Smash Hits Australia November 2002: Uncomplicated
Smash Hits, Australia November 2002
No nonsense, no pretence and no over-styling. Avril Lavigne is about as straightforward as pop stars come.
Smash Hits talk to the No.1 star about leaving school, sk8er bois and false boobs!
Avril, you're an overnight sensation! How's it feel to have everyone talking about you?
It's a weird thing. I don't really read that much stuff about me, cos it's a bit distracting sometimes, especially
if it's negative. And also, a lot of the times they get stuff wrong and you go, "Oh no, I didn't say it like that."
Does it feel strange to recieve accolades and praise, and top charts worldwide?
It's truly unbelievable! I went to Japan a while ago, and I've never been there before and I didn't know too
much about it, but I had so many fans waiting there. I was followed all day - they hung around the lobby and showered me with
presents - and it took a long time to sign autographs cos they're all so polite and bow and stuff. I played an awesome show
- it was huge and they were rocking out and jumping, and I was told they're a tough crowd. It was so cool
Are you prepared for the scrutiny that comes with being a pop star?
No. This is definitely not a normal feeling. You have to enter with a good head and be prepared. I like to
be aware that things are gonna happen and that it happens to everybody. There's a ton of people who actually like me, so I
focus on the,
Are you shy?
You know what, I'm not - but sometimes I am. Sometimes I get nervous, but then again I can be that wild kid
jumping around being the loudest in the room. I mean everyone goes through different emotions. I'm not gonna be hyper 24/7.
You don't wanna see me drink Coke, though - I don't shut up! I can't drink coffee or eat chocolate either cos I get really
You look totally cool and natural - is that you or have you been styled in any way?
No, I don't get styled. I wear clothes that are comfortable, that I like. I can't say that I go shopping anymore,
I don't cos I can't anymore. I have a stylist, but she doesn't work as a stylist. She just gets me the clothes I like. Most
artists have stylists who decide what style they should wear. The style I have is completly me. I don't wanna go onstage and
sell sex, I wanna sell my music. When you're in this situation, especially being a girl, you have all kinds of clothes picked
for you, you have people style you, make you beatiful and I'm just like "Fuck that, I'll wear my own clothes and do my own
Were you a tomboy growing up?
Totally! I have an older brother that I played hockey with. We went camping and fishing and hunting. I ride
Your image and attitude seem to reflect a hard upbringing in a rough neighbourhood, but growing up in Napanee
was pretty safe and quaint, wasn't it?
I grew up in a good home. I don't think I come across that rough, really. I come from a good family, but I
guess sometimes my attitude comes across and that's just because I don't feel like taking crap from people.
What's the worst trouble you've gotten into?
I got suspended from school a couple of times and I got kicked out of class - for talking and not doing my
homework and throwing shit around the room or something.
You didn't like school much...
No, I hated it! I'm glad to be rid of it!
But you learn stuff in school. Are you against that too?
Not at all, and I'm not going around promoting "drop out of school" like I did. My situation was different.
I was in grade 11 and I was offered a record contract and that's what I've been working towards all my life, so I grabbed
the opportinity and decided to leave school. I'm glad that I did. I don't have a tutor either. I just quit.
So if you hadn't made it in music, you would've ended up as trailer trash?
Ha, ha, I dunno about that. Yeah, maybe. Before, I thought about being a cop. Then I decided not to. I have
a firm sense of justice, though. I think everyone wants to be a cop at one point.
What's the difference between you, a girl from a small town in Canada, and a similar teen from LA, both
trying to break into the music business?
I was kinda sheltered and didn't know much about anything. This is not supposed to happen to a girl from a
small town in Canada. I didn't even know what a record deal was, let alone a publishing deal. I wanted to make a CD, but I
didn't know how it was done. But I was always very motivated, I was always performing and making a name for myself - that
lead to me meeting people in the business. I sang everywhere I could. I was very well-known around home. Everyone knew me
as the singer girl.
One of those occasions was singing with Shania Twain, is that right?
When I was 14, I won a radio station competition and the first prize was to sing with Shania onstage. It was
amazing! When I first started, I used to sing in church and I grew up in a Christian home and my parents fed me the songs.
They said, "Do these songs," when I moved on to secular music. They liked country like Shania and Dixie Chicks. Back then,
I was the girl next door, and when I sang at fairs, the bands would only play country songs, so I sang country songs. When
I started writing, it came out harder. There was no particular artist who inspired me. This style was just something I naturally
wanted to do.
Do you have a boyfriend?
No, I don't. But I want a rock boy! I want a little rock star. I want a guy that's an artist, someone who
writes and plays guitar, and understands me.
There are rumours that you're seeing one of your guitar players...
Really? Which one of them? Ha,ha that's so weird. I heard that I had a crush on all of the guys in the band,
and yeah, I've said they're good looking and hot. But I haven't had a crush on the whole band.
Have you ever really been in love?
Uh, yeah, once. When I was younger. It didn't work out.
Reading the lyrics to your new single, Sk8er Boi, could that song be about you, even if you sing about
Wow, yeah, totally! That's not what I intended to write about, but it ended up like that. I'm like ther sk8er
boi, but a girl. I just wrote about what I say in high school and how people treated each other and I made that into a story.
The message is be true to yourself and don't try to please other people. You're the one who needs to be happy.
Is the prospect of making a lot of money appealing to you?
No. All I know is that I wanna live in a decent house and sleep in a clean bed, I'll be happy.
Would it be a strain to become a role model to young girls?
They already dress up like me - they've got my shoes and stuff. I don't feel I have to act a certain way just
because I may influence people. I'm not gonna change, that would be blasphemy. That's what I'm about - I'm about making myself
(End of interview)
They also have this other interview, in the same magazine, same page, but it's all about her and Britney Spears.
"I'm no Britney!"
Singers like Avril and Michelle Branch are constantly being compared to pop princesses like Britney and Christina.
Avril tells us what she thinks of her manufactured counterparts...
Are you the antidote to Britney and Christina?
What do you mean?
Well, if they're the poison, are you the antidote?
I don't know. I think people are getting tired of the Britney format. It's not normal, it's not real. It's
very fake and people find that hard to relate to. I try to stay away from all of that and be as normal as possible.
Do they have any redeeming qualities?
Totally! They're both beautiful girls and Christina can really sing. Britney knows how to dance. I can't say
Britney has a beautiful, amazing voice - I've never heard it properly. She never sings onstage, she just lip syncs. I would
never do playback. Even if I had a sore throat, I'd suck it up and cut it anyway. I jump around onstage, but I still sing.
Who wants to listen to the CD when you see the artist perform? The fun thing with the live thing is that you may hear a different
lyric, a different version, some jamming. I change the songs, add little things and stuff.
You've said "I have a great body! I could be Britney!" Are you under pressure to reveal more of your body
like she does?
Well, they messed that up, I didn't say it like that. If I wanted to, if any girl wanted to, she can work
out that hard and get styled and look like Britney if they wanted. Have new boobs put in or whatever. All I meant was that
if I wanted to, I have the opportunity to be like that in front of the cameras and wear those clothes. But I don't want to.
Obviously, I have a decent body, I mean it's not like I'm... well, I'm 18! I was never under any pressure to reveal more skin
by my label or management, but at photo shoots, people would want me to wear certain clothes and once they tried to put me
in high heel shoes and I'm like, "No!"