Props to Zane Lowe at Apple Music, because he’s become one of the industry journalists/interviews to get some of the best exclusives these days. Lowe did a new interview with Gwen Stefani as she’s promoting her upcoming new album (which hasn’t been given a name?) and her first single from that album, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.” In recent years, the Blake Shelton Years, Gwen has mostly avoided the pop music which made her famous. Her last album, in 2017, was a Christmas album, and all of her recent hits have been country duets with Blake. This upcoming album is supposed to be Gwen going back to her pop-rock-ska roots. Anyway, Gwen talked to Zane Lowe about everything – music, her sons, Blake, old No Doubt gossip, past relationship drama, and more. Some highlights:
Gwen “discovered” she has dyslexia when her sons started having trouble reading. “One thing that I’ve discovered through having kids is that I have dyslexia — everyone has things that happen and mine was that. And I feel like a lot of the problems that I have had or even decisions that I’ve made for myself stem from that, because now the children — obviously, it’s all genetic — they have some of those issues… But now they get all these benefits. They have these incredible teachers and schools and they don’t have to have shame about it. They understand that their brain functions in a different way. All of our brains do, you know what I mean?”
She “failed at school”: “I was a good girl. I didn’t do any bad stuff. It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school that everybody was supposed to be understanding. And my brain didn’t work like that; it still doesn’t. But it works in different ways that are probably a gift that other people can’t do.”
The early years of No Doubt: “At that time I had written that whole record not even knowing how to write a song and I had literally laid my entire life out for everyone to hear. And then I’m still in the band with Tony [Kanal] who I was so dependent on, because of probably my dyslexia. I didn’t know any of this until now, but I think that I didn’t have any confidence in myself, at the time, but when I would write a song or I would get on stage, it just felt so right and the only thing that was going right for me.”
She adores Blake: “Life’s gotten so good right now actually having a best friend who I can be in love with and just share everything with and trust. It’s just been such a different chapter… He’s my best friend. We tell each other everything. I don’t want to do anything without him. He’s my homie. And he’s just a very generous, generous guy. He’s full of love and generosity… I’ve never met someone that’s just so interesting. And it’s weird because over the years — because now it’s been five years I’ve known him — he is an artist. He’s a Gemini. … He has a lot of different sides to him. But I think the fact that he really could walk away from anything at any moment. And his true love is just of nature and of just being at that ranch… He’s just always been the same. He’s the same guy no matter where he goes, you know what I’m saying? You feel so proud … There’s just something great about someone that’s so genuine and then super talented, because then you watch him sing and you’re just like, ‘My God, your voice.’ He’s really good.”
More quality time with Blake & the kids this year: “The one thing that I feel like we try to do in quarantine is just really be like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re going to look back at this three months, these 100 days in lockdown together, homeschooling the kids and cooking and eating tons of carbs’… And having to do our own laundry, having to cook. And I mean all this stuff, clean toilets. And it was a lot, it was a lot of boys, a lot of dirt. But I know that I’m going to look back at it and I already look back at it like it was an amazing thing. It’s just trying to find the beauty in the moment and the good things that are coming out of it.”
Yeah, I still enjoy all of this. The California rocker chick, the pop princess, falling for the country music dude-bro with a big ranch in Oklahoma. The rocker chick goes out to the ranch and she finds that she loves that life. I think a lot of it is that Blake has made it easy for her – he clearly adores her too, and he loves helping her raise those three boys, and he supports her career completely. They are great partners for each other. I honestly didn’t know that Gwen is dyslexic, and I like what she says about just thinking about it as a different way to learn, a different kind of education.
Pics courtesy of Gwen’s Instagram.