Gwen Stefani on Recent Album, Songwriting and the Past Few Years

MC: Would the punk rock girl, however many years ago, be laughing, hearing you talk about costume changes and expensive video production and everything?
Stefani: I don’t think that girl would be laughing. I think she would be giddy with joy, because I’ve always cared about what I’m wearing on stage, whether it’s one outfit or not. For me to be able to change, it’s super exciting. I’ve always loved theatrics and art and fashion and it’s now something that’s new.

I think what’s different now is I’m able to express myself in that way and not be held back playing by a punk rock rule. I think the attitude is still there.

MC: Sophie Muller did the visuals for the tour as well as the three videos from the album so far. What is your creative connection with her?
Stefani: Sophie is one of my best friends, and she’s been honestly through a lot this year, which has been so crazy, and there was a lot of darkness. She was there for me, whether she was in Spain or London or whatever, we were always on Skype, and she helped me though this whole thing. And so to be able to do a music video now about a joyful love song was beautiful.

She’s like a muse for me. I always want to impress her, because she’s so artistic, and she’s so different from me. She leads a life of being an artist, but she’s not married and she doesn’t have children, and she’s just all about art and traveling and she’s insane.

The second video was a one-take live moment for the Grammys for “Make Me Like You,” which was an incredible thing for us to do, both of us, totally outside of our element. It wasn’t like making a music video in the traditional way.

Gwen Stefani cover story photo by Jamie NelsonMC: “Misery” is a bit more of a traditional video, right?
Stefani: With “Misery” we had the luxury of doing a two-day shoot, which is totally luxurious these days. And we got to do what we love the most, which is just fashion and making beautiful images, and not having any rules. It was very much on the fly. We went downtown to the abandoned Sears building; it’s all destroyed and creepy in there. We were there for two days and it was like an art project.

MC: With This Is What The Truth Feels Like and the tour, your personal and professional lives have in some ways become one and the same. How do you handle balancing the two?
Stefani: That’s always been part of my journey. Tragic Kingdom was all about my personal life, and every single song I’ve pretty much ever written has been about my personal life, and I feel okay sharing that. The only place where I become more protective of it is really when it comes to the children, because at the end of the day, you don’t want them be a teenager and go, “Oh, my God. Mom, why did you say that?!” or “Why did they say that about you?” That’s where it starts to get tricky for me.

MC: Who were some of your early female music heroes?
Stefani: The first concert that I remember going to was Emmylou Harris at the Palomino Club up in L.A. For me, to get taken by my parents to L.A., to go to a weird bar club, and watch this most beautiful woman who I knew all her music growing up, it was just...I will never forget that moment.

It’s funny, but I remember that halfway through her set, she said, “Okay. I’m going to take a break now, because I need to go nurse my new baby.” So now, today, I want a mom to take her daughter to her first concert and it’s going to be my concert, This is What The Truth Feels Like, and the energy that I have and the purity and the intention I have is just to give them that moment, you know? That’s my responsibility and I’m taking it real seriously and I feel so grateful.

For more information about Gwen Stefani, contact Erik Stein at Scoop Marketing

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