Red Flag

Album: This Is What The Truth Feels Like (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • On August 3, 2015 Gwen Stefani filed her petition for divorce from Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale. The singer had been married to Rossdale for 13 years. Many of the songs on This Is What the Truth Feels Like were penned by Stefani with the songwriters J.R. Rotem, Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels about her marital breakdown. Here, she raps angrily over a cheerleader-stomp beat about the warning signs in her marriage that she didn't recognize. It was the first song the quartet wrote for the project.
  • Speaking with Los Angeles DJ Carson Daly, Gwen Stefani told the story of the song: "I worked with this guy, Justin Tranter and this guy, J.R. and this girl, Raja. I called us the Breakfast Club because the moment I walked into the studio, I was like, 'Listen, I don't care about anything. I don't care about hits. I don't care about anything except for coming in this room right now…all I want to do is just say the truth. I just want the truth to come out. I just want to be honest and real and I just want to do stuff that represents where I'm at right now.'"

    "We ended up going to the piano and we wrote this song called 'Red Flags.' The song is literally, I feel like it's a work of art. It's a combination of all of us together. It just expresses so clearly where I was at, at that time."
  • A red flag is a sign generally used to indicate danger or a stop signal. The earliest citation for the term dates back to 1602 when a red flag was used by military forces to signal their intent to engage in combat.

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