04 May 2023

4 May 2023 - No Doubt - Trapped In A Box

This story starts with an older brother - a keyboardist - recruiting his kid sister to be in his band.

Eric Stefani is featured in this video.  He's the guy playing keyboards.   

Tom Dumont, the guitarist, wrote the beginings of the lyrics for this song as a poem in high school, with Eric writing the melody and other members of the band contributing lyrics.  Eric was the bandleader and prinicpal songwriter.

Their debut album was a commercial failure - a huge flop - so much so that Interscope Records refused to budget money for a video for the only single from the album.... so the band raised $5000 to make their own.  

Unlike their later work, this song - and the whole first album, in fact - was pure ska.  Later work was ska-influenced, but not as pure as this.  In fact, it was differences over that change that led Eric to leave the band, and in fact music altogether - becoming a full-time animator on The Simpsons - leaving primary songwriting duties for the band to his kid sister, Gwen.  

This isn't to say they forgot their roots.  The band still performed this song live for many years.  

And there wasn't really any ill will against the band by Eric - the split was creative, not acrimonious.  

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