Gwen interview for the Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle interviewed Gwen for their Monday issue (August 8th), but it’s available of subscribers only. EIT was able to get the complete interview and transcribe it below. Enjoy!

By Glenn Gamboa NEWSDAY

Gwen Stefani has new outlook on life
I’m just going to celebrate that I was put on this Earth to write these songs.
Gwen Stefani was onstage a couple of months ago, struggling to get her bearings with a new band and new music in front of a stadium of people, when she had an epiphany.

“It was crazy because the first two songs … they didn’t feel awesome,” Stefani said, during a recent teleconference. “Then, all of a sudden, I just started talking to the audience. And I was like, ‘Wow. I don’t care what you guys think. Right now, you are going to get to know me. Whatever you think about me — everything you read, whatever you think or whatever — this is me right here. And I’m going to make sure that when you walk away, that you know who I am, and I’m going to make sure I know you.’ ”

It’s a new outlook to go with Stefani’s new life, which includes her new boyfriend, Blake Shelton, and her new album, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like.” The getting to know each other tour that record inspired comes to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands on Sunday.

For Stefani, it’s her first tour since becoming a household name, thanks to her stint as a judge on NBC’s mega-popular singing competition “The Voice.”

That new role is also part of the reason why Stefani is so focused on getting her “truth” out to the people.

During her time on “The Voice,” Stefani divorced from husband Gavin Rossdale — of the rock band Bush — and began her relationship with Shelton, who had recently split with his wife, country singer Miranda Lambert.

Of course, all that romantic entanglement became fodder for the supermarket tabloids and online gossip sites.

Stefani, whose career started in the ’90s with the rock of No Doubt, is very open that she is still getting used to all of the newness in her life, even how she’s writing music.

She said her singles “Make Me Like You” and “Misery” — both about her new relationship with Shelton — came to her in “a magical way,” both within two days.

“I was writing two songs a day where I couldn’t even write a song for years,” Stefani said. “The songs were coming so fast, and a lot of the ideas were so simple. … The best stuff is usually simple, if you think about it, but it’s the hardest thing to do.”

Even more surprising was that all of it was unplanned. “I wasn’t even going to make a record, you know what I’m saying? I was just going day by day. I just wanted the truth. I just wanted it to be my words, my feelings, what I was going through right then. It was all about the emotion.”

Those emotions include the painful ones, like the split from Rossdale after 13 years. However, Stefani said she is ready to perform the songs inspired by that breakup, including her wrenching hit “Used to Love You,” and feels relieved that she is finally able to discuss it with her fans after keeping it secret for so long.

“I feel like God just handed them down to me as this kind of BandAid to kind of help me through this crazy time in my life,” she said of the songs. “And it’s all kind of about … finding your gift and then sharing it. It is very draining and touring is very draining, because there’s so much output. And I think that’s one of the reasons I haven’t toured in seven years, because the last tour I did almost killed me, after having those two babies and then going on tour and nursing.”

Sharing nights with thousands of her fans can also be soothing.

“I think there’s going to be something quite — I don’t know — satisfying and healing,” she said. “And it’s going to be something that’s going to make me feel super empowered.”

Part of that feeling, she said, comes from vibing with the fans.

“It’s part of the journey.”

… I climbed all the way — not on top of the mountain, but, I was underground, buried. So to be able to get up there on stage, and feel that love and give that love to them, receive it, it’s going to feel super accomplished.”

Stefani said the tour reflects the emotional roller coaster of her life.

“Yes, there’s going to be cool lights and there’s going to be lots of really cool visuals … I have eight dancers and there’s going to be really cool costumes and the band is ridiculously talented,” she said. “But I really just think that … if I had to, we didn’t need any of that. It’s just going to be about: How can I get to know these people that have supported me? How can I get to know them through these songs that night? I just want to feel a connection.”

A true connection.

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