Canada's pop-punk Queen Avril Lavigne is back! Not only is she releasing a new single and her fifth studio album later this year, she's also planning a wedding to new love Chad Kroeger, of Nickelback fame.
The couple fell in love while working on her new album and co-wrote her punchy new single Here's To Never Growing Up, a fist-pumping summer anthem.
In part one of our exclusive interview, Avril dishes on her upcoming music video, missing her high school prom, her philosophy of living in the moment and her love of old-school crafting...
Let’s talk about the single, Here's To Never Growing Up. So we’ve seen photos from the video - little teasers - but can you tell us about the concept? What’s happening?
It’s prom, and basically I have my live performance with my band and we’re in prom outfits. And then we’re kind of like in a high school, or it could be a college...
When I was writing it, I was thinking about being younger – I’m still in my 20s, but you know, like high school - and with my 20s being in music and everything, I love the concept of ‘simply prom’ for the video.
Growing up in the music biz, do you feel like you missed out at all on being young and enjoying life?
No, although I actually didn’t go to prom, so this was my first prom! No, I don’t feel like I missed out, because I had a very normal childhood. I grew up in a small town and I left when I was 16.
In the song you sing about having a great night with your friends, partying and enjoying life. When was the last time you had an evening like that - when you just hit the town, danced on tables?
My experience in the studio over the past year was kind of like that. We would be sitting around writing songs. Sometimes we’d stay until four in the morning just living in the moment...
For me it was like being in the studio, having fun, writing music, ordering food (laughs), having a couple of drinks, but…that was that for me.
Do you feel like you’re growing up? Like, ‘Oh man – I’ve been doing this for a long time!’?
Yeah I do, but at the same time, I still feel like the same person. I love having fun and I’m young at heart, so that’s how my friends and I roll. We love to enjoy life and live in the moment. When we are having a special moment - whatever that is, like partying, or whether it’s being up on stage - it’s all about making the best of it and losing yourself in that moment, being care-free and just living it up.
Do you feel it’s difficult to lose yourself in the moment when the whole world is watching?
(Laughs) No, I just got a tattoo on my arm that says 'live in the moment’ en Français - so in French...
Everything I go through is at a very fast rate, and it’s quick, and sometimes I do stuff and I look back and I’m like, ‘Woah it flew by!’.
So I always try to be like, ‘Okay I’m eating a really good meal, so I’m going to enjoy it while I’m eating it'.
Or I’m in a really cool city today, so even now I’m trying to actually do things to enjoy it.
Does scrapbooking and taking Polaroids help you live in the moment, and help you capture this amazing life you’re living?
Being in the studio is so much fun, I decided to get a camera… polaroid cameras are awesome because you can take a picture and see it right away. And on my downtime - while someone will be doing like drums or something, or an instrument that I wasn’t playing - I would work with my scrapbook.
And now when I look back through it, I’m really glad that I made it because I get to remember the whole process of making this record and all the people I worked with.
And does that feel like that’s something that’s just for you, as opposed to Instagram photos which are for everyone?
Yeah I guess so (laughs). It’s more old school. I remember being a kid and taking pictures and having to get my film developed, and waiting like a whole week to get it back, and it’s more old school. It’s exciting to actually have that physical image. And I like scrapbooking!
A lot of things have changed since you first started out... What’s most different for you this time around?
Well, everything from now - it’s all about iTunes and downloads, and singles versus albums, and there’s so many artists out there. Radio is at a completely different stage and you know just as much as I do really how much everything’s changed.
I’m happy that I can still make a full CD. I’m still doing that and I love the fact that I put can put out a CD with 12, 13 songs and I can still have my album art and kind of throw that stuff together. It’s not completely gone.
So you love scrapbooking and old-school stuff. Do you think we’ll ever see Avril moving to the country and listening to opera and raising sheep?
I don’t know where that came from (laughs), but I like jazz music! I like Frank Sinatra, I like painting, cooking and I love writing songs!
Catch Part Two of our chat with Avril next Friday, when she talks collaborations with Marilyn Manson and fiancé Chad Kroeger, and some other big surprises.
Interview by Trent Maynard
Photo by REX