After a four-year hiatus, the members of ska-punk band No Doubt announced their return to the road in a faux instant messenger conversation on...

After a four-year hiatus, the members of ska-punk band No Doubt announced their return to the road in a faux instant messenger conversation on the band’s official Web site. The tour will begin in 2009, though an exact start date and itinerary have not been confirmed.

On the opening page of the site, the band’s members enter a four-way chat to discuss recording times for their return album, which the group began developing early in 2008. Suddenly guitarist Tom Dumont interjects, “I have cabin fever. Maybe we should play some shows or something.”

“I think we should go out now,” frontwoman Gwen Stefani replies. “I don’t think we should wait. Pack up the babies and get a bunch of nannies!”

The successful singer and style fashionista gave birth to her second son with husband Gavin Rossdale on August 21. When discussing the band’s return to writing and recording earlier in the year, Stefani had noted the process was slow on her end due to her pregnancy.

But in the chat, she continues, “I think that if we go on tour it will inspire us to write. I need to see the fans out there.”

Her bandmates rapidly agree, stating that they can continue writing and recording on the road. Drummer Tony Kanal exclaims, “Yeah, totally. I think playing some shows will make the studio time even better. Playing shows, writing songs, kicking ass, ND 2009.”

No Doubt’s previous album “Rock Steady” was released in 2001, after which Stefani launched a successful solo career with 2004’s “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” and 2006’s “The Sweet Escape.” The band briefly regrouped for one of Stefani’s shows in 2007, joining her onstage to perform some of No Doubt’s hits.

No Doubt debuted in 1992 with their eponymous album, but didn’t gain mainstream success until the ska revival of the mid-1990s. The band’s third studio album, 1995’s “Tragic Kingdom,” rocketed to the top of the charts and has been RIAA-certified Diamond with more than 10 million record sales.

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