Blame it on that loner Moby. After 16 years as No Doubt’s blond icon, Gwen Stefani is breaking free from the band to record some tracks on her own. ''I am not quite sure if it will become a full-blown solo project, singles for a soundtrack or just songs (like with Moby and Eve),'' Stefani, 33, stated on the No Doubt website April 17. ''I am just kind of letting it take me where it takes me and see what happens.''
Stefani has yet to announce a release date or her collaborators on the tracks, which she describes as ''sort of an extension of the challenge No Doubt gave ourselves on 'Rock Steady''' (Interscope Records had not returned calls at press time). But it is known that producing team the Matrix (Scott Spock, Lauren Christy, and Graham Edwards) is working on some of the songs. The Matrix, who usually play the instruments on the tracks they produce, have also written hits for Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey.
In addition to the Matrix, Stefani has a lengthy roster of stars to ask for help. Not only can she call in a favor from Moby or Eve (who has expressed an interest in working with Stefani again), Stefani could recruit some of the contributors to No Doubt’s last album, ''Rock Steady'': the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, William Orbit, the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, and the artist currently known as Prince. And, of course, she could always pull in a talent that’s even closer to home: new husband and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.