Avril Lavigne Talks "Goodbye Lullaby," Abbey Dawn, Fragrances and More
Mon, 14 Feb 2011 09:25:42
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Avril Lavigne is a modern Renaissance woman. Despite her sassy songs, her girlish attitude and youthful energy, Lavigne isn't a girl anymore. She's an exemplary woman, an entrepreneur, an artist that has shifted more than 30 million copies of her albums in her career so far and a lady with a lot on her plate. Her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, is set for release on March 8th via RCA and the singer/songwriter/fashion designer/perfumer admits it's a "bittersweet" set of songs.
Goodbye Lullaby could be Lavigne's best, most personal album to date, thanks to the way she lays her cards on the table, unafraid to let her fans have a look-see over her well-clothed shoulder. Goodbye Lullaby is raw and personal in ways that other pop stars, whose names have been omitted to protect the not-so-innocent, can only dream about. Lavigne draws you in with her gutsy, Alanis Morissette and Joni Mitchell-inspired vocal delivery and she holds you there, captive, with her polished hooks and unforgettable melodies.
Lavigne has also expanded her empire, with her Abbey Dawn clothing line, formerly sold only at Kohl's, upgraded from a junior's line to something a bit more grown up and universally wearable. She has issued two fragrances to date, with a third on the way. Clearly, Avril, who has the best hair this side of Jennifer Aniston, is a busy gal, but she found time to chat with ARTISTdirect.com News Editor and makeup maven Amy Sciarretto and discussed her Lullaby and following her nose, literally, figuratively and fragrancefully!
You are immersed in music, fashion and perfumes. Does the creative process for each project meld into the others? Do they all relate in some way for you?
They all 100 percent tie into my music, which is why I am here. Abbey Dawn, my fashion line, ties into my music, since I am designing for me, creating what I want to wear at photo shoots, onstage, at video shoots, on red carpets or offstage. I am a chick, so I love clothes [laughs]. I get to design and make a cool line that I love and be creative there. It is nice to be able to do something outside of music. I just launched AbbeyDawn.com.
You've upgraded the line, it seems.
I made a huge change to my tees. It's not a tween or juniors anymore. It's more for girls and women now. It's better quality and will have a higher price point. I have a whole new team, from people I work with to the manufacturer. I started over and I am excited, since now it's international. I hurried to get it online, so it's out and I will be taking it into stores soon. It's revamped. It's going to include heels, like rock 'n' roll heels, flats, purses and other good stuff. I am so excited that I tattooed the name on my forearm. I love it so much. I went to Japan last week and got great ideas from all the Tokyo fashion.
They are always six months ahead of us when it comes to fashion trends, aren't they?
It is so dope. I love the jeans with rips and bold rock 'n' roll pieces and they have that there. You can find extraordinary rock pieces there when you can't find anything here. Everything is plain. So I get to make what I want to wear.
How are your fragrances a reflection of you?
'Black Star' is the first one and 'Forbidden Rose' is the second one. It's funny to talk about it, since each has a message and tagline; that is how we create them. Black Star, since I love pink and black and stars and studs…the bottle is a star with a studded ring and the tagline is 'Be Your Own Star' and the message is reach for stars, go for your dreams and believe in yourself. I wrote a piece of music for the commercial and that is the intro to my album. 'Forbidden Rose' has a message to dare to discover and be rebellious.
How much are you involved in the development of the scent? Are you sniffing vials that come over from the chemistry lab?
Believe it or not, it takes two years to create a scent. How it smells? That is the last thing that goes into it [laughs]. I spent a lot of time going over boxes, colors, fonts, messages, the story, consumer testing, etc.
Does that feeling of creating a scent match that of creating an album?
Outside of music, oh my god, I get so excited and then I have ideas when I get the product. When I see people wearing it or smell it on my mom and sister or friends, it's so cool.
'Black Star' opens the album and is like a pretty, lullaby. It has a fairytale, haunting emotion behind it and sort of sets you up for what comes next.
Yes! That is the intro. The last song is 'Goodbye,' and it has the same lullaby feel.
Then there is 'What the Hell,' which is sassy Avril. What got you into those headspaces for the mood of the album, especially since you just went through a public break up?
Well, 'What the Hell' is more pop rock and a lot of my sassy, like you said, style. It's lighter and fun and the rest of the album is more raw and vulnerable and it's deeper and stripped down. My vision, production wise, for this album, was that. I wanted acoustic guitars and for it to be stripped down with pianos. I wanted to go there more. All my records are pop rock and upbeat, and I was ready to do something a little different. As far as lyrics and the subject matter, it is a bittersweet. I didn't know what I was going to write; I just knew what I wanted the production to sound like and what I wanted the style to be. Then, the lyrics just come and it was bittersweet lyrically.
Do you think people see you beyond that whole 'Sk8er Boi' persona? Have you moved past that? Do you think you empower girls still?
It's been really nice and rewarding, over the years. I have had fan meet and greets and signings, and when I have fans come up to me, they've written me letters and have told me that my music has touched them or helped them, and then they get into specific details and hard situations, and say that my songs help them. When I hear that, I feel really happy that I could have an effect on someone. I hope this album inspires people and gives them strength.
Are you excited for Goodbye Lullaby?