Tom Dumont Online 23rd February 1998:
SonicNet Chat Transcript No Doubt February 23, 1998
Hi this is Tom. I'm happy to be here and to answer your questions. So, fire away!
When is your new album coming out?
We would like it to come out sometime before the end of the year, but we're in the writing and demoing process now and I haven't even entered the studio to record any songs yet. But, we're gonna take as long as it takes to make a great record, so if we can't finish it by this year it won't be out till next year.
Hi Tom, I just wanted to ask how do you feel about No Doubt being nominated for the Grammy's? Excited? Nervous?
Definitely. I think we all feel proud to be nominated, recognized by the music industry. None of us really expect to win and we're looking at it as more of a free trip to NYC to hang out for a few days and go to parties.
What advice would you give to people who want to get into the music biz?
That's a hard question. The number one thing would be to really enjoy the process of playing and making music. As statistically speaking it's really hard to make a living from music, so really sometimes the only value is in doing it and not necessarily the hopes for fame or fortune.
How are you handling the stress that comes with being apart of such a famous group?
The only real stress comes from our relationships within the band and spending the time to make sure those relationships... there's no real pressure from any outside sources. We really just want to maintain our friendships. Since we've gotten together after a few months off touring it's like old times again and the pressures of being together have all faded.
Do you ever get in fights with your band members? Because our band fights all the time
Sometimes we have little arguments and sometimes we have big fights, but that's true of any relationship anybody has whether it be friends or family. At the end of the day we're all best friends and pretty inseparable.
What are, as a band, your biggest musical influences?
I'll keep this to the ones we collectively appreciate as a band. I'll start with the Beatles certainly Madness, fishbone, Elvis Costello. Currently, Weezer and Bjork.
Do you watch the Daily Show?
No. I watch Bob Vila, Hometime.
What kind of traits do you look for in a girl?
Hmmm.. Sharp witted, outgoing, sexy, and nasty. That's hard to answer, but in four words that's pretty good.
How long did it take you guys to get this far?
We started in 1987, so 11 years.
Do you guys like Save Ferris?
I think that Monique has a good voice and I think they're a good band. And they're nice people as far as I know. I used to promote a club in Anaheim years ago and MoniqueÕs old band used to come into my club, so I knew her in those days and she was always very nice.
Do you ever perform songs from you first two albums? I know you do "Move On" but any others?
Yes, usually one or two songs from each album every show. We'd like to do more but the vast majority of fans don't know those songs and it kinda bums them out.
What do you think of Marilyn Manson?
I grew up as a very young kid loving KISS so naturally I would appreciate Marilyn Manson. And I like that you can see through the girls shirt in the video I like all their videos.
If you weren't a musician what else do you think you would have as a career?
Maybe a construction worker or a carpenter.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years form now?
When I'm forty years old, I have no idea.
Have you thought of a name for ND's new CD?
I think of names for our next CD all the time and I'm gonna make a huge list and present them to the band. But there hasn't been any working title at all yet
What equipment do you use?
As far as guitars go, I play guitars made by Haymer. They're hand made in CT and they're very nice quality guitars. I like any kind of tube amps from the 60Õs. Most notably Silvertone amps and Fender amps.
Do you like South Park?
Yes. We watch it and we're big Mr. Hankie fans. They've actually asked us to write a song and be on a future episode and I'm not sure yet if we're going to be able to but we're certainly going to be able to try.
"The Climb" is a song about your stardom right?
The lyrics to the climb were written by Eric Steffani, Gwen's brother, and I think it could be about us and stardom, but it could be about anything in life in a very general sense.
Is your label Sea Creature Records going to be signing groups, or is it just for distribution and such for the band?
Sea Creature Records is our "vanity label" and we're going to try to sign bands, but so far we've been so busy writing our own songs we haven't found any bands to sign. I should tell people to send demos. If you want to send a demo you can send it to our PO Box that's on our CD credits.
Is there anything new you've been experimenting with musically?
We've tried to use drum loops and computer technology to write songs, but it turns out it's a lot easier to just play them and record them as a band using real instruments. So I guess that was a failed attempt.
Who do you get along with the best from the band?
I live down the street from Adrian, so I guess we're pretty regular buddies. But I'm also really close with Tony and Gwen as well. It's really hard to pick your friends and prioritize them, but I guess me and Adrian hang out more than anyone else.
Who would you like to tour with?
I feel like we've pretty much played shows with everyone we've ever wanted to. There is a chance that we're going to play a show in Hawaii with Madness in the beginning of May that's in the works.
