'TODAY' AND TOMORROW
If the band is worried about fans forgetting the hits, it shouldn't be. At recent performances on NBC's "Today" and at the Bamboozle festival in New Jersey, the audience sang along as the band ripped through a set of its greatest hits, including "Spiderwebs," "Don't Speak" and its cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life." The audience at both events leaned slightly older, and at Bamboozle, when Stefani asked those in the crowd to raise their hands if it was their first No Doubt show, many did. Still, they proceeded to sing along to most of the songs.
After the joys of parenthood and channeling their inner Tiger Woods, the band members will do their best to maintain a semblance of normalcy on the road. All admit to being fitness fanatics, and they're indulging their need to jog while touring. "We travel with two personal trainers," Kanal says. "We make hotels keep their gyms open late so we can work out. We're getting older, and we can't party like we used to."
But Kanal says that being older has plenty of perks. "We got to live though the record industry in its heyday. When we started, we were in a van and looking for change under the seats so we could buy food. We went from that to having a hit and getting to do things like make music videos with million-dollar budgets."
Stefani says she and the rest of the band aren't interested in "gratuitous fame," but she still finds herself in the spotlight. "I have to wear makeup to the gym because I get some dude doing sit-ups next to me and surreptitiously taking pictures," she says.
And although Stefani cheerfully shows off pictures of her sons, Kingston and Zuma, she'd rather talk about her ventures as a businesswoman, albeit in a self-effacing manner. Her clothing line, LAMB, is in its seventh year, and she also has her own perfume. Still, Stefani is slow to take credit for it all.
"I'm a good collaborator," she says. "I'm always open to other opinions, and I can do things like have meetings at my house and juggle it all. I'm actually heading to a five-hour meeting about the new line of handbags after this, and I'm pretty excited. I started it seven years ago and never thought it would last, but here we are."
During the "Today" performance, Stefani and her cohorts were self-assured, despite worries the day before that they might forget parts of the set. There was a moment during the intro solo of the track "Don't Speak" where a slight tension rose among the members, but it quickly dissipated as DuMont hit every chord and Stefani's voice kicked in. Backstage, the visibly relaxed band conducted an interview with a local morning news anchor, who had attended some of the act's mailing-list parties in the early '90s in Orange County.
"We're from Anaheim," Stefani says with a laugh as she considers her opportunities. "This is cliche to say, but we never thought this would happen to us. We built a studio in the garage, and now we're driving around on tour with a bus that has a studio in it. We survived it all and we're still friends, and that's great."