By their own admission, No Doubt struggled mightily to make Push and Shove, battling writer's block and shaking off the rust that only a decade between discs can create.
After initially beginning sessions for the album (out Tuesday) back in 2008, they quickly realized the songs just weren't coming, and decided to focus instead on touring, before finally hitting the studio in 2010. But even then, they told MTV News that making Push and Shove was an experience unlike any other in their 25-year career.
"I feel like we had no game plan for this record; we didn't know what kind of record we were going to make," Gwen Stefani sighed. "When we first started writing, we couldn't write, and then we finally got inspired and we started writing songs but they were coming slowly, like one at a time ... and after we wrote, like, three songs, we got so excited that we went in and recorded them, just to see where we were at. And then we kept re-recording them, until we got to a place where we felt 'This is it.' It was a lot of re-writing and a lot of re-recording; the songs just kept evolving."
And that evolution is evident in the first two singles off the album, "Settle Down" and "Looking Hot," both of which remain true to their core influences, while at the same time expanding their sound into bold new electronic directions. But, still, their latest record was a struggle every step of the way ... which is why, after all those years, they decided to name it after a key track, one that they felt perfectly summed up everything that went into making the disc.
"When we're choosing a title for the record, in the past, each one has its own story, and with Rock Steady, we had that title before we even started writing the record, I think; we had that early, early on," Stefani said. "With this record, I kept waiting for the title to come, and everyone's like 'What's it going to be?' And up until the very last minute, we didn't have anything. But I wasn't worried about it; because it always appears at a certain point.
"And 'Push and Shove' the song was one of the tracks we were working on last ... and we got soexcited about that song, it just finally all came together, and it felt like the kind of song that was everything we've ever been, yet it was new and modern," she continued. "The record had been such a journey, and so hard to actually finish, we really had to fight to get to the end ... so it kind of rose to the top [as a title]; like 'Yeah, that's what this whole thing was.' It just seemed to sum it all up."