Unapologetically original. Unabashedly in your face. Avril Lavigne’s 2002 debut Let Go gave young women a defiant voice and set it to music they could rock out to. Fourteen million albums and eight Grammy nominations later, the Canadian chanteuse returns with Under My Skin but if you’re expecting a whole lot of the same, you’ve got another thing coming. This is not a girl who rests on her laurels.
Under My Skin opens with the dramatic tracks “Take Me Away” and “Together,” which set the scene for the kick-ass guitars and radio-ready chorus of “Don’t Tell Me,” a song of willful female empowerment that picks up where “Complicated” left off. From there it’s a one-two punch of three-chord guitar licks (“He Wasn’t”) and head-bopping optimism (“Who Knows”) alongside swirling, brooding melodies (“Freak Out”) and moody tracks (“Forgotten,” “Nobody’s Home”) that reveal a darker side of Avril Lavigne.
“I grew up so much in the past two years,” admits the Napanee, Ontario, native. “I’ve been through a lot, I’ve learned a lot, and experienced a lot both good and bad. These songs are about all of that, and each is very personal to me.” Working with producers, Butch Walker (of the Marvelous 3), Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace), Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Pearl Jam), Avril co-wrote the dozen introspective songs on Under My Skin in near secrecy. “I’d just come off my world tour and got back to Toronto and was writing right away,” the 19-year-old says. “I had no idea what I was going to do. No one did. People wondered if I’d run out of things to write about, but it was the opposite.”
One-vs.one with Avril Lavigne:
There are many preconceptions about you or notions that disturbs you the most? Are there any false ones that you like?
I read that you dislike being called ‘punk’-is it the idea of it misrepresenting your music or style or both?
It’s the idea of it misrepresenting ME.
Also I read that you changed your diet and it actually changed your mood-too much sugar? I’ve been there-the same thing happened to me. What has changed most?
When you’re on the road you get sick a lot and it’s very important to eat healthy. I shake so many hands and there are way too many germs.
I know you worked with Chantal and Raine-they’ve always been underrated songwriters-what did you learn most from them?
First of all they’re not underrated. I appreciate the fact that they write good wholesome songs.
Were you a fan of Chantal previous? Our Lady Peace in particular haven’t been successful in the states (I’m originally from Buffalo so I’ve listened to Toronto’s radio station most of my life) were you a fan of theirs?
Yes, a fan of OLP growing up and I heard Chantal on the radio all the time.
I just read that the album went #1 in the UK and will certainly do the same in the States-how do you describe the feeling that so many fans have to get your record?
It’s very rewarding for me because i put SO much into the record.
What is the biggest sacrifice in your life since becoming a recording artist?
Lack of privacy and people saying mean and untrue things.
I’ve been to the message board on your website and some seem really bitter-calling you a poser by pretending to be different from Britney but are actually the same. Fans will be fans, but does that piss you off?
Of course it does. They have no idea what they’re talking about. They are bored and have nothing better to do.
Are these controversies from fans and the press a good or bad thing(they say there is no bad press)?
Some say all press is good press and to be honest I dont fucking care anymore.
What do you do on the road to stay sane?
Have good people around me. Read.
If you could do a ballad with anyone who would it be?
If you were a comic book character who would you be a-good guy or villain? Who would you be? Why?
I dont follow comics.
You’ve achieved things millions dream about-what do you dream
about now? What do you hope for in the future?
I want to grow as an artist and settle down one day and have a normal life.
What question do you get asked too much? And how do you answer it?
What has happened to me in the last couple of years and what have I learned.
There has been way too much and I can’t sum it all up.
Final question, promise, I wanted this last question to be an open forum for you to just say something to fans or anyone or anything you want to say.
I just released my second record and I realized how supportive my fans have been. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You Rock!
+ Charlie Craine