When No Doubt finished recording Push and Shove, their first album in more than 10 years, they turned to esteemed director and good friend Sophie Muller to direct the video for “Settle Down.” “I’ve worked with them so long, it was kind of natural that I would do this one,” Muller tells Rolling Stone of the clip, premering tonight at 8 p.m. on E!. “They sent me this song and said ‘Do you like this?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I love it.'”
Muller, who has worked with Eurythmics, Coldplay, and Sade, has directed eight videos for No Doubt throughout their career including “Don’t Speak” and “Simple Kind of Life.” “We collaborate completely,” she says. “I’ve become friends with them. When you have a working relationship with a band, it’s a very comfortable and lovely process.”
In the video for “Settle Down,” No Doubt cast themselves as truck drivers as they steer their own highly stylized rigs to a celebratory reunion party. “I think (bassist Tony Kanal) came up with the idea that we should do something with trucks,” Muller says. “The idea is they are all driving to meet after having had their separate lives over the last 10 years.”
To honor his heritage, Kanal drives a garishly decorated Indian-style truck to the party. Drummer Adrian Young has his kit fastened to the top of what Muller describes as a neon Transformer. Overflowing with speakers is the Jamaican-flavored rig of guitarist Tom Dumont. And Gwen Stefani drives a “proper, old-fashioned Seventies truck” that the band lifted straight from the 1977 Burt Reynolds comedy Smokey and the Bandit.
“It’s such a mix of cultures, their band, and what their music is like,” Muller says. “We tried to do something that resembled different parts of the world rather than a specific place.”
Although there’s a joyous atmosphere throughout, Muller said she tried to portray the uncertainty in Stefani’s lyrics.
“Lyrically it’s not really a party song,” she says. “It’s got a real emotional desire to get through something. You have a combination of this party feel with her struggle to be able to express herself.”
In addition to helping cultivate the image of female icons such as Courtney Love and Annie Lennox, Sophie Muller has worked alongside Stefani on both No Doubt and her solo material.
“The amazing thing about Gwen is her unbelievable enthusiasm,” Muller says. “You could feel her absolute love for making videos and her total commitment to every single scene that she does. It’s just lovely.”