Gwen Stefani says her relationship — and difficult break-up — with No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal was what fueled her career and helped teach her to be more creative.
With No Doubt set to release their first album in more than 10 years, fans of the band are growing increasingly nostalgic for the golden years of the band, The Huffington Post noted. And, in recent interviews, both Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal have opened up about their relationship and its effect on the band.
They dated for seven years, but Kanal ended the relationship in 1994, just before the band hit it big.
“We were on tour for Tragic Kingdom for 28 months,” Kanal told The Guardian. We were going through the breakup, and in every interview we were talking about it so we were opening this wound on an hourly basis. It was so brutal but I don’t know how we made it through”
But for Stefani there was a bright side: The break-up made her open herself creatively.
“Before, I was really passive, all I cared about was being in love with my boyfriend,” she told The Guardian. “I didn’t have any creative power, nothing. I don’t know that person any more. But I’d been really bad at school and didn’t know what I would do, I just sang in my brother’s band [Eric Stefani, who founded the group, left No Doubt after Tragic Kingdom to work on ‘The Simpsons.’] But after the breakup I just started writing all these songs and suddenly I was: ‘Oh I think I’m really good at this!’ ”
Stefani married Bush frontman Gavin Rosdale in 2000, and she and Tony Kanal have since mended their relationship. They wrote a song together on No Doubt’s upcoming album, Push and Shove.
No Doubt formed in 1986 in California with Gwen Stefani joining in 1989. They broke through with their 1995 album Tragic Kingdom and had some success with follow-ups, but, by 2004, they parted ways to go onto solo careers.
Stefani has said that this solo work, which included the hit Love. Angel. Music. Baby., was never meant to be her main gig and that she always envisioned a return to No Doubt.
“It just feels so much more natural being back in this mode,” Gwen Stefani told The Guardian about her return to No Doubt. “The solo records allowed me to indulge my girly side but it was never meant to be taken seriously.”