Why Gwen Stefani ‘Can’t Listen’ to No Doubt Without Almost Throwing Up in Her Mouth

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Gwen Stefani. Hubert Vestil/WireImage

Gwen Stefani feels anything but hella good when listening to No Doubt songs.

"I can’t listen to a lot of the songs because they speak so clearly to me," Stefani, 54, told KROQ’s Audacy Check In show earlier this week. "And it’s like, you know, you have regrets, you have mistakes you’ve made. And most of the songs are about that."

She continued, “If I do ‘Ex-Girlfriend,’ even when I say it, I almost throw up in my mouth. Just knowing exactly where I was in that moment to write that song and what I know now? It's just like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It just brings you right back."

Stefani didn’t clarify which “mistakes” she was referencing, but she’s been known to write songs about her personal relationships. No Doubt’s 1995 hit “Don’t Speak” chronicled the breakup between her and bassist Tony Kanal, who dated from 1987 to 1994. “Ex-Girlfriend,” meanwhile, was released in 2000 and served as a shoutout to then-husband Gavin Rossdale.

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The pair, who share sons Kingston, Zuma and Apollo, were together for 14 years before their 2015 divorce. In the song, Stefani sings, "You say you're gonna burn before you mellow.” The lyric is a reference to the Bush song "Dead Meat," where the lyrics read, "I'm doing you in tomorrow, I'll burn before I mellow."

No Doubt played underground gigs for nearly a decade before their first hit single, “Just a Girl,” made it to the radio airwaves in 1995. Their last album, Push and Shove, came in 2012 before they ultimately went their separate ways to focus on solo projects. In January, the band revealed they will reunite for 2024’s Coachella Music Festival, which kicks off on Friday, April 12.

Stefani may have complicated feelings about her old music, but the pop star told KROQ that being on stage and performing live is a totally different experience.

“There’s lots of times you’ll be on tour and doing the repetitive songs but it’s not the songs, you’re with these new people every night and they’re receiving the songs,” she explained. “I can’t believe I was chosen to have this life because it’s such an incredible way to express yourself and to know yourself. And the songs do that.”

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Coachella will mark No Doubt’s first performance as a band in nine years. Last month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that a reunion had been in the works for a while, with Stefani working as the driving force. While a second insider told Us that Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young “hadn’t been into the idea” when it was brought up by Stefani in the past, they’re now all happily on board.

“Once the Coachella team heard they had been talking and reached out with the offer, it really solidified the reunion,” the source explained. “The whole group has some ideas for new material and are open to a tour directly after [their] performance.”

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While speaking with People last month, Stefani said she’s “completely overwhelmed” by the fans’ excitement and the love the band has received.

“I definitely have that little thing in your stomach where you’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh! What?’ It’s going to be amazing,” she gushed. “It’s just going to be cool. It’s just going to be: get up there and do what we always do, which is play our music and try to connect and be so grateful that we got this amazing career that we never expected to have.”