Robyn isn’t the only blonde pop gal to grace the cover of Elle‘s Women In Music issue — lip-smacking delicious and super fashionable rocker mama Gwen Stefani talks to the mag about writing hit songs (“why would you write anything else?”), admitting her vanity, and how she compares herself to today’s younger crop of pop stars: “I usually put pants on.” (Ha!) Full cover and quotes below!
On writing hits: “I do! Why wouldn’t you want that many people listening to the songs that you wrote? There’s no way to go back after you have had it. So the intentions of even the solo records were always about trying to write those guilty-pleasure albums that just get in your head and you can’t get out. I’m not cool, I’m not into the B-sides. Prince, who is one of my idols, gave me some advice when I worked with him: “Have you ever just tried writing a hit? Like, don’t just try writing a song, try and write a hit song.” I remember him saying that and me thinking, Yeah, you’re right. Why would you write anything else?”
On her marriage to Gavin Rosdale: “The first time we ever kissed was right around Valentine’s Day—we were in New Orleans on tour. So, yeah, I always think about that because it’s unbelievable that we’ve been able to stay together. I feel so proud of us—it’s one of my biggest achievements.”
On performing while pregnant: “It was horrible. Certain songs would make me want to puke. You feel pretty gross when you are first pregnant. You don’t feel cute, you feel disgusting. You’re getting fat. It was hard.”
On whether Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry have lifted any of her style: “Really? I don’t see myself in those girls. I usually put pants on. I see these girls as more going for the sex-symbol thing. I was more, in the band, like a tomboy. Of course, I think every girl is sexy, so there’s going to be a little of that. But I see a lot of younger artists going more toward the sexy thing.”
On pop music: “When we were growing up, some of the hits were legendary ones that you hear your whole life. But certain songs, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear them again. Because that’s what that music is, like a guilty pleasure, it’s right at the moment. It’s like fashion—it’s now, then it’s gone.”
Adele, Nicki Minaj, Willow Smith, Florence Welch, Jennifer Hudson and more female artists are featured in Elle‘s Women In Music issue, on newsstands April 12.