“I’ve always had this vibe”: Avril Lavigne on 20 Years Since Let Go
Grow, April Lavigne remembers being described as an old soul. But before the 20th anniversary of his debut album, let go, the 37-year-old Canadian pop-punk princess appears on Zoom younger than ever. She beams across the screen with her blonde locks tucked under a trucker hat, her blue eyes piercing through her heavy smudged eyeliner and black nail polish. It’s a look that will transport you back to 2002, when Lavigne first burst onto the scene. It’s almost like she’s an artifact from the year 2000, frozen in time, ready to walk down memory lane. “I’ve always had that vibe and that style,” Lavigne says. “And I always stayed true to myself.”
Even Lavigne, whom I joined on a day off in Malibu, finds it “trippy” to look back on her career and be seen as an influence. “I still feel young,” she said, taking a sip of the green juice. But 20 years ago, Lavigne grew rapidly.
At just 17, his brand of pop punk, with genre-defining anthems like “Sk8er Boi” and emotionally charged ballads like “Complicated” and “I’m With You,” changed the music industry. . Nicknamed “the Anti-Britney”, she raged through the charts, originally signed by LA Reid, in juxtaposition to the bubblegum pop that dominated the airwaves in 2002, breaking the mould. She helped write her own songs, played guitar, wore her own clothes (a designer uniform consisting of undershirts, cargo pants, and ties), and did not subscribe to mainstream ideas of femininity. If you don’t see yourself in Britney Spears Where Christina Aguilera, here is April. She became the poster child for alternative girls everywhere.
“I had to be strong. I had to fight,” Lavigne says of making a name for herself in music. “I had to figure out very quickly who I was and what I wanted.”
A skater from her church choir in small-town Ontario, Lavigne rose to fame writing songs about what she knew best: being a teenager. Lavigne’s own high school experience watching cliques inspired her megahit “Sk8er Boi.” To put it simply: “I liked the skating boys,” says Lavigne. “Those were the guys I hung out with.” But her debut wasn’t just about those she fell for, it also showcased her range as a songwriter. “I feel like the songs are deep and capture a lot of emotion,” Lavigne says. “I can still tell today.”
His alternative style and perseverance paid off and earned him five Grammy nominations, a coveted Moon Man for Best New Artist in a Video at the MTV Video Music Awards (“That’s when I understood that I had succeeded”, she says), a rolling stone cover titled “On the Hunt With the Britney Slayer”, a Saturday Night Live show, a world tour and let go becoming the best-selling record by a Canadian artist in the 21st century. “I was kind of a kid and the workload was literally crazy,” says Lavigne. “But I did.”
She looks back with emotion on this period of her life. Described as a rebel of the pop scene, Lavigne always considered herself a “crazy normal”, happy to get out of her house, party on tour but never do drugs. “I did all my work,” she recalls. “If I had an all-nighter and showed up in the lobby with a bottle of Jack in my hand from the night before, I still managed to catch the flight to the next town.” Today, she maintains a similar work ethic: “I drink beer at night and green juice the next day. That’s me in a nutshell,” Lavigne laughs. “I’m a well-rounded female dog!…And I’m a Libra.”
Two decades and seven albums later, some things never change. Lavigne still makes music, love still sucks. Or at least when she started writing her new album, I love Sux, at home. “I know who I am now. I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve been through heartbreak,” Lavigne says. “Now I write songs from a woman’s perspective.” pop-punk lined up when Lavigne, who is signed to collaborator Travis BarkerThe label of, DTA, worked in the studio with the producers Jean Feldman and Mod Sun. She was ready to write “cool, fun rock stuff,” she explains, penning jaw-dropping anthems that shine with Lavigne’s signature sense of humor like “Bite Me” and “Bois Lie (Ft. Machine Gun Kelly).” There’s even a throwback treat with Blink-182 Marc Hoppus which had Lavigne fangirling. The album is as pure as it gets in the genre, aspiring to be performed live.