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INTERVIEW: Avril Lavigne Talks New Album, Working With Husband Chad Kroeger, Sexing Up Pop & More

3 October 2013

Avril Lavigne is one of pop's biggest stars and is storming back with her fifth self-titled debut album which is set for release on November 5.

After three number one albums and a string of successful singles including 2007's smash hit 'Girlfriend,' Avril is back with two new singles under her belt, 'Here's To Growing Up' and 'Rock N Roll.'

EntertainmentWise caught up with Avril to find out why she has chosen to release an eponymous album after four records, what it was like working with husband Chad Kroeger and the sexualisation of female musicians...

Avril Lavigne has dished all about her new album to EntWise (Joel Ginsburg/WENN)

You’re back with your new single 'Rock N Roll' what’s the single about for anyone who hasn’t heard it?

'Rock N Roll' is just catchy, it’s the spirit of 'Rock N Roll' which is just not caring what people think and being rebellious. It’s a fun tune!

The video looked like a lot of fun to make, just to clarify, what on earth is a bear shark?

The idea came from the director Chris Lars, he thinks up some really crazy stuff.

Are both of the singles ‘Rock N Roll' and ‘Here’s To Never Growing Up’ a good representation of the rest of the album?

No! (laughs) The album is really all over the place. There’s piano songs which are just piano and vocals, some very raw, emotional pieces. There’s a few summer songs, it’s nostalgic. There’s a rock song called ‘Bad Girls’ with Marilyn Manson on it and then there’s a song called 'Hello Kitty' which is electronic. So it’s all over the place.

Have you decided what the next single’s going to be?

Yes but I can’t really confirm it.  

Your new album 'Avril Lavigne' is released this November – why have you decided to release a self titled album five records down the line?

Because stylistically and lyrically it’s all over the place and I couldn’t really sum it up and the album photo, the cover it looks better to have it in there.    

Which is your favourite song from the album?  

I really like 'Gimme What You Like,' 'Hush Hush' and 'Bad Girl.'  

You said this album is totally the opposite to your last album – in what way and what inspired the change?  

Actually, honestly I just went into the studio and wrote a ton of different stuff and worked with all new people and just picked out the songs that came out best in the end! 

You’ve always experimented with various genres and sounds with all of your previous albums– what’s this album sounding like? What are the main themes through this album?

A lot of songs in the past have been about love, relationships and break ups or whatever because I was younger, I was a teenager and all that stuff. But now I’m at a very different place in my life. It’s not just a record about love and relationships you know. There’s a song called 'Rock N Roll,' there’s a song called 'Hello Kitty,' a bunch of summer songs then a couple of songs which are pretty nostalgic, about looking back like ‘17’. I guess I didn’t mean for it to turn out like that but it’s good.  

You previously said you’d written so many songs for this album that you might release two albums – can we expect another new album to follow shortly?  

Maybe. I can’t really see it but potentially. That’s kind of how I hoped to do it.  

You worked with Marilyn Manson on the song 'Bad Girl' – how did that collaboration come about?  

The song made me think of him so I called him up and he came up to the studio, checked it out and he dug it so he recorded it right away and just came up with it on the spot. I met him when I was 18, I went to one of his shows.  

A lot of people have many pre-conceived ideas about Marilyn Manson but what’s he really like to work with?  

Working with him was nice, it was relaxed. We got together to write in the studio but I have a lot of respect for him as a song writer and he’s had a lot of success in his music [career] so it’s really inspired to have him around and also we have being two writing artists in common so it’s not just like he was a studio writer he was a musician himself. He’s another vocalist so we have an understanding, he really understood me when he producing songs and I thought that was pretty cool.  

You co-wrote your new single with your husband, as well as several other tracks on the record - has he been the main influence behind the record?

I mean sure but Chad, David Hodges and myself wrote a bunch of songs together and then at the end we brought it Mark Johnson, J Cash and then a couple of other people so we did it with a whole bunch of people.  

Are their any plans for a world tour for this album?

I haven’t really planned anything other than going to Asia. But I guess they’re figuring all that out now so it’s just promoting.    

Now that you’ve cemented your place as one of the biggest pop stars around and manage to have such a long career do you still feel the pressure of charts when releasing this album or are you more relaxed now?  

I guess I’m just still really grateful to still be here making music and I have the fans who are amazing. I’m still making music so I’m happy and that’s sort of what I focus on.

You’ve had a career spanning over a decade now, what’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I don’t know. I guess it requires a lot of work and dedication when you do this for a living you don’t really have much of a life outside of it so like anyone who’s an aspiring musician or singer you feel the need to dedicate your whole life to your job because you live it. They have to be able to handle that and work really hard so when people ask me that, that’s what I say.

What’s been the most surprising thing to happen in your career?  

I think it’s cool knowing how many fans follow me on my Twitter or Facebook because I can just put up videos and it’s always just so surprising to see how many people are following me and knowing that. Every time there’s ever been a record that I’ve made that’s always been really cool.

When you look back is there anything you wish you could take back?

No.

You’ve sold tens of millions of records, won countless awards – what’s still on your bucket list, musically?

A Christmas record!

Oh wow that would be great, we’d love to hear that! Your last single’s called ‘Here’s to Never Growing Up’ but becoming such a huge star at such a young age did you ever feel you had to grow up pretty quickly?  

Yes I did actually. Your spirit and your attitude towards life and should always young at heart whatever age you are. I feel like I will always be that way hopefully! But you are right yes, I entered this industry really young so then I had to be this business woman and grow up quick!  

You became the pioneer of pop/rock in the early noughties do you think it’s fair to say you paved the way for a lot of female pop stars today?  

I don’t know, do you?  

I think there’s an argument that before you there was the same sort of female pop star you get today such as Taylor Swift or Kelly Clarkson if it wasn’t for what you did.

I’m not sure but that’s very flattering, that’s pretty cool!

How do you think the music industry has changed today? Do you think there’s more pressure for women to become overly sexualised and have you ever been pressured to sex up your image against your will?

I guess I think it’s always kind of been like that. Like when I came out everyone was bearing their midriff. I don’t know, people can dress the way they want to dress, I dress how I want to dress. I’ve always dressed differently and done my own thing and not followed the trend.

When are you next heading to the UK?  

I don’t know actually but I should be there within the next month.

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