BOYZ (A Gay Magazine)
August 27th 2005
Could things be any better for you at the moment? I hope that it doesnít stop, Iím having too much fun right now [laughs].
Has it done crazy things to your ego, the fact that itís been such a hit? Well, it didnít feel like that, it felt more gradual. It took a long time to make the record. It was hard, my ego was just smashed during the process, because Iím normally the person that goes in and writes the words and the melody, but with this album the people I collaborated with would have ideas that were good. These things are very threatening to me: it was really uncomfortable. But at the end of the whole project I just felt so lucky to be able to work with everyone. Iím so proud of the record and confident about it. I knew that even if people didnít like me or the record, even if it was shoved down their throats, it would be a guilty pleasure.
Are there ídivaĎ moments with Gwen? I had a ídivaĎ moment because we were all in Italy doing my video, which is fantastic, and my hairdresser is one of my best friends, and is so talented. So when I donít have him around I get, wellÖ Iíve done my own hair and make-up forever, but Iím like, íCan I bring him to England if I have to do press?Ď I totally didnít need to have him, but shh!
Whatís going on with the fashion label? Do you actually do the drawings? I do some drawings and I do like to be involved in every part of it, but obviously I donít deal with the factories and Iím not in every single fitting. Weíre going to do a fashion show in September, it will be our first one, though this is our sixth collection. You know I really enjoy the design process, itís something Iíve done my whole life, but I donít know anything about it. But I donít know the fashion world, Iíve only ever been to three Christian Dior shows and one Vivienne Westwood show in my whole life!
Do you want to be a brand? I think I already am a brand, which is so weird. I get offers to sell people stuff all the time and be associated with certain things. I know that when I dyed my hair pink, the sales for that colour went up 90 per cent! And I was like, íDamn it! I should have put my own pink hair colour outĎ. Does it bother me at all? I donít really think of myself that way, itís exciting to be successful and itís exciting to make something creatively, out of your heart and have people pay attention. It doesnít get old.
Iím sure thereíve been a lot of tragedies in the world of style for you? My stylist will tell you that Iíve been wearing the same things since the dawn of time. I swear to God, our spring collection is the same shit I was making when I went on the first No Doubt tour. Obviously now itís a bit more updated, more ífashionĎ than the shit I used to make when I didnít have any money. But I donít feel ashamed of those time periods, because I look back and think thatís exactly where I was at and I think it defines who you are.
Iíve read youíve only ever had two boyfriends. I know! But how far do you have to go for it to count? I met Tony [from No Doubt] when he was 16 and I was 17, it was instant. The guy walked across the street from his car with his bass and he was coming to try out for the group and I was like, íWhatís happening to me!Ď It was like arrows, you know.
Wasnít it hard to be in a relationship and work together? It was a long time ago, we hid that we were going out from the rest of the band, and then our singer died, we had some tragedies, you know, and then everyone found out and it was like íTony/Gwen/Tony/GwenĎ. It was just like everybody knew, and then we went out for so long, then we broke up. It was really horrible, we thought that the band were going to break up. And then I met my husband! And that was like arrows, arrows, arrows! And my eyes were opened and Iíve been kissing him ever since. Thatís how it happened, it wasnít like I only wanted to have two boyfriends.
Are you a good girlfriend? I think that I used to be a totally different girlfriend. I think thereís always two sides, you know the obsessive, crazy girlfriend I used to be when I didnít have any passion or inspiration in my life, or anything else in my life.
How crazy was the crazy girlfriend? The girlfriend that would show up at the high school, when I was already graduated, just waiting for my boyfriend to get out of school and hang out with me, give me some kisses. But when I became a songwriter I found that I had something that I could do and I actually became human, you know. That changed me so much, to have a passion that defines me, gave me self-respect and purpose.
So have you and Gavin made a conscious decision not to be a ícelebrity coupleĎ? Well, I donít see it from that point of view at all Ė this is my real life. Actually, since I got married I donít really want to talk about it, because itís nobodyís business. I didnít get married so that you could judge me, this is my personal love.
Whatís your take on everyoneís current celebrity obsession? I wonder if itís always been like that? When I was doing my Jean Harlow thing [in the movie The Aviator], my friend bought me this original magazine from back then, and it was the same shit: whoís doing who and whoís smoking what, you know. I think that we donít do photo spreads together. There are plenty of times where we have been photographed together, especially here in London, every time I walk out the frickiní house itís like photoshoot time.
Has there been anyone you wanted to punch and kill? No, not at all, if I look cute then Iíll be like, íGo ahead, take my picture, I just made a big effort, shoot it!Ď But if I feel like Iím in a really bad mood, or just sometimes you just wanna run down and get something at the store, and it seems like, íOh God, Iíve gotta put on a cute sweatsuit and sunglasses!Ď, that gets boring. I know theyíre really only sitting out there waiting for me to pick my nose or do something really bad [laughs].
Do you think youíre going to be doing more acting? Thereís nothing going on right now. Iím developing something and these writers are writing something for me, but itís kind of boring to talk about it until itís happened. I would love to do a film, but I have so many things on the list.
Are you a gay icon, yes or no? I donít know, you tell me.
Has the question come up? Not really, I hear whispers about things like that, but I never actually experienced it. I could understand why maybe that audience would like this album, being that it is very creative, I feel, and at the end of the day the album has lots of layers. And a lot of my gay friends that I have are just really intelligent, creative people and itís kind of in their nature. I donít know. Next question.
Surely there are Gwen Stefani drag queens. Yes, but thatís been going on for a while.
Whoís the best that youíve seen? I havenít really seen them, itís more that I hear about them. I saw one girl, but she was a girl! It was one time when I was in Hawaii, so long ago when I was first with No Doubt, and I was flicking through the channels and there was this one girl and she was this Hawaiian girl, but she was really dressed like me. There is also this another group called No Duh, which is a real No Doubt cover group, but itís a girl.
Whatís your take on that? Theyíre amazing, I met her for the first time, just recently, and I was almost jealous of her because she was just so cute. They do everything, itís not just me. There is a Tony, they have a Tom, everything.
Madonna: hero or villain? Hero. Yeah, sheís been very sweet to me, you know. Sheís been very generous, invited me over. I think sheís incredible. It was one of the things that when I was a kid I was so anti anything popular, I was into ska music, so I was really like íwhateverĎ about Madonna. But over the years, especially seeing her like do it for so long and keeping peopleís attention is just extraordinary.
Do you think itís become boring? I went to the last concert here in England and I was blown away. I canít do choreography, so I was like, íWow, look at her outfit and her body!Ď I really enjoyed it, and when she sang íCrazy For YouĎ, I cried! And she was flirting with my husband in the audience, so it was pretty exciting.
Didnít you want to punch her out? No, it was cute. It was like, íHoney, sheís looking at you!Ď It was either him or the guy behind him, I couldnít work it out!