No Doubt rose to fame in the mid-1990s with their third studio album Tragic Kingdom, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary on October 10. The LP remains one of their most iconic and contains some signature songs still play on the radio today. In a new interview, all the members — Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Adrian Young, and Tom Dumont — took the time to discuss the record separately ahead of its anniversary date, per Daily News.
Prior to Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt had released two studio albums that failed to have commercial success — No Doubt and The Beacon Street Collection. While Tragic Kingdom might have seemed like an overnight success to some, it took a while for it to pick up.
Over a year after its release, the album peaked at No. 1 in December 1996 and spent nine nonconsecutive weeks at the top. Tony explained that the band was on tour at the time and remembers going down to the lobby of the hotels they were staying at and getting faxes from their management about the charts.
Hearing a No Doubt song on the radio today is something listeners have probably heard a million times. However, at the time, they were told otherwise.
“I just remember [someone at the station] saying, and this a literal quote, ‘It’s going to take an act of God to play No Doubt on KROQ,'” Gwen said.
“So, I guess God is real because they played it. I remember calling in and requesting, like a hundred times, for them to play ‘Just A Girl.'”
No Doubt toured Tragic Kingdom intensively. They began in small clubs and ended up in arenas.
“To put that in perspective, we circled the globe three times,” Adrian stated.
Gwen’s brother, Eric Stefani, was the principal songwriter of the band with his sister before their breakthrough happened. During the middle of the writing process for Tragic Kingdom, Eric decided to pursue other interests and left No Doubt.
“When Eric left, it was a real pivotal moment for the rest of us, because he is such an incredibly creative musical genius,” Tony explained.
Gwen and Tony were in a relationship while in the middle of trying to get the record out. However, that soon changed and they split up.
Gwen admits that it was a painful period for her as she was very dependant on Tony, leading her to feel lost. After her brother left the band and she was no longer with her boyfriend, Gwen said she felt alone. However, when No Doubt started to take off around the world, she realized her dreams were coming true.
Tony and Gwen both worked things out and remained in the band.
“What would have normally shattered a band actually brought everyone closer,” Tony stated.
They came up with the album title, Tragic Kingdom, because during the writing and recording process, they could see the Magic Kingdom located in Disneyland from the Beacon house. Tom reminisced over the moments when they could hear and see the fireworks show from Disneyland every night.
After the release of Tragic Kingdom, they continued to take their careers to new heights. In 2003, they performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show with Sting and went on to win two Grammy Awards. However, Tony believes what made No Doubt special was that there was a real family bond with everyone involved.
When they all decided to go on a hiatus, Gwen went solo and released a number of pop albums. The singer has experimented with genres over the years and has most recently been recording country duets with her boyfriend, Blake Shelton. Since this interview took place, Gwen admitted on her Instagram story that she misses performing ska music, No Doubt’s signature sound.
Last year, Adrian said he would love to do a 25th-anniversary tour of Tragic Kingdom to celebrate the record. However, no official announcement has been made yet.