Tom what song would you like to remake?
When I'm driving in the car listening to my radio, I always think of songs that I want to remake. We've talked about "Almost Blue" by Elvis Costello but haven't gotten around to it yet.
How do you guys feel about Gwen always in the spotlight?
We're fine about it. That question came up to us a lot in the past year. I think because of the "Don't Speak" video which portrayed the three guys in the band having a problem with Gwen's fame, but that video was a pseudo fictional creation and I honestly wouldn't change that if I could go back and change it.
ND has dealt with a suicide, and I 'm sure it was very tough. Do you have any advice for someone who's thinking about it?
Anyone who's thinking about suicide should certainly seek some kind of solace when they can, and if no ones available try to find a psychiatrist who can help them.
how did each of you come to join the band?
That's a bunch of really long stories and maybe you could check out bioÕs from our website to read more about that because it would take over an hour to tell those stories.
What is your opinion on drugs?
I believe in the title of a song by Oingo Boingo and that is, once or twice is good for your soul. I think anything in moderation is fine, but overdoing anything is probably a mistake.
When exactly is your 4th album coming out and what kind of material is gonna be on it??
We've only just started working on songs for the next album and it's hard to describe the direction we're heading in, but I will say that it will definitely not be a projection from where Tragic Kingdom left off. You won't see us going back and trying to compete with all the new SKA bands out there.
Where does most of the inspiration for the songs come from?
Lyrically speaking I would guess that Gwen's inspiration comes from experiences and events in her life. Musically speaking, we're inspired a lot by new wave groups from the 80Õs.
Hi Tom, we are from the Brazilian fan club ,we are waiting you here, we love you, and we wanna ask you if you have a favorite nominate on Grammy awards?
Well, I should say hi to Brazil. We had great shows there last year as far as excited about Grammy nominees, not to be negative but I'm not that excited about anybody, but then again I'm not sure who's nominated for what. So I'll have to wait till Wednesday night to find out who excites me.
Did you play in any other bands before No Doubt?
Yes, in the mid 80Õs I played in a heavy metal group with my older sister modeled after Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.
Were you surprised to find out Rob Halford was gay?
Me and all my friends, heavy metal fans, suspected it for years, and I'm happy he finally came out of the closet. In some ways it kind of breaks down the barriers of the macho heavy metal world.
What do you do for fun? When your not working?
I like to hot rod, muscle cars, automobiles made in the 60Õs. I watch all those home improvement shows on Saturday afternoon and I have a puppy dog that's biting me right now, a Jack Russell terrier. He's the cutest freaking dog ever.
Tom, How does it feel to be in the most popular band of 1997?
It feels good. In my day to day life I don't feel as popular as we must be. As an aside, I'm reading peoples comments as I'm doing this and I find them very entertaining.
WhatÕs your favorite album?
That's impossible to answer. Too many favorites. I'll name my three favorites of 97, and I'm not 100% sure they were released in 97. Pinkerton by Weezer, Fashion Nugget by Cake and the Sublime record.
What was your favorite song from your album?
"Ended on This."
Are there going to be any songs on the new album about or dedicated to Brad Knowell?
I don't know yet. Maybe we'll dedicate the songs to Bud and Eric who are the surviving members of Sublime.
Who influenced you the most in your music career?
Tom, are you still doing your article for the Guitar magazine?
No that was a limited job that only lasted for three or four issues.
TOM HOW DOES IT FEEL WHEN PEOPLE SAY YOU SOLD OUT HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?
We in No Doubt have always listened to the radio and watched MTV, and always wished we could be on the radio and MTV. We're happy we achieved that and I believe that the concept of selling out is the concept of a pre-teenager.
Does the band routinely have group sex?
We only have group sex on the first Thursday of each month, so no, not routinely.
Do you guys miss playing with Sublime?
What would you like to do next?
I would like to teach high school girls volleyball in the state of Utah, where the legal age of consent is 16. They have some really attractive Mormons in Utah, they're kinda like catholic school girls.
Are Gabe and Steve in No Doubt for the long run?
We hope so, they're off doing their own thing right now. But we'll do everything we can to make sure they're out touring with us and playing on our records. They're the best horn section we've ever had.
How does it feel to have to meet with certain expectations on your talent?
The only expectations I have to meet are my own, and the others in the band and those are pretty easy.
Are there any producers you'd really like to work with?
