This month, we get an exclusive interview with singer, songwriter, co-founder and lead vocalist of the rock band No Doubt, after releasing her 2016 album This Is What the Truth Feels Like and going through some major life changes!
- How does writing your new album, This Is What The Truth Feels Like, differ from your past albums?
I think the biggest difference was, just where I was at in my life and a new found confidence in knowing that I could use my gift of writing. To help heal myself through the personal life changes I was going through. It’s different in the sense that it really helped me heal. In the past I was really trying to chase hits and prove who I was. This was really personal, for myself. Something I needed to do for myself.
- The lyrics feel very personal. Songwriting can be therapeutic but vulnerable, what was the songwriting process like on this record?
The songwriting process was very shocking. I went from not being able to write, to feeling like I needed to write to save myself. It was very spiritual. It was very much like a prayer for me to be able to go in and write. I would literally pray, and then the ideas would come. I think by finding the right team of people to write with was a really key thing. I really needed that to be as vulnerable as I was, but I really was in a place where I didn’t care. It wasn’t about sharing it or who would hear it. I really didn’t think people would hear it, I just needed to do it.
- What does it feel like now that the album is out?
It felt really exciting at first to be able to share ‘Used To Love You’ as the first single. I was going through what I went through in real time. I was sharing my life with people as I was really going through some crazy life changes, so that felt really comforting to be able to have that outlet and share that with people that have genuinely loved me over the years. Now that it’s out, I have an opportunity to tour, which is something I haven’t done in a very, very long time. Something I never thought I would do again. Being able to play new music that represents the triumph of overcoming personal trials is something I never thought I’d be able to do. The album is out and it continues to heal me, and continues to be something I can share with people – my story, now in a live setting.
- What can you tell us about the inspiration behind the single, ‘Make Me Like You’, and the juxtaposition in tone from the first single, ‘Used to Love You’?
I think Make Me Like You was one of those songs, at that point, my life had changed drastically. I had found hope – something beautiful that came out of something horrific. At the point of making that song, I was already in a groove of writing, I had already gotten really comfortable with the writers, they were just kind of coming out of me, one after another, day after day, sometimes two in a day. Make Me Like You is the first song I wrote with the new producers I was working with, Mattman and Robin, they were people I really wanted to work with for a long time. It was a shock when it came out, we were all shocked. We all knew that it was a real magical song. It was really fun to be able to write about happiness, love, and hope, as opposed to tragedy.
- You’ve grown a lot as a songwriter. How do you feel about it?
I think that I look back at all of the songs I’ve written, and they all, to me, have magic in them. They all have spirituality in them. They all have God in them. I think that these days, the difference is, I’ve accepted that this is a gift I’ve been given. When I use it and have the confidence in it, that’s when best stuff happens. I try to really be present and in the moment as a songwriter and lose all the insecurities that I’ve built up over the years. I feel really happy about that.
Image courtesy of Universal Music Malaysia