Karen O Said Jimmy Iovine Had Hoped That She’d Become The Next Gwen Stefani

At the end of the month, Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be out with Cool It Down, the band’s first album in nine years. Singer Karen O, guitarist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase were the toast of the New York indie rock scene when they emerged in the early 2000’s, alongside acts like The Strokes and Interpol. So much so, that it earned Yeah Yeah Yeahs a major label deal with Interscope, who released the band’s first four albums. Now in an interview with Vulture, Karen O was very candid about the band’s days with Interscope and how label founder Jimmy Iovine had grand hopes for O as a solo pop star in the shape of No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani.

“Jimmy Iovine was hoping I would be the next Gwen,” O said. “But I wasn’t. In my own way, I carved out something for myself. But I didn’t deliver on the goods as far as that major-label expectation was concerned.”

When asked about whether she herself had any ambitions of being a solo pop star, O set the record straight it just wasn’t in her nature. “I had this quite naïve, useful fantasy. The reason you go to a major label is because it gives you a better shot at reaching the maximum number of people,” O said. “But — similar to not understanding the reality of touring — I had a very detached, abstract notion of that role. Myself — and probably a lot of the other front men that came up with me — buckled under the weight of commercialization and the demands that come with that. Because it just wasn’t really what we set out to do.”

Cool It Down is out 9/30 via Secretly Canadian. Pre-order it here.