After helping fuel the popularity of ska-punk music with their multi-platinum album, "Tragic Kingdom," No Doubt has begun working in earnest on their new record, which lead singer Gwen Stefani says might find them in a decidedly "darker" direction.

During a pre-show interview at the MTV Video Music Awards, Gwen Stefani told MTV News' Kurt Loder that the band was currently listening and being influenced by the music of the Cure, the British "masters of mope rock."

Stefani, who was sporting a new, blue-haired do, also stated that No Doubt had written some 20-25 songs for the next album, seven of which had been recorded to "see how it feels."

"It feels weird to be creative again," Stefani said, explaining that the 2 1/2 years of touring had kept No Doubt from starting work on the follow-up to "Kingdom," which came out in 1995.

"We've been experimenting with different sounds," said guitarist Tom Dumont, "and we've been having a lot of fun being musicians again."

No word yet on when the next No Doubt album may arrive in stores, but we'll keep you posted.