Alanis Morissette talks first album in 8 years and legacy of 'Jagged Little Pill'

The singer is back with a new album titled "Such Pretty Forks in the Road." She talks about writing while in quarantine with her family and looks back at the impact of "Jagged Little Pill" 25 years ago.
/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Twenty-five years after the release of the raw and emotional "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette is perfectly comfortable with having the ferocity expressed on her hit album be part of her legacy.

"Oh yeah, I love anger," Morissette told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Friday. "The impulse or the movement or the current of anger is enough to move worlds. It underlies all advocacy, all activism, all showings-up, all standing up for one's self — all of that is fueled by anger."

Headlined by hit singles like "You Oughta Know" and "Ironic," the album sold 33 million copies worldwide after its release in 1995.

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"I often use the metaphor that this big feminist wave was coming and I volunteered really quickly,'' she said. "I had my surfboard, I'll ride that wave, let's do this.

"I feel excited and I'm so happy that people used this. I get a lot of feedback about how people have used various songs to help them through different periods of time, times in their life where they really felt they needed it."

The singer said she spent years getting grief about "Ironic," one of her biggest hits, which doesn't actually contain any irony. However, there is the irony that one of her most famous songs was one she fought to take off album because she didn't think it was good enough to make the cut.

"There's a lot of ironies for a song that has no ironies in them,'' she said. "I didn't really think that song should go on the record. That was met with much resistance I said, 'OK let's put it on the record,' and then that wound up being the song that I had my butt kicked for 25 years, don't worry about it."

Morissette, 46, is now back with her first album in eight years and her ninth overall, titled "Such Pretty Forks in the Road."

"Every song comes from the unconscious so if I'm sublimating or repressing any feelings like oh, I don't know, anger, sadness, fear, they'll come out like gangbusters, like it's being channeled and coming through me in a way that I'm barely in control of," she said.

The Canadian singer created the album while at home in quarantine with her husband, rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway, 40, and their three children, Ever, 9, Onyx, 4, and Winter, who will celebrate his first birthday on Aug. 8.

"The multi-tasking has gone to a whole other level, so I can be recording a vocal, my son can be on top of my head, I could be breast feeding," she said. "I could be stirring some pasta, writing lyrics and recording at the same time."

The new album tackles topics like addiction, insecurity and motherhood.

"I really offer these songs up, and if it can offer some validation or some comfort or some knowledge about their not being alone,'' Morissette said. "Especially with so many of us at home, just to have music is just that universal balm, hug."