No Doubt's Adrian Young

Drummer Adrian Young joined ska-pop band No Doubt in 1988 after the suicide of founding co-vocalist John Spence led to a reconfiguration of the group.

Young was present for No Doubt's massive success when Tragic Kingdom (1995) and its single "Don't Speak" became #1 hits, and he has remained in the band during the seemingly endless sessions for a follow-up LP, now scheduled for release early next year.

Adrian Damien Young was born 30 years ago today in Long Beach, Calif. He grew up loving classic rock and punk rock. Young joined No Doubt after being an avid fan of the band, which was started in 1987 by singers John Spence and Gwen Stefani and her keyboardist brother, Eric.

In 1989 Young approached No Doubt when he heard the band was looking for a new drummer. Though he had only begun playing the drums in 1987, Young lied to the group and said he'd been playing for six years. No Doubt, however, were happy with his playing despite the deception.

Before picking up Young, No Doubt hired East India-born bassist Tony Kanal while gigging around their home base of Anaheim, Calif. Spence committed suicide in 1987, leaving Gwen Stefani as lead vocalist. In addition to Young, the group added guitarist Tom Dumont.

In 1991 Interscope Records signed No Doubt, primarily because of their live act, which highlighted Stefani's combination of soft femininity and punk attitude. But the band's eponymous 1992 debut — which came out at the height of grunge's popularity — stiffed.

Because of their label's lack of support, No Doubt recorded The Beacon Street Collection (1994) and issued it on their own Sea Creatures label. Interscope then sanctioned more recording, and the ensuing sessions resulted in Tragic Kingdom. But Eric Stefani left following the LP's completion to become an animator for Fox's "The Simpsons."

MTV embraced the new LP's more punk-oriented ska and the bindi-sporting Gwen Stefani's platinum-blonde looks. The channel put band's videos for "Just a Girl" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Spiderwebs" into heavy rotation. With the #1 success of "Don't Speak," Tragic Kingdom topped the Billboard 200 albums chart almost a year after its release.

Tragic Kingdom chronicled the end of Stefani's romance with Kanal, and as No Doubt became a superstar act, Stefani began dating Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale. The new relationship added to No Doubt's media exposure.

Last year No Doubt contributed a cover of Elvis Costello's "I Throw My Toys Around" to the soundtrack to "The Rugrats Movie." Earlier this year they cut "New" (RealAudio excerpt) for the soundtrack to the film "Go."

"We've experimented a lot more with different kinds of keyboard sounds and backing off the guitars a lot on the [new] album," Dumont said. "There's a lot more space for keyboards. The guy who's been playing keyboards with us for the last three years, Gabe McNair, [has] got these clavinets and these Moogs ... all kinds of crazy stuff, and we hook up guitar-effects pedals, stomp-box pedals and chain them all together and come up with crazy, unique sounds."

The still-untitled LP reportedly will include such tracks as "Too Late Now," "You're So Foxy" and "Waiting Room."

"The 13 years we spent being in this band is going to be reflected on this one," Stefani said of the LP.

In addition to being an avid golfer, Young plays from time to time in Orange County punk group the Vandals. Young appears on the band's Hitler Bad, Vandals Good (1998).

Other birthdays: Chris Curtis (Searchers), 57; Valerie Simpson (Ashford and Simpson), 51; Robert Cowsill (Cowsills), 49; Billy Rush (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes), 47; John O'Neill (Undertones), 42; Jet Black, born Brian Duffy (Stranglers), 41; and Branford Marsalis, 39.