Though she’s become a genuine superstar since her hit “Complicated”ruled the radio in 2002, life for Avril Lavigne still isn’t simple. For the past five years, she’s been dogged2 by claims that she’s all sour3 attitude, no talent. But it has made Avril, 23, more determined than ever to throw her critics the middle finger4—only this time, it’s with a smile.
She happily spent the last year making The Best Damn Thing, her playful third album inspired in part by the love of her life, fellow Canadian rocker Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 (whom she married a year ago). She’s also a certified5 actress, having made her film debut in last year’s Fast Food Nation and the animated Over the Hedge.
Avril is a girl who knows what she wants. And when it came to writing her third album, she had one very clear goal in mind: To make it fun. The process turned out to be a blast6. “I didn’t know making a record could be so fun,” she says. Avril’s laughter rings out7 in “I Can Do Better”, and in “Girlfriend.” You can hear her “playing a beer bottle” (by blowing into it) in the last few choruses.
She may be a bit more sophisticated8 these days, but she’s still peerless, and still fearless. The Best Damn Thing is Avril at a new stage in her life; she’s passed through the shadows of teen angst9 and emerged in a spotlight, ready to have fun and rock out and yes, even dance. It is, just as she intended, the best damn thing she’s ever done.
Q: It’s been a while since your last album. Why the break?
Avril Lavigne: ...I just wanted to kind of take a break and live my life. I worked on a couple of movies, got married, and then I went into the studio and because I write my songs it takes much longer for me to work on my album. I wanted to make sure it was really good... I want to make sure I have time for myself to enjoy life, because I’ve worked so much in my life.
Q: Your new music seems much more fun than your last album. What does it say about your life now?
AL: I’ve always been really fun and energetic, and I love being playful. Like my last record, I was in a darker spot in my life. But on this one I don’t even wanna go there. I’m so over that. I’m in this great spot now.
Q: A lot of people slammed11 you when you first came out. Did that add to your “dark”attitude?
AL: I mean, I was an innocent 17-year-old, and people would say negative things because I was so big. I was the biggest-selling female artist that year. And when someone gets so big, people wanna rip them apart12. That was really hard for me to deal with at first. It just made me really sad to hear people say things about me—that I was fake or made up by the record company, which is completely untrue.
Q: What do you mean?
AL: The record company let me do whatever I wanted, which was unheard of. But I had to fight with people at every single photo shoot ’cause they wanted to put me in pink and lace and frills13. I was like, “I’m not wearing that.” I wore my own clothes for a lot of them. Some people called me difficult, but I was just me being me. I guess my whole career has been about me fighting, like, “I’m not gonna do that. I think it’s cheesy14.”
Q：We saw your hair and clothing get a lot more glamorous15 last year. What brought that about?
AL: When I first came out on the scene, I acted like a kid and dressed like a kid—and now I’m a woman. As you get older you start dressing differently and doing things differently with your hair. I was such a tomboy. I wore my hair the same every day. Barely wore makeup. And now I love clothes. I love shoes, I love purses. I’m so girly, it’s not even funny.
Q: But you still have that confrontational16 attitude toward the paparazzi17. What’s the story behind you spitting on some photographers last year?
AL: I was at [the nightclub] Hyde, and there were a million paparazzi guys. They follow you around with clipboards18 and your pictures and a blue Sharpie19. They shove it in your face when you walk out of a club, then sell it on eBay, so I went “F***you, f***you” on mine. [Laughs.] Then I spit on them. And they love it. They’re all laughing—“Avril spit on me!”But I’d been spitting on them for two years and that one time it became a story.
Q: Why do you think they cared this time?
AL: Because there was nothing else going on. They always need a story. At that particular time there was nothing to talk about, so they made it into a story about me saying “F***you!” to my fans who were waiting for autographs. But it was outside at Hyde at one o’clock in the morning! And these were men—not my fans. I would never in a million years... So I put out a statement and said, “Sorry about my behavior—that was not toward my fans.”
Q: What was dating like before Deryck?
AL: I mean, you know what it’s like when you’re in high school and you have a new boyfriend every week. It’s all confusing. I’ve only had a couple of serious relationships. I haven’t gone through the whole dating thing. I mean, I’ve been with Deryck since I was 19.
Q: You say you plan to start a clothing line—so many stars have one. Why did you decide to do one now?
AL: Now I love clothes and I feel like I have all these really cool ideas. It’s something creative to do. It would be how I dress.
Being a girl is awesome. There’s so much—bags, shoes, makeup, accessories. It’s a lot of fun, and I think the older you get, the more you get into it.
It’s funny because everyone’s like, ‘Oh, your new look!’ but it’s not really like that. When you go from 17 to 23, you change a lot. Every girl does. I’m just growing up. And when you’re a girl, you can get into new things.
I was fresh out of high school—I didn’t finish high school—when I got a record deal and my first record exploded. My skater look was what I looked like in high school. Now I’m older. I’m a woman—and I’m married.
Before, I was like, ‘Oh, I would never curl my hair!’ I used to wear my hair in my face and thought I’d never want to wear it in a ponytail because I’d feel like everyone was looking at me. Believe it or not, I’m really shy. So I always liked wearing my hair down. Now I wear it back a little bit. Sometimes I put it up.
I think dark, short hair would look really cool on me, because I have small features, and with my blue eyes. But I like long blonde hair right now. I like black, and I mostly only ever wear black. I would still wear my old stuff, but I would probably wear the pants with a sexier top. I feel like a kid when I wear a T-shirt and baggy pants now.
It’s funny: The past four years of my life have been on-camera, so you see the changes. I look back at pictures and I laugh. I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s funny how I used to wear baggy clothes all the time.
I used to be naturally athletic20 when I was younger, but now that I’m 23, I know I need to start working out. I’ve been eating really healthy and consciously working out21 and keeping active. I’ve got to get in shape for a certain event22 coming up!
When people hear me on the radio, they’ll still know it’s me, because I have my own thing. My last record, I was breaking up with somebody or wanting to break up with somebody—that’s why my songs were really dark. But I think my new record will be at a different place. It will just reflect on what my life is like right now. It’s still me—that little rock flavor and fun, spunky23 energy girl. But, let me be honest, there’s some love songs on there. That’s what I feel, so that’s what I end up writing.
When you’re in this world, when you’re a celebrity, you have people talking about everything you do, everything you wear, and judging you. You’re under a microscope. But I’m confident. I’ve always been confident.
1. brooding adj. 焦虑的
2. dog v. 紧随
3. sour adj. 脾气坏的
4. throw the middle finger: 骂人的手势，表达对某事的极度不屑与蔑视。
5. certified adj. 被承认的
6. blast n. （俚语）狂欢会
7. ring out 发出大的声音
8. sophisticated adj. 世故的
9. angst n. 焦虑，担心
10. scowl v. 怒目而视
11. slam v. 抨击
12. rip apart 撕开；扯破
13. frill [fril] n. 褶边
14. cheesy adj. 俗气的，愚蠢的
15. glamorous adj. 迷人的
16. confrontational adj. 对立的；对抗的
17. paparazzi n. 狗仔队
18. clipboard n. 带纸夹的写字板
20. athletic adj. 运动的；健美的
21. work out 健身
22. certain event 必然事件
23. spunky adj. 充满勇气的