Hiatus Producing Reggae LP, Remixing Gwen"). Meanwhile, Young played drums on Bow Wow Wow's 2004 tour and appeared on albums by Costa and Unwritten Law.