Bif Naked – Interview

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Bif Naked

Hi. How are you?

Good. How is everything?

It goes and goes.

Where do you live?

Buffalo.

Buffalo? Yeah. (laughs) The Sabres. (she said it with a little tongue in cheek laugh)

Where are you?

Toronto, but I actually live in Vancouver.

If I knew you’d be calling from an hour and a half away, I could have come up there and hung out.

Well, yeah, except that I’m going to New York City in a little bit. I’m going to be back on MTV. We finished our tour on Friday and the whole band flew back home to Vancouver, and I stayed because I knew I had to go to New York today and I didn’t want to fly back to Vancouver then all the way to New York in a day.

(phone rings)

Awwwww. Can you hold on?

Yeah.

Okay. (answers the other phone) (comes back) Sorry. (laughs cutely like a kid)

Having a crazy day?

Yeah. I have to check out of this hotel in like ten minutes and I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve got the new Thrasher magazine and I’m kinda lazy and reading it. I’ve had breakfast so I’m just feeling lazy.

So you’re heading over to MTV today?

Yeah. They give you food and everything. You go there and they’ve got food! They’ve got muffins and soda pop. (laughs)

I really enjoy the album.

Thank you.

I expected it to be mostly punk, but it’s really a pop album. Is it the press that gave everyone that impression?

I don’t know. I just think people judge a book by its cover. They see my picture and they are like, ‘Oh, she has tattoos. She must be like Morbid Angel.’ (laughs hysterically) I don’t know what they think.

I enjoy how the album goes from balls-to-the-wall, then the next track will be slow and really personal.

Thank you. I’m glad you like it.

Do you switch it up like that for the live shows as well?

We try to. I think we try to, anyway. I try to figure out depending on the mosh pit. If we get a pit going, I like to keep it going. Then you’ve got to give them a break with a slower song. You can do like two or three moshing songs and then a slow song. They need the break. Then we go at it again hard and fast.

If I were a friend instead of some guy doing an interview, would I call you Bif?

Yep. Or Biffy.

I read that you initially left the Naked off of the record cover and now I’m reading rumors that you didn’t want to use Naked anymore. Is that a bunch of shit?

Yeah. It wasn’t included on the I Bificus artwork originally. I didn’t think that I needed it on the cover since it’s on the inside. Suddenly everyone everywhere started saying I changed my name. I was like, ‘What are you talking about, man?’ It was just because of an artwork thing. So when we finally did the repressing of I Bificus, I made sure it was on the front. I guess I underestimated people or something.

I guess I have to make sure about things, especially when I get stuff from websites. Too many rumors.

Yeah, I know. I read that I was dating Marilyn Manson. I mean, I’ve never even met him.

Does it feel weird to do things like MTV and play shows in America and everyone thinks you are some artist that came out of nowhere?

Yeah, but it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just that it’s a different country. I don’t get offended by it because it’s only natural. It was the same way in Europe, so I’m used to going to another country and everyone thinking I came out of nowhere.

The album was released a while ago in Canada, right?

Yeah. It was released a year ago in Canada and in Europe.

So is the release in America the same?

No. It came out August 3rd and I was given the opportunity to do some changes. Lava Records asked, ‘If there is anything you want changed about your record, let’s do it.’ And I was like, ‘Uh, yeah.’ There was a song on the Canadian record called “If I” and I took that off so that I could put on “I Died”, I just wrote that, and I put “Twitch” on that. I also changed the artwork a bit. I drew a bit of a bio on the first page of the liner notes, because in Canada they already met me. I mean, I’ve been touring Canada for ten years.

So the label didn’t give you a hard time about your artwork and try to make it all slickly produced?

No, not at all. They were so nice, plus they liked my artwork so much that they made a comic book.

Really?

Yeah. So every kid that buys the record gets a comic book.

That’s awesome.

And there is a little bif stick girl who explains what every song is about.

I didn’t get that. I wish I would have. That would’ve been cool.

I’ve never felt so nurtured by a label.

