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Interview: Adrian Young on No Doubt’s Return, Working With Diplo & More

CraveOnline catches up with No Doubt's flamboyantly awesome stickman.

 

After an 11-year gap between studio albums, No Doubt are back with another dose of their unique rock/reggae/ska hybrid sound, with drummer Adrian Young holding down the backbone in an often-naked display of rhythmic exuberance. 

CraveOnline caught up with the Long Beach native and avid golfer to discuss the band's return, their work with Diplo/Major Lazer, the difficulties of returning after a long hiatus and more.

 

 First off, thanks for taking the time Adrian! Congratulations on getting 26 years in and having such a powerful revitalization – after a decade between records, did you think it was possible?

We always knew it was going to happen. A new record was always part of the plan, however I don't think that any of us thought it would take as long as it did.

"Undone" was the last song you wrote/recorded for the album. What was the creative atmosphere like by then, compared to the onset?


The atmosphere was very relaxed. That song did not need as much laboring as some of the others. It came together pretty quickly and naturally.

 

Where did all the horns go on the new record? It seems that they've diminished.

There are horns on three of the songs for Push and Shove, which is about the same amount as Rocksteady and Return of Saturn.

 

Artistically, what did you take away from the experience of working with Major Lazer/Diplo?

They helped bring us back to our roots a bit in a progressive way, with the ska vibe.

 

If the stories are true, going into the studio before spending time to reestablish a shorthand musical connection in 2008 didn't yield the results you were hoping for… how daunting did that make the situation when you reconvened again to make it happen?

It really was not daunting because we were firing on all cylinders after our 2009 tour. Something happens to us when we play live. It's as if we become re-energized.

 

For all being parents in the band, you've gained a lot of respect from fans who see your dedication to balancing family life while making the musician's life work. How much different is touring life now that there's such a unanimous perspective on parenting within No Doubt? Much less partying I'd imagine, which would lead to healthier lifestyle, more energy…?

I don't know if we have more energy, but we are healthier. The partying has calmed down a bit. The children rule our lives, which we love, and we're better off because of them.

 

Gwen has said that everything for the band, musically, has been a series of accidents and mistakes. Yet No Doubt has a very distinct sound, despite the far-reaching stylistic influence. Have there ever been moments where you've had to reel it back in so as not to alienate listeners?

Every time we try and get away from ourselves, we seem to fail! Meaning that our sound is distinct and we can't escape it.

 


Are there any older songs that you'd like to see paired with new ones when you play them live?

I personally love pulling out older songs. They have a dynamic that takes me back to a different time. It's hard to say what our setlist will be like for our next tour, but we may sneak a couple different older songs back into the mix.

 

Your ideal golfing partner is….?

Jack Nicklaus.

 

Keep up with No Doubt on their official site