Nearly 15 years later, Stefani admitted that those old tensions might still exist in the reunited band.
"Everybody's making it like there's all this new tension, you know, like I stepped away from the band and now they're jealous of me," Stefani said in the July issue of Elle, featuring other women in music like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. "And look, maybe there is a little bit of that."
Although she's ready to get back to work with the band, she didn't mind playing the Britney Spears-like pop star for a while on her two solo discs. "I just did the circuit. You write with all the same people Christina Aguilera writes with," she said. "And the music's very programmed and done in this very patchwork way. But it was so fun. I felt like I was playing a character."
Stefani said her priorities have changed drastically since No Doubt released their last studio album, Rock Steady, in 2001. "I wasn't even married. Now, I'm a wife and a mother of two. It's a really different role," she said. "I always referred to No Doubt as a marriage, because that's what it's like to be together for so long and go through what we've been through."
Even with two kids and a rock-star husband, Gavin Rossdale, No Doubt are still important to her, but they're no longer her whole life. "I can't really have that relationship with them anymore," she explained. "My priorities are always going to be my husband and my family now. That's a huge, huge thing."
That doesn't mean she's quitting the biz to pursue family life full time. She's just waiting for inspiration to settle in. "I just feel very in between at the moment," she said about songwriting. "Like in my cocoon waiting to blossom. ... I'm so screwed. I might never be able to write another song. ... I want so badly to write a record. I want to make every other songwriter jealous. But it's just not happening right now."