We keep trying to get Elvis Costello to produce our record and they keep saying he doesn't produce records anymore. We'd like to get a producer who's maybe gay or bisexual like Rob Halford.
Tom what do you recommend to a fellow guitarist, when looking for a singer?
You should look for someone who sings good. That's smart ass, but it's true.
Tom, what bands from the 80s most influenced you?
Oingo Boingo. For years and years we told ourselves that we would learn the song "Little Girls" and it would be cool to have Gwen sing about molesting little girls, but it's too complicated.
What smaller bands would you like to open up for you on your next tour?
Tough one. I haven't listened to the radio enough to know what all the new bands are doing out there, so I apologize. How 'bout Prodigy, that would be fun, they're probably bigger than us, well technically speaking we might be bigger... but that could be all sweaty and grimy and don't shower and with all different girls...
How long did it take to make Tragic Kingdom?
On and off it took three years, but we were only in the studio a week or two here or there, between our jobs and going to Cal State Fullerton.
So, where you a part of the band when Eric Steffani was still involved or had he already left to pursue his career as a cartoonist?
I was in the band for 9 years with Eric.
Do you enjoy your fame?
Yeah, there are a lot of great fringe benefits that come from being in a rock band for example, a free trip to NY this week for the GrammyÕs. We get taken to dinner at really expensive restaurants by music industry moguls. And then also we get to travel around the world for free and go to places we never would have been able to afford to go to if we weren't famous.
If you had the choice to sleep with one girl in the whole world, who would it be?
Certainly I have a lot of favorites. Right now probably Natalie Portman or maybe also Dave Navarro.
Some people say your band turned from Ska to pop. Is that true?
Yes. However, that happened back in 1993 before anyone in the world gave a shit about us. We did not do that to sell more records.
Tom do you like Bush?
I think they're nice guys.
I saw you guys at the Berkley Square do you miss that?
Yes, those shows we played at Berkeley Square were among the sweatiest rock concerts on record. I do remember that one show where I got spit on a lot. This one guy kept spitting on me. And since he couldn't move in the pit I spit this lougi on him.
Which is your favorite city to play in Europe?
Without any question, Barcelona, Spain.
Who is your favorite Spice Girl?
I like Sporty Spice. Actually, I have a story about me and the Spice Girls.
I was on the rooftop pool of the four seasons hotel in Singapore when we played there, and I was reading a book and nobody else was up on the pool deck. And all of a sudden the Spice Girls came up with some guys from MTV and a camera and they did some kind of MTV promo and they all checked me out with my shirt off and they were all too nervous to come up and talk to me. No one even came up to talk to me and I was the only guy up there. Sporty Spice looked really good, so did Scary Spice. She seems really intelligent. Pretty bright. And after they left, I had these fantasies where they'd all come to my room.
What did you think of playing with Stephen Perkins? Do you like JaneÕs Addiction?
Yes. JaneÕs Addiction were a big group in LA during our formative years and we got Steven Perkins to play drums, steel drums on "Spider Webs." He was a super nice guy. Really musically inclined and really cares about music and doesn't seem to into making the scene, so to speak didn't seem like a hot shot.
HOW did No Doubt maintain a positive outlook for so many years before striking gold?
We had a great following in Southern California starting in 1987, for all those years and we always had great shows to play thanks to our fans in this area. So we always felt really successful when we started making records.
How old were you the very first time you had sex?
How long have you been playing guitar, and are you self taught?
Mostly self taught and I've been playing for 18 years. I started when I was 12.
Should we nuke Iraq?
No. I'm pretty certain there's a bunch of nice normal people who live in Iraq that shouldn't be nuked.
Do you ever go in the No Doubt chat room on the official page?
No I never have, but it's because my AOL browser never supported it.. Now that I have Netscape maybe I'll start.
What were some some that you guys opened up for when you were smaller?
Believe it or not, we opened for Bad Religion and the Untouchables and Fishbone and Jellyfish and Ziggy Marley those were all pretty exciting for us before we were signed.
Will you only play at large venues in the future?
No. There's a pretty good chance that we won't be able to play at big ventures in the future so we'll play smaller ones. We'll probably play some clubs out in Orange County while we're home.
What did you make of Chris Evans on TFI Friday in the UK?
He seemed pretty funny and the day we were there Michael Hutchence was there. He was a good looking man for his age. It was kind of dark and smoky, but he was in good shape. I'm not gay, but from 20 feet away he looked good.
Boxers or Briefs ?
Thanks everyone for taking this time to come and chat with me.
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