It has been five years since Gwen Stefani released her last solo album, but as she prepares to mount a musical comeback, the No Doubt front woman, solo artist, fashion designer and mom opened up to ELLE Magazine for their May Women in Music issue (joined on alternative covers by Adele, Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj and Robyn) about balancing her family life with her hectic work schedule and about the changing world of music around her.
Gwen, who is a mother to sons Kingston and Zuma, says that going on tour is harder now that so many of her fellow No Doubt band members have children. Tony Kanal, No Doubt’s bassist, recently welcomed a daughter, and No Doubt’s guitarist Tom Dumont recently welcomed a son.
“I don’t know. Right now, I can’t picture touring. It’s so physical, and I’d have to prepare for that mentally. I just don’t know how we’re going to do it, because now Kingston is going to be in kindergarten. Now we all have kids… But I’m so lucky — I mean, who gets to do all this stuff?” Gwen told the mag.
Gwen added that it’s important that she and rocker husband Gavin Rossdale make time for their family and each other. The couple married in 2002 and she claims that one of her biggest achievements has been maintaining a loving relationship in their marriage.
“The first time we ever kissed was right around Valentine’s Day — we were in New Orleans on tour. So, yeah, I always think about that because it’s unbelievable that we’ve been able to stay together. I feel so proud of us — it’s one of my biggest achievements,” she explained.
Gwen admits that she channels her experiences as a mother and wife in her music and says she rarely keeps any experiences private.
“It’s a lot easier to write about hard times and when things are going wrong. But I’ve never been a private person. I have to tell everyone everything that’s going on. It is different once you’re married, because that’s sacred,” Gwen added.
The Grammy winner went on to speak about the evolving music world and how contemporary pop artists aim to create a hit that you can’t get out of your head because so many songs are short-lived in these time.
“When we were growing up, some of the hits were legendary ones that you hear your whole life. But certain songs, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear them again. Because that’s what that music is, like a guilty pleasure, it’s right at the moment. It’s like fashion — it’s now, then it’s gone” she told the mag.
Other female artists in ELLE’s special May Women in Music issue spoke about the music they aim to create and their goals to connect with the audience.
Swedish recording artist Robyn talked about the process of creating her latest album, “Body Talk,” which she broke up into three releases throughout 2010.
“At first it was a way of having more fun. Then it started to influence how I communicated with my fans—how to bring new music into a live set throughout the whole year.”
Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum explained that her songs are about sharing something with which everyone can identify.
“There aren’t a ton of people in this country who will understand songs about riding a tractor through a pasture. But when it comes to falling in love and out of love and getting your heart broken, there’s no way you can’t understand what the song’s about.”
ELLE’s May Women in Music issue also features interviews with artists including Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, Feist, Adele, Stevie Nicks, Willow Smith, Florence Welch and Aretha Franklin.