[artist id="1003"]No Doubt[/artist] weren’t particularly concerned about staying current with “Settle Down,” the lead single off their first album in 11 years, Push and Shove. After all, for more than two decades now, they’ve gleefully mashed worldly beats — ska, reggae, dancehall and electro — with radio-friendly pop … and it’s just been over the past few years that the rest of the industry has caught up with them.
Then again, despite the prevalence of globe-spanning pop on the charts these days, No Doubt don’t consider themselves to be pioneers. In fact, for them, melding styles and genres has always been part of their plan … even if, more often than not, they’ve never really had a plan to speak of.
“We don’t know what we’re doing,” Gwen Stefani laughed. “Everything’s basically a series of accidents and mistakes.”
And that was exactly the same, uh, method they applied to Push and Shove (due September 25), which seems them not only working with the dancehall duo of Major Lazer and reggae artist Busy Signal, but continuing to push the boundaries of pop and rock. It’s what they’ve been doing for 25 years now, and, as the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
“Honestly … we just make music that we love and we want to play. We get inspired by something, and we kind of go with it,” bassist Tony Kanal said. “We’ve always been huge fans of ska and reggae music, and when we were making the Rock Steady record, we were super into dancehall — we still are.
“And on the Return of Saturn tour, before we made Rock Steady, we were having dancehall parties every night, and I feel that really fueled and fed into making Rock Steady, so much that we actually went to Jamaica and recorded with incredible Jamaican producers down there,” he continued. “I think if something inspires us, we go with it, we know when it’s working and we just kind of run with it. It seems to work for us.”
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