Gwen Stefani On Solo Career: “Never Again”

‘Rich Girl’, ‘Sweet Escape’, ‘Cool’, ‘Hollerback’. These are but a few of the hits that catapulted Gwen Stefani into solo stardom between 2003-2006. And then, it quite literally, went silent…until now.

The 42 year old is back with stablemates No Doubt and, by the looks of it, has no plans to go it alone again.

Details below…

During an interview with Elle magazine UK, the eclectic star revealed she experienced crippling writers block during her solo sessions. Peep an excerpt below:

Gwen recognises the cyclical nature of her story. She will say later that she had fun experimenting in the solo years, ‘playing different roles and pretending I was something else in a way. And now I just feel like I’m back to being the girl I was in ninth grade when I discovered Madness.’

Gwen and her bandmates – Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young – have been trying to write this album – their sixth – since 2008. For the four years before that, they were on a self-imposed hiatus. During that time, Gwen, you’ll remember, managed to keep herself busy. She collaborated with everybody: Eve, Pharrell, Dr Dre, New Order – and produced two solo albums that, combined, sold almost 20 million copies. But: ‘I would never do that again,’ she says. She suffers from that grim affliction, writers block. ‘I would never put myself through it, it was just torture… I cried during those sessions.’ {Source}

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Intriguing and yet more reason, friends, why it’s important to not take all you see in this beautiful, yet crazed industry at face value. There stood Gwen, at the top of her career, yet creatively starved and selling a “version” of herself that was essentially inauthentic.

It’s an admission that, though unfortunate, is actually a testament to the legitimacy of Stefani’s artistry. Only a “genuine’ act would  go against popular demand (we all want another Gwen solo record, right?!) to ensure they’re being true to the artist they are. A few of today’s “musician-models” could learn from her words.

Your thoughts?

Comments 46

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  1. Monstarebel September 3, 2012

    She was at her best when she was SOLO, I’m not here for this new no doubt music…

    • FAME AND FORTUNE FLOPPED N TEAM BREEZY ARE SCUZZY H*** September 3, 2012

      UGHHHHH! SO TRUE AT HER BEING AT HER BEST WHEN SHE WENT SOLO. NO DOUBT ARE AMAZING BUT I LOVED SOLO GWEN. THESE CUTS STILL KNOCK TODAY. I’M GROOVING TO THIS S***. I WANT HER TO AT LEAST SQUEEZE OUT ONE LAST SOLO ALBUM.

  2. THE GAME September 3, 2012

    “I cried during those sessions”…Such a drama queen. Gurl, no one forced you to write this supbar second album and you’re not the first one to experiment writer’s block!

  3. The-Truth September 3, 2012

    Honestly I think her and Fergie are just afraid to FLOP! Those two and Nelly Furtado were running things for a while and realize they would struggle in today’s market. They let Katy, Gaga, and Rihanna fill their voids

    • Black Madonna September 3, 2012

      Not everybody wanna be pop stars in their 30’s and 40’s hun.. people grow up and move on to different things as they get older. For some reason most people seem to think that pop stars should never age or mature smh.. so juvenile

      • JoJo (istan4rihanna) September 4, 2012

        Rihanna Came Out before Fergie did solo.
        But yes I completely agree, im not surprised Nelly Furtado flopped because her material is not like it used be

  4. mc the place to be!! September 3, 2012

    I love and respect her for this and to be honest she seems more of herself when she’s in no doubt when she was solo to me especially on great escape they was trying make her Beyonce glamorous type and that was ewwww!!! I like the girl next door who wears combat boots in a garage band Gwen I love settle down and happy she did all of that to realize where her heart really was and have a heart ppl it was probably records that she didn’t want to do you know how record labels are!! Y’all want crap so in their minds crap is what they’re gonna put out which sucks for REAL artists because they gotta make a music video to that crap and also perform that crap and win awards for that crap #SAD

  5. Biting Truth September 3, 2012

    Too bad because I liked solo Gwen a lot more than I do No Doubt as a collective.

  6. MC the place to be!! September 3, 2012

    i dont think they’re afraid to flop i just think that theyre the ones who are stuck inbetween of going with actual “fame” or just being true to themselves i think her and fergie are alike in some way they came from groups and groups is where they feel comfortable if you start out solo its different or if you start in a band but really want to be solo its different i think personally they just like the band because thats where it all started and the old feelings about wanting to be where they are now are still with them the love of actually doing what they do are still with them

