Gwen Stefani has made no secret of the fact that while she had fun being a 'Hollaback Girl' and releasing two successful solo albums while No Doubt were on an extended break, she didn't prefer being without her boys in her band. She's gone on record to say that her solo career will remain in the rear view, and now, she's compared that period of her professional life to playing a role and pretending.

"There’s nothing that compares to being in a band with your best friends you’ve known all these years," Stefani explained to New York's Vulture about her desire to return to life in a band, surrounded by her BFFs. "Playing live is so automatic and so electric.

"That whole period when I got to do [solo] records, to me it was indulging my theatrical side, and getting to be really creative that way; like, do costumes, and costume changes; do music that was electronic and not have to worry about a drummer or anything else — songs that were never really meant to be taken seriously, just for fun."

Stefani says that things (and the fun) got out of control on the solo front, which was never her intention. She just went with it and then had to reign it back in. She said, "It was just a project I did that was very inspired, and it kind of got a little out of control, really," she laughed. "But there’s no place like home; we’re so comfortable together, we understand each other. It feels, like, normal."

She seems to have a tiny bit of disdain for her solo period, continuing, "Whereas that [solo] period felt like I was trying to be something, and play a role, and pretend."

At the end of the day, Stefani released lots of hits on her own and we love those jams. But now she is back where she belongs.

No Doubt's 'Push and Shove' finally drops on Sept. 25.

Watch the No Doubt 'Settle Down' Video

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