No Doubt were actually the project of Gwen Stefani's brother Eric and his friend John Spence who talked about forming a band. Eric asked Gwen to fill in the backing vocal while Eric went behind the keyboard and John took the mic. Describing their music as 2 Tone ska, the group began rehearsing at the Stefanis' garage.
The band accepted a gig at Fender's Ballroom in Long Beach, California in 1987 and Tony Kanal happened to be watching. After a try-out, Kanal joined the group as bassist as well as manager. Several days before the band were due to take the stage at The Roxy Theater to perform for music executives, John committed suicide. The band were devastated, calling it quit only to reform several days later because they thought it would be what John wanted.
Alan Meade was briefly made the vocalist before he was replaced by Gwen herself. It was in 1988 when Tom Dumont left his band and caught No Doubt in rehearsal. He proposed to the band as guitarist, saying he had tons of experience. A year later Adrian Young joined the lots in the drum following Chris Webb's departure. The band were five-strong by 1989.
No Doubt received gigs at local bars, colleges as well as big stages. Their name caught the attention of Tony Ferguson who signed them under newly-minted Interscope Records in 1990. By this time, there were only four of them because trombone player Paul Caseley left the previous year for the US Navy Band. Work began immediately on the first album using early-crafted songs as well as new material.
The self-titled album failed to hit the mark with only 30,000 copies sold. Radio stations refused to play their songs and Interscope refused to support the band's tour. The remaining members began writing for their next album with Matthew Wilder as producer. Eric stepped back from the band since the creative direction was intervened. Interscope lost faith in the band at that time and licensed it to Trauma Records in 1995.
But the downhill journey began to take the opposite direction. They presented rawer sound in their 1995 release "Tragic Kingdom" which sold triple its predecessor. The band scored a gig at the Warp tour and began enjoying commercial success. The single "Just a Girl" became the band's ammo during their 27-month international tour, so did "Spiderwebs" and "Don't Speak".
With the success came appreciation. Grammy Awards bestowed them with Best New Artist and Best Rock Album at the 1997 ceremony. The album spawned half of the album as singles and received eight-time platinum. With worldwide sales of sixteen millions, it was one of the best-selling albums in history. The band became the center of dispute between Trauma and Interscope, the former of which accused the latter of breaching contract once the band began tasting success.
The follow-up to "Tragic Kingdom" was released in 2000 under the title "Return of Saturn". Darker in sound, the album was critically acclaimed, but was not as commercially successful as "Tragic Kingdom". The lead single "Ex-Girlfriend" did not chart on Billboard Hot 100 and their tour was cut short due to the lack of sale.
No Doubt rose from the fall with another album in 2001 called "Rock Steady". It proved to be a life-saver for the band as "Hey Baby", "Underneath It All" and "Hella Good" went through commercial success. Two years later No Doubt released a compilation album that boasted their best singles. The band toured extensively throughout 2004 before taking a hiatus.
Gwen continued by herself as a solo artist, releasing two successful albums in 2004 and 2006. Tom also joined another band for a side project while the other members were busy with their own projects. While Gwen was occupied with the promotion of her second solo album, No Doubt regrouped and kick-started the work of a new album without her. As a favor for their fans, they toured in summer 2009 although they did not have new material to showcase.
"Push and Shove" was eventually finished in 2012 with "Settle Down" as the first single.