  7. JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) September 3, 2012

    People need to realize being a true artist for long, album after album is really hard. This girl started a family after all that solo success and realized she didn´t want to work that much. And I agree with the comment who said she was probably going to flop staying solo for longer, same case as Fergie, and they were probably afraid.
    I´m glad she is back with No Doubt and I really like the two singles they have released. Just that, it´s better for her
    Her case is the same case Justin Timberlake is. He only dared to release two albums. He knows it´s hard to stay on top for long when you try to release good stuff, so he is afraid about his next album. I´m sure. Very few people can be a Michael Jackson, such success, so many albums, and such quality for those many years.
    That´s why the only two females I admire on that front big way are Mariah Carey and Madonna. They have the star power to last that long and they didn´t stop trying to slay the charts and kept releasing albums to appeal the masses, not just touring or being sucessful on other things and leaving the new music on a side. They are the two women who have been doing it for longer. And people need to know that´s really hard. Mariah suffered a breakdown in 2001 for a reason

    • MC the place to be!! September 3, 2012

      you’re exactly right and ppl were making fun of her for it she even said on an cnn interview that it wasnt no break since the demo tape or the beginning when she first got signed who can do that?

      • Lax September 3, 2012

        @John Often time you do act like the Grown Up in
        the room by giving Others the benefit of the doubt, but
        on the other hand I notice how you Refuse to EVER give RIHANNA the benefit of the Doubt, just something i NOTICED because i enjoyed your comment right here, i cosign you and more power to you and all of the Others who will always and a day give Other’s the Benefit of the Doubt and Keep right on trying as hard as it’s Humanely Possible to Always Try To Nail Rihanna’s Caribbean Ass to that Cross BECAUSE of Hate for Rih but it’s cool i am not hating i’m just stating, Carry On!

      • Lax September 3, 2012

        @MC Another blogger who hold’s there key board Hostage
        and give Rih hell all up and down her post’s yet is Kind and sweet to Other’s. I do believe that RIHANNA has single Handed KILLED all of her Haters Families, their Pets and Kicked them all in the Ass on top of that, don’t mind me Carry On.
        PS
        Like i stated not Hating Just Stating, love Gwen and i do believe in giving them all the Benefit Of The Doubt.

      • JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) September 3, 2012

        @MC
        I know. She really suffered such a media bashing for nothing. She was just exhausted, she was fighting hard since 1997 against big forces and worked non stop doing it with memorable stuff, not some generic and easy danceable songs made by others like nowadays models. She also broke up with her lover of 3 years during that time. So it was a mix of things. And the girl was out of the picture for like only 2 months for crying out loud lol I remember she was already performing from September 2001 and on. That b**** is unbeatable 🙂

    • JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) September 3, 2012

      @lax
      sweetie, the big difference between the ones I named here and Rihanna is the “releasing quality music and staying on top for years and years while doing that”. You missed that point and that´s why Rihanna can´t be on that group. I am glad you understood the rest of my comment. But Rihanna has no talent sorry. You can put her on the group of people working without much rest if u want (nowhere near Mariah or Madonna, for all those years) but not in the group of staying big while slaying our ears with quality. And nobody is hating her, I think she is probably very nice

    • Suicide Blonde September 3, 2012

      I agree about Mariah and Madonna but i don’t think Justin will flop, since he’s considered the Prince of Pop, you know the media’s treat him, the same way they treat Britney, i think he is just making sure he’s music is good and not basic + he’s a great performer, if Usher and Chris Brown can have a career, Justin will eat the world and honestly he’s he only male singer that can save us from all these b******, i’m tired of these women, fighting for being the best, i need some men here no the likes of Usher or Breezy, i need someone like Justin, he expand his horizons, he wants to be an actor and a singer and he’s doing very well, people like J.Lo has conquered both Hollywood and the Music business even if she’s not the best, it’s about been everywhere, a great move and Michael Jackson takes 7 year from one album to another so there is no different, Michael was afraid to fail, while people like Madonna keep reinventing herself with new image and new Music, Michael became a label, the same moves, same Music and that was when his fail, don’t get me wrong i’m the biggest Mike fan but people like Prince is in another level when it comes to art, Prince has albums that michael could have never done. the thing is keep pushing the envelope.

      • JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) September 3, 2012

        You tried…lol
        Michael Jackson>>>>>Madonna at everything
        I understand your point but you almost make it seem as if Madonna were more talented than Michael

        About Justin… I´m not saying he would flop, I don´t know that (he shouldn´t, cos if you flop in just your 3rd album and after such a long time and people are supposed to be hungry about you… then he would not be too great for sure). But I´m sure he was definitely afraid to flop, sorry it´s just that. It´s wonderful he trying his career as an actor and he says he prefers that now… but let´s be honest being a huge act in music (and I mean huge ala Michael, Mariah, Madonna, Whitney, etc) is way harder. There are unimaginable pressures on you, just you. Hope you understand my point. When did Michael wait 7 years? At the end of his career you mean? You tried though 🙂

      • Suicide Blonde September 3, 2012

        Don’t be silly, i know you understand my point, Michael Of the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory (1995), Invincible (2001), i say it, if usher can have a career, Justin can do it and i don’t say Madonna was better than Michael, when i say that, i say Prince has done albums better than him and is way more talented than Michael and i do believe Madonna has doing better albums than Michael, not all her albums, that’s for sure but she has definitely one of the best Discography, i’m a big fan of Mike but that doesn’t makes me blind, the man was a label, everything was the same and not Michael is not better than Madonna in everything, sorry, everyone has something that the other can’t have, Michael was a great performer, composer and a really great musician but to say he was the best of all times is stupid, Elvis was successful in every genre, Rock ‘n Roll, Rock, Pop, Gospel, Country, Christian Music, that is what Michael could have never done, he didn’t reinvent his music, he spent his career trying to emulate Thriller’ success, i don’t know why you always get the feeling that i think Madonna is better than anyone because she’s not but that doesn’t mean that Michael was better in everything.

  8. Gilberto September 3, 2012

    Gwen is amazing. Her debut album was bananas! She paved ways to Fergie and Nelly Furtado with her urban-pop sound. Fergie stole a lot of Gwen’s swag, songs, urban image and visual concepts.
    Solo work > No Doubt.

    • diob September 3, 2012

      FALSE!!!! Fergie stole nothing from no one. The black eyed peas had a very urban pop sound and she kind of took it and evolved it to make it her sound. You tried it really quickly.

      • Lax September 3, 2012

        @diob cosign!

      • Eric Kane September 3, 2012

        Actually Fergie’s Glamrous is a remix of Gwen’s Luxurious. Look it up. Nelly Furtado even dissed Fergie on the Give It To Me track based on Fergie hijacking her style.

    • trillafood September 3, 2012

      FALSE…AGAIN!! Kelis “Tasty”. Gwen went out her way to work with the same ppl as Kelis. Love.Angel.Music.Baby was amazing, but don’t act like shes the first cause Kelis was doing it before Gwen, Fergie & Nelly..

  9. Siberian Prince September 3, 2012

    I’m sure her record label is saying “Never again” too.

    • Black Madonna September 3, 2012

      Well not everybody wanna be an aging pop star like Madge, some rather choose to bow out gracefully and move on to other things like kids and marriage

  10. September 3, 2012

    Boo. I loved solo gwen. She seemed authentic too much i dont care what she says. The truth is she’s afraid to flop. Why should experiencing writer’s block affect her? that’s why you professional Beyonce has probably had writers block since her DC days when she ACTUALLY WROTE songs. but now she’s had all this success she can get others to write for her (and claim credit).
    Gwen should stop being so scared. I’m gon need her to give us one more album. She’s the one of the few from this generation who are TRUE ORIGINALS, like kelis, m.ia. etc. These other girls are copycats/imitators/thieves in colorful wigs and shiny dresses.

    • MC the place to be!! September 3, 2012

      huh?? so youre saying that she should get writer and claim credit?? thats not a joke and its not right whether you have sky high money like beyonce or not and im pretty sure on say my name she had kelly latavia and letoya and darkchild to fill in the blanks she had to sing and anyways she is giving us another record its just with her bandmates!! thats probably why she was scared and lonely because she wrote with her bandmates all the time!

    • Lax September 3, 2012

      @… You are so right on with that!

  11. September 3, 2012

    Boo. I loved solo gwen. She seemed authentic to me i dont care what she says. The truth is she’s afraid to flop. Why should experiencing writer’s block affect her? that’s why you have professional songwriters. Beyonce has probably had writers block since her DC days when she ACTUALLY WROTE songs. but now she’s had all this success she can get others to write for her (and claim credit).
    Gwen should stop being so scared. I’m gon need her to give us one more album. She’s the one of the few from this generation who are TRUE ORIGINALS, like kelis, m.ia. etc. These other girls are copycats/imitators/thieves in colorful wigs and shiny dresses.

  12. Acem September 3, 2012

    Gwen is better by herself. Was never a fan of No Doubt, their music is too eccentric and silly. Giving up a successful solo career to go back to the group you started with is a regression. Can you imagine Diana Ross giving up her solo career to go back to the Supremes? Groups are supposed to be stepping stones. And from what I see, ND’s new music isn’t burning up the charts. Gwen should reconsider.

  13. ASAP (As Sincere As Possible) September 3, 2012

    I think what she said was taken out of context a little. She didn’t say she was fake, inauthentic or disingenuous. She just said she was playing around, experimenting, finding new sides of herself. EVERY artist does that. All she said is that she prefers being in a band where she knows exactly what her role is and doesn’t have to experiment and redefine herself. It’s not like she discredited her entire career 😉

    Anyway, I’m checking for No Doubt as much as I would be checking for a solo Gwen album. For now, I just want ‘Push and Shove’… 🙂

  14. Flopnet September 3, 2012

    That’s sad to hear, I miss mah solo Gwen. Her songs always had a lot of personality, more than the current crop of pop tarts combined. If handled correctly, she could have been a worthy succession to the pop throne after Madonna. Unfortunately, she got replaced by another fugly blond who plagiarizes with her faux messages. Mid ’00s pop was the best, until it got hijacked by the dance trend led by a witch.

    • JohnVidal(RIP Whitney-truegreat) September 3, 2012

      You must be very young if u think mid 00´s pop was the best…

    • Suicide Blonde September 3, 2012

      Madonna is and will always be The Queen of Pop, she is by far the only artist who can still make it beautiful/vicious/vulgar-whate­ver she’s singing about-and actually prove her point in her music, Madonna’s determination, arrogance, ambition and confidence is what has made her the biggest star in the planet.

  15. NAYAH82 September 3, 2012

    Love you Gwen!! 🙂

  16. Lax September 3, 2012

    Hmmmmm i just wonder if she and her group will do as well as Rita Ora Beyonce and
    Jay Love Child! And we know she have got the $$$$$$$$ put up to help her stay close to the top Cough* of course with all of the Hate out there for Their Oldest Daughter Rihanna who do not always listen to her Parents, that dang Rihanna she have got a Mind of her own!

    • HONESTLY fake September 3, 2012

      Do you ever SHUT THE F*** UP you talk so much s*** and nonsense you must really not have a life going post to post ranting you need a hobbie boo

    • Realist: Navy Nazy September 3, 2012

      lmao you know to how to rattle up these b****** lax and to the angry b**** above me…. commenting here doen’t make you any different hun-tea *sips tea*

  17. Yann September 3, 2012

    Haters all around, that’s funny. Solo or not, it was never question to keep on going on that way, it was just a hiatus and that was clear since the first day. That was an amazing experience for her, and it was good stuff (Sales don’t lie)
    Now she’s back at home. I can understand what she means when she said she was crying in the studio because i’m in a band too, and let me tell you all that there’s a big difference between a band session and a solo one. When we are together, we enjoy recording tracks, no pressure at all, we can count on each other. But when we tried to make it on our own, well it wasn’t that fun cause you see, you are all alone so you have to shine on your own, that makes you feel more vulnerable.
    Come on, join and do it better than us and then we will see, but don’t talk about things you don’t even know.

  18. WaitUrTurn88 September 3, 2012

    TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT GWENS…U SEE HER ACTING ALL GANGSTER AND STUFF LOOKING LIKE A GEISHA MEXICAN IN LUX……DNT GIVE ME WRONG I LUV THAT GWEN BUT U GUYS CAN TELL ME THATS THE REAL HER, NO DOUBT IS WHERE SHE SUPPOSED TO BE!!

  19. MRDIVABITCH September 3, 2012

    Her second album was such s***

  20. Rockaby September 3, 2012

    You all are so damn dramatic and coming up with silly scenerios. Just because she doesn’t want to do the solo thing anymore doesn’t mean shee is dearful. If she had fear of failing she would stop doing music period, because their is no gurantee No Doubt stuff is going to be a success. It was always in the plan for her to go back to the group. She is a mother and wife now; she don’t have time to be on the raod non-stop.

    Gwen didn’t hardly jack no Kelis style. She was around long before Kilis and was always a grunge girl. Kelis does not own Pharrell or the Neptunes

  21. King. September 3, 2012

    I don’t think that most people realize the toll that the music industry and the entertainment industry takes on you. Unlike people like Beyonce and Rihanna, some people actually want to take breaks and live their lives as normal as possible. I can respect the fact that Gwen refuses to be fake in order to sell a record and I also can respect the fact that she is focused on being a great mother and wife and not whether her song has charted on the Hot 100.

  22. Jer September 3, 2012

    Yes, I hope some of these new girls that dress like other people, have their hair and makeup done like other singers, and ride the coat tails of other artists before they even habe an album out, I hope they do realize you can only be a fake b**** in 2012 so long before people clock you. When does Rihta Ora’s album drop in the US again?

  23. Suicide Blonde September 3, 2012

    As a fan of No Doubt i have to say, i love Gwen’s solo career, i really love, i think she has a cool personality, she reminds me of Madonna in some ways but she was just trying to be a PopStar which she’s not, i know she has all the things to be, the image, the look but her personality is another thing, she is a Rock Star, that’s the real Gwen and her best work has been with No Doubt. She started her solo career too late, if you love her enjoy No Doubt because she’s the band, she’s the image and the voice, nothing change just the name and the band is all real Rock, Reggae and Ska music.

  24. WILD DEBUTANTE September 3, 2012

    OK…..Good for Gwen.

    But…Lets be real, Gwen doesnt have a huge die hard solo fan base.

    artist like Gaga, Rihanna, Bey have millions of hardcore fans and can’t just quit music.

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