Do you want listeners to come away with their own ideas of a song’s meaning as well?

Yeah, they are all open for interpretation. Everyone will always take from a song what they relate to it. Sometimes the song changes for me, too.

How do you write your songs?

Every song is different. Like “Moment Of Weakness” I have probably been singing in the shower for years. My co-writer helped me arrange it and put a bridge in. Then, for example, “Lucky”, that’s a pretty sad song. The first time I sang that I was sitting in a van on tour in, what town was that it? Oh, we were in Kitchener, Ontario, waiting for the club to open, and I just started singing it.

So everyday occurrences are what inspire you?

Yeah. It seems like when I’m in a good mood I’m playing outside with my dogs, and when I’m melancholy I’m usually sitting down writing lyrics.

How did you choose the single and the direction of the video?

I don’t know. I always thought since I’ve been putting out records that any song on the whole record that they want to put on the radio, I don’t care what song it is. I always thought it was a privilege just to have a song played. So if some of the grownups think one song will work then I just go, ‘Wow. I can’t believe that you like me.’ I was pleased that “Moment Of Weakness” was chosen as the first single. It’s kinda upbeat and I like that about the album. And for the video, Marcus Diagao submitted the best idea. He mailed his idea to us on paper with the one shot of like that in the office and I thought it was really funny. We wanted to work with him anyway because he’s a nice guy, and he owns the same kind of mountain bike as me, too. (laughs) He just did the Blink 182 video. You know the one where they are running naked down the street?

Yeah.

I really like that one. It was a no-brainer. I was blown away that I had the opportunity to work with someone like that. It was so exciting.

I’m sure you get asked a ton about your tattoos, but I was wondering if you had a favorite?

I have this one on the inside of my left bicep. It’s the picture of the Kama Sutra.

Did it hurt?

Yeah. Well, it did, but the girl, her name is Teresa Russell, she’s from Vancouver, was better than some of the people who’ve done them before. So it wasn’t that bad.

I have one on my ankle that was the worst pain.

Right on the bone.

Yeah. On the bone. It was rough.

I can’t bring myself to do it myself. I’m chicken. (we both begin to laugh)

Hey, I heard you were going to be on my favorite tv show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Yeah! A couple of weeks ago we were flown to Santa Monica and we played two songs. It’ll air October 19th.

That show is great.

She (Sarah Michelle Gellar who plays Buffy) is really nice.

So how would you react to being called a sex symbol?

I dont know. I never had to think about that before. It never occurred to me. (laughs)

How do you feel about being an influence to upcoming artists?

Wow. Man, I don’t know. I say if they can learn anything from me I’d say, ‘Just don’t take yourself too seriously.’ If you don’t take yourself too seriously, the rest is gravy.

What artists influenced you and who do you enjoy listening to?

When I’m home I listen to Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blidge. I like a lot of R&B singers and I love their vocal abilities. I also like bands like Shelter, Screeching Weasel, and SNFU. I like stuff like that too. I guess it’s real opposites, huh?

Yeah. So what do you like to do to get away from music?

Snowboard. I like snowboarding in Vancouver. Where I live it’s easy to do because we live so close. I like walking my dogs too. I do that probably every day.

What kind of dogs?

I have a Maltese named Nicholas and I have a Bichon Frise named Anastasia.

I have a boxer.

Oh, you do? Oh, man, Nicholas hates boxers. He’s such a little bastard and he’s just this little white thing. Every time we go to the dog park he causes trouble.

You know what is funny about that? I took my dog for a walk the other day down the street where we’ve never gone, and a little white dog came yipping at him and he just sat there. He didn’t know what to make of that dog.

And he is always picking on your dog?

Yeah. And my dog is huge and just sits there all confused.

I know, and he is picking on your boxer. Nicholas picks on boxers. He picks on Rottweilers. My dog fucking picks on them and it’s not right. I always pick Nicholas up and apologize to the other dogs’ mommies. I’m sorry, but it’s not your dog’s fault. I didn’t raise my dog that way. He shames his mommy.

+ charlie